9th Apr, 2020
What a very strange time to be alive. At the time of writing, the UK government (and many others) is currently enforcing a national lockdown that’s keeping millions of us behind closed doors. It’s fair to say that any initial novelty is quickly wearing off, especially for those of us who can’t work for the duration, or have kids to care for in the meantime.
So, it stands to reason that you’re probably looking for some blooming good telly to take your mind off things for a bit. We’re pleased to say that’s something we can help with here at Scrap Car Network. Most of our own team are stuck at home too, so while we can’t help you scrap your car at this stage, we can certainly recommend one or two decent shows to tickle your automotive fancy.
You don’t necessarily have to define yourself as a petrolhead to have heard of this one. For the last 15 years it’s been a cultural icon, which makes it all the more surprising to realise that its original run only actually went for three years, between 2004 to 2007. Famously fronted by Xzibit (a man somewhat harshly described as ‘briefly relevant’), the show unapologetically set new standards for style over substance. Some of the stuff they’d do to your car might generously be termed as sort-of practical, but most of it bordered on the downright ludicrous – such as built-in fridges and digital photo editing and printing systems. The thing is, the show knew exactly what it was, and what it wanted to be – and it’s forever in our hearts as a result.
Alright, you knew this was coming, so let’s just get it out of the way, shall we? Top Gear, as if you didn’t know, has been running since 2002, and over its 20 years of history its appeal has become so widespread that it’s won the impressive accolade of being the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.
There’s lots of good reasons for that – as well as being a home for serious car journalism, it’s got a long history of doing plenty of nonsensical stuff too. Sure, they review cars, and they do interviews about cars, but they also turn them into boats, blow them up, and have attempted to launch them into the lower atmosphere. It’s undergone a bit of a reshuffle and some changes to its lineup in recent years, but it’s still a solid car show, and a much-loved British icon to boot.
You can tell they had fun with naming this one. It takes familiar elements of the winning Top Gear formula, namely the globetrotting nature and the ridiculous scale of the automotive challenges, and reshapes them into something that’s still recognisable, but altogether distinct. Its presenters are placed in hostile environments along with a single vehicle, a trusty Jeep Wrangler, and tasked with getting it (and themselves) out alive.
The presenters themselves are Gary Humphrey, a former British Special Forces operative, and Bill Wu, a Californian who, uh… really likes cars. It sounds like it could be a car crash of a show (not sorry), but it’s a surprisingly riveting watch. It only went for one season – or two, if you count Car Vs Wild – but all five episodes are all the high-stakes excitement and survivalism you need.
In a very similar spirit, the World’s Most Dangerous Roads puts two celebrities in a 4×4 and sets them off onto… well, very dangerous roads. It’s not quite as high octane as One Car Too Far, but it’s certainly still a very enjoyable ride, mainly due to the presenters themselves, who change from week to week. Sue Perkins made several appearances and became a firm fan favourite, and other familiar faces include comedian Rhod Gilbert and actress Liza Tarbuck. In fact if you’re a fan of comedy panel shows it’s definitely worth tuning into a few episodes, as it features a whole host of regulars from Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You.
2020 has already not been good to F1 fans, as it’s been brought to an almost complete standstill by this year’s Covid-19 crisis. But happily, you can still get your fill of speedy action elsewhere, as both seasons of Drive To Survive are now available to stream on Netflix. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a cool documentary that goes behind the scenes of Formula One, following the dogged rivalries and machinations of the competing teams, both on and off the F1 grid. As you might expect, it’s packed full of racing highs and lows, and should be enough to keep your engine ticking over for now.
Admittedly we’re stretching the definition of ‘car’ a little bit here, but the rules of Red Bull Soapbox race stipulate that the vehicles must have brakes and be able to steer, so that’s good enough for us. The Red Bull Soapbox Race has been described as a “no-holds-barred downhill race using only gravity and courage as fuel”. So realistically, you’re watching stuff crash at the bottom of a hill. It’s not quite on the same level as some of the other shows we’ve listed above, but it’s fun and it doesn’t engage too much of your brain, which makes it perfect for whiling away a long afternoon inside.
At the time of writing, you’ve not got all that many options if you want to scrap your car, so all we can say is hang in there. Rest assured that due to the nature of this crisis, all of our team are hanging in there with you too! When the rules are lifted, we’ll go right back to doing what we do best – helping you scrap your car with the minimum of fuss and hassle. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and when you’re ready, you can find out the value of your car in as little as 10 seconds. Let’s all hope it’s very soon!