Top Gear’s Richard Hammond says he’s sold most of his cars and now drives a pickup truck

Richard Hammond


Richard Hammond fears he’s going through a midlife crisis, but unlike most men, he doesn’t obsess over sports cars. In fact, he says he did just the opposite

Richard Hammond says he has sold most of his cars

Image: Channel 4 / Rob Parfitt)

Richard Hammond suspects he may be having a midlife crisis at age 52.

But the man who probably has more cars on TV than anyone else isn’t following the tried and tested path of men of a certain age to indulge in flashy sports cars.

In fact, he has done the exact opposite.

He asks: “Am I having a midlife crisis? The archetypal, stereotypical thing is buying a sports car and I got rid of most of mine.

“I mainly drive a pick-up truck or Land Rover now. So I think, yes, maybe I am. Men do that – we evaluate things.”

It’s been two decades since Richard, along with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, became a household name on the BBC’s Top Gear.

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May


Getty Images)

The trio, who left the show in 2015 to lead Amazon’s Grand Tour, still enjoy a band and the occasional barney.

“Oh God, we’re bickering,” says Richard. “But we never fall out, because we still work together. When you think of someone you’ve spent the past 20 years with, you know how it works.

“When I talk about motorcycles, it irritates Jeremy because he hates them. And when Jeremy and James talk about WWII planes, it annoys me because it’s not my topic.

“We know each other’s buttons, but we don’t press them often.”

Viewers are aware of the merciless mick being taken between the three. But after Richard’s catastrophic crash in 2006, his co-stars showed the depth of their friendship.

Richard and his family


Dave Benett/Getty Images for Longines)

A tire from a Vampire jet car he was driving blew at a speed of 488 mph, causing the vehicle to roll over and drag his crash helmet across the surface.

He was flown to hospital, where he was in a coma for two weeks with a significant brain injury. But he responded with a smile when Jeremy said he crashed because he was a “crap driver”.

Richard made a full recovery. But ten years later, another horrific accident happened, this time when his supercar descended a Swiss mountainside and burst into flames.

Of course the crashes changed his life. He no longer engages in dangerous stunts because he feels wife Mindy, 56, and daughters Izzy, 21, and Willow, 18, have worried enough.

Richard probably has more cars than anyone on TV



Richard says, “Mindy never says no to me doing dangerous things because I never asked her. I just wouldn’t do it right now out of respect for her and the girls.

“I don’t want to risk taking myself out of their lives because we all have a lot of fun together and I wouldn’t want to be there to fill that role.”

Mindy will be relaxed about her husband’s latest program, Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions, which involves no dangers. The Channel 4 game show pits teams of engineers against each other to create ingenious machines from everyday materials such as toilet rolls, string and books.

During the lockdown, Richard tried to develop a device to make breakfast with a lever. It did not work.

Our front page on September 21, 2006


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The front page of the Sunday Mirror on June 11, 2017


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He admits: “I’ve tried inventions before and they’ve never worked.

“So when Channel 4 called and asked if I’d like to host the show on more or less the same subject, I said ‘Yes please’.” The series challenges participants to create wacky machines to perform mundane tasks, such as making beds, feeding dogs, or running a bath.

Despite their obvious talent, not all of the engineers’ bizarre designs work.

So have there been times when Richard had to turn away from the contestants to suppress a laugh?

“Well,” he says. “We’ve all done it. We get caught on an idea and stick with it until we realize we need to do something else.”

Richard has one concern about the show and he goes out of his way to make sure it gets cleared up. It is based on the premise that the engineers work in Richard’s house and starts with pictures of him in a huge stately home.

“I’m a little worried about that. It’s very much not my house and I don’t want anyone to think it is.

“So if you don’t mind stressing that I’d be very, very happy because I’m afraid sick people will think it’s really mine. I wish it were.”

Richard’s real home, the £2 million Bollitree Castle in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, is just as big, isn’t it?

“Well, it’s not that big.”

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions, Tomorrow Night, 8pm, Channel 4.

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