Top Gear (series 5)

Last updated

Top Gear
Series 5
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes9
Original network BBC Two
Original release24 October (2004-10-24) 
26 December 2004 (2004-12-26)
Series chronology
Series 4
Series 6
List of Top Gear episodes

The fifth series of Top Gear aired during 2004 and consisted of 9 episodes, beginning on 24 October and concluding on 26 December. [1] The series was subsequently followed by a "Best Of Top Gear" special, which aired on 2 January 2005, and charted the best moments from Series 4 and 5. [2]


Restoration Rip-off

Over the series, May presented five derelict cars, one of which (decided by televoting) was to be restored. [3]


No. in
ReviewsFeatures/challengesGuest(s)Original air dateUK viewers
(millions) [4]
401 Porsche 911 Carrera S Can an ice cream van jump a bouncy castle? Best Muscle Car on sale (Chrysler 300CVauxhall Monaro VX-RJaguar S-Type R) Bill Bailey 24 October 2004 (2004-10-24)3.4
The trio return to Pendine Sands to see which is more fun to drive - from Australia, the Vauxhall Monaro VXR; from America, the Chrysler 300C; from Britain, Jaguar S-Type R. Meanwhile, an ice cream van attempts to jump over four bouncy castles, Clarkson spots similarities of the old school in the Porsche 911 Carrera S and finds out if he has to honor a bet about the look of the Vauxhall Astra, and comedian Bill Bailey heads out on the test track in the Liana.
412Hatchbacks: (Ford FocusVauxhall AstraVolkswagen Golf)Enzo Ferrari • Supercars: (Jaguar XJ220Pagani ZondaFerrari F40McLaren F1Porsche Carrera GT)Mountainboarder versus a rally car Geri Halliwell 31 October 2004 (2004-10-31)3.8
A trio of old supercars, the Jaguar XJ220, the McLaren F1, and the Ferrari F40, are put through their paces by Clarkson as he compares them to three new ones - the Pagani Zonda, the Porsche Carrera GT, and the Enzo Ferrari. Meanwhile, Hammond has a go in a Ford Focus, a world champion all-terrain skateboarder is pitted against a Group N Mitsubishi rally car and a Bowler Wildcat, and Geri Halliwell finds herself as the latest star in the Liana to tackle a wet track.
423 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Drive a Land Rover Discovery to the top of Cnoc an Fhreiceadain in Scotland • Find the craziest car in the world • Top Gear survey 2004 results Joanna Lumley 7 November 2004 (2004-11-07)4.4
There's a search for the world's maddest car, and Hammond thinks he can find it with a specialist car maker in Switzerland and the Rinspeed Splash. Meanwhile, Clarkson finds love in the engineering of the Dodge Viper SRT10, and tries to see if a car can drive up a mountain in Scotland - more specifically, a Land Rover Discovery. Finally, Joanna Lumley is the latest star to do a lap in the Liana.
434 Pagani Zonda S RoadsterAston Martin Vanquish SFerrari 575M Maranello 24 hours in a Smart Forfour • Playing conkers with caravans. Jimmy CarrSteve Coogan 14 November 2004 (2004-11-14)4.4
A Pagani Zonda S Roadster is put through its paces in the South of France, while Clarkson sees how good the Aston Martin Vanquish S is when he tests it in a race against Steve Coogan in a Ferrari 575M GTC. Meanwhile, Hammond and May find out if you could truly love the Smart Forfour by spending 24 hours within it, before having a game of conkers with caravans, while Jimmy Carr proves himself to be the luckiest but worst driver in the Liana when he tries to put in a lap time on the test track.
445 Morgan Aero 8 GTNMercedes-Benz 300SL People carrier racing • Break 10:00 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a diesel car Christian SlaterSabine Schmitz 21 November 2004 (2004-11-21)4.7
Clarkson prepares to see if he can get a diesel Jaguar S-Type, around the Nürburgring in under ten minutes, while the Morgan Aero 8 GTN prepares to be given a thorough workout on the track. Meanwhile, Hammond decides to start a new race series for people carriers, and actor Christian Slater talks about being in a real police chase and driving a Hybrid before taking the Liana for a lap.
