‘Top Gear’ Gets Attacked in Argentina

Jeff Perez
Top Gear Lotus
Top Gear Lotus

The news was out, and we all learned that the Top Gear boys were filming their latest special in Argentina with a trio of lovely sportscars. Everything seemed like it was going pretty smoothly…until Clarkson opened his dumb mouth. Or license plate, more accurately.

According to Car Throttle, the license plate number on Clarkson’s Porsche 928 reading ‘H982 FKL’ was seen by many as offensive and insensitive to the Falklands War. That conflict took place in 1982, when Argentina tried and ultimately failed to take the Falkland Islands in a war lasting 74 days. Opening the old wound made some locals pretty mad, as you can see in the video below. The trio, along with Range Rover camera cars were trying to get past the mob and out of the country with the help of a police escort.

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Protests began outside the crew’s hotel, before politicians eventually forced the BBC and the whole of Top Gear out of the country altogether. But not before an angry mob left a few windows shattered and one crew member injured. The abandoned cars, which include a Porsche 928, a Lotus Esprit and an early '70s Mustang, were seen earlier in the month filming in Patagonia, with the offending plate in clear view.

Producers say that the license plate was merely a coincidence. "Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme; to suggest that this car was either chosen for its number plate, or that an alternative number plate was substituted for the original is completely untrue," BBC executive producer Andy Wilman told the British newspaper Telegraph.

Yet Clarkson is no foreigner to controversy, and has a history of colorful accusations--whether it's slurs against Thai people, stereotyping Mexicans, bashing the South or purportedly using the "N-word."

The Top gear cast, with Jeremy Clarkson at the center.
The Top gear cast, with Jeremy Clarkson at the center.

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Photo Credit: Resumen Policial