The Best and Worst Car Show Hosts
There are a million cookie-cutter car shows out there — whether about a custom shop or racing or new models as they enter the market. It feels impossible to choose the best one — so we won’t even try. Instead, let’s take a look at the best and worst car show hosts and what makes their programs stand out from the crowd.
Best — Jeremy Clarkson of “The Grand Tour”
You can’t have a list of best car show hosts without mentioning Jeremy Clarkson. Formerly of BBC’s “Top Gear,” Clarkson is known for being one of the best automotive journalists in the field — even if he occasionally gets hangry when his blood sugar drops.
Worst — Richard Rawlings of “Fast N’ Loud”
There’s nothing worse than a formulaic car show — especially when it’s the same thing over and over again. “Fast N’ Loud” was the first of the “Pimp My Ride”-style shows. They bring in a junker and make up a lot of drama, and by the end of the episode, they’ve fixed the car and everyone is happy.
Every episode is the same. Plus, it spawned an entire genre of this type of show, and there are far too many of them on the air today.
Best — Jay Leno of “Jay Leno’s Garage”
You may have loved or hated his late night talk show, but there’s no denying that the guy knows cars — and truly loves them. That love comes through in every one of his episodes. He enjoys driving these vehicles as much as he does learning about them, and that makes him a heck of a car show host.
Worst — John Davis of “MotorWeek”
There’s nothing worse than a car show host with a monotonous voice — and John Davis of “MotorWeek” is the epitome of that. His show has also been on the air for 35 years, which is three and a half decades of monotony.
Best — David Freiburger of “Roadkill”
You can’t go wrong with a host who is also editor-in-chief of Hot Rod Magazine. This entry may be a web show, but that doesn’t make it any less fantastic, especially for anyone who loves cars. It helps that Freiburger has a great co-host, as well.
Worst — Chris Evans of “Top Gear”
When the “Top Gear” trio left the show, BBC replaced them with Chris Evans — and it was the biggest mistake the producers could have made. In addition to being unlikable, he tends to shout a lot and doesn’t get along at all with his “Friends” alumni co-host Matt LeBlanc.
Best — Alain De Cadenet
While his show has been off the air for years, Alain De Cadenet still makes an annual appearance during the Goodwood Festival of Speed. He’s one of the few car show hosts with actual racing experience — he’s built his race cars, driven during the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has a unique perspective that earns him a place among the best on this list.
Worst — Mark Worman of “Graveyard Carz”
You can run a great show and still be an awful person — and Mark Worman doesn’t have the benefit of a great show. He is known for mistreating his staff, and wouldn’t have much of a viewership without relying on his daughter’s looks. People paid more attention to their internal drama than the cars they were supposed to be restoring.
Best — Richard Hammond and James May of “The Grand Tour”
You can’t have a list of the best car show hosts without at least mentioning the rest of the original “Top Gear” trio. These two are listed together because they’re at their best — and most entertaining — when they’re throwing good-natured jabs at each other.
Worst — Tanner Foust of “Top Gear USA”
U.S. production companies should have left well enough alone. Their attempt to transition “Top Gear” to an American audience — and an American host — were just terrible. Their entire trio doesn’t work well together, and the show didn’t hold up the way the BBC original did.
Best — Chris Harris of “Top Gear”
While we’re not a big fan of the new “Top Gun” trio, we do have to say that no one can review cars better than Chris Harris. He’s also not afraid to bash the big names if they don’t live up to his expectations, which we love about him.
So there you have it — our list of the best and worst car show hosts on the planet, but don’t take our word for it. Check out some of these great — and not so great — shows for yourself and let us know what you think.