456 Volkswagen Golf V GTI How much Porsche can you get for £1,500? (Porsche 928Porsche 944Porsche 924) • Blind man doing a power lap Cliff RichardBilly Baxter 5 December 2004 (2004-12-05)4.9
The presenters find themselves each buying a Porsche for £1500 and putting them through a series of tests to see who got the best deal - Hammond tries his luck with a Volkswagen van-engined 924, May puts his hopes in a 2.5 litre 4-cylinder 944, and Clarkson struggles with a broken-down 928. Meanwhile, Clarkson finds out how good the Volkswagen Golf V GTI and compares it with some of its main rivals, before helping army veteran and blind land speed record holder Billy Baxter to set a lap on the track with the Liana, something Cliff Richard doesn't need when he tries to set a lap himself.
467 Toyota PriusFord MustangMitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ400 A four-door Evo goes head-to-head with a Lamborghini. Top Gear Awards 2004 Roger Daltrey 12 December 2004 (2004-12-12)3.4
Clarkson finds out how good the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ400, by having it take on the Lamborghini Murciélago driven by British touring cap champion, James Kaye, before finding out how good a hybrid car the Toyota Prius is. Meanwhile, there's a contest between the Porsche Boxster and the Mercedes-Benz SLK 350, Hammond takes the Ford Mustang on a "road trip" of the A15, the Top Gear Awards for 2004 are announced, and lead singer of The Who, Roger Daltrey, tries to drive fast in the Liana on a mildly moist track.
478 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Epic race: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti vs Jet Plane to Verbier • Showroom cars vs old race cars • Mitsubishi Evo vs bobsleigh • The Stig attempts a sub-1:00 power lap of the test track in a Renault F1 car Eddie Izzard 19 December 2004 (2004-12-19)5.1
It's time for another race, as the car faces public transport, this time in the form of an airliner plane. While Clarkson attempts to reach a ski resort hotel in Verbier in a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Hammond and May hope to beat him with an airline flight and Swiss trains. Meanwhile, there are more races as classic racers go up against showroom cars, Hammond works with a professional bobsleigh team to see if they can beat May in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 Renault R24 is on the test track to see if it can get round in under a minute, and comedian Eddie Izzard is the latest star in the reasonably priced car.
489 Ariel AtomBMW 1 SeriesMercedes-Benz G55 AMG Find a 'pearl' among a collection of cars from the Pacific Rim Trinny WoodallSusannah Constantine 26 December 2004 (2004-12-26)3.3
There are cars galore, as a company in Somerset sees how well their Ariel Atom fares in the hands of Clarkson, while Hammond finds out how good the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG is offroad and in the urban scene, and the pair see which is the best hot hatchback for the 21st century - the Ford Fiesta ST150 or the Citroen C2 VTS. Elsewhere, May tests out the BMW 1-series, there's a comparison of cars from the Pacific Rim (specifically Malaysia and Korea), and Trinny and Susannah find out who is the fastest in the Liana.

Best-of episodes

TotalNo.TitleFeatureOriginal air date
S4CEThe Best Of Top Gear: 2004 #2Best Moments from Series 4-52 January 2005 (2005-01-02)
A look back at the best moments from Series 4 and 5, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Joanna Lumley's laps, Hammond and May's minicab challenge, and the visit to the Pendine Sands with the Vauxhall Monaro, Chrysler 300C, and Jaguar S-Type R.

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  1. "Top Gear Series 5". 24 October 2004.
  2. "Best of Top Gear Series 4 and Series 5". 13 May 2007.
  3. "Top Gear Restoration Ripoff – What happened to 407 ARX?". 16 August 2011.
  4. "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.