IRVINE, Calif.-- On a sweltering summer day earlier this week, the U.S. edition of BBC Worldwide Productions' "Top Gear" wrapped up production for a second season on the show's huge Orange County set. CNET was there to serve up images from the world-famous gearhead franchise.
The History Channel show shoots in a large hangar on a former Marine base. Outside the hangar, an extensive test track for power laps spreads out across the base's abandoned runways.
The U.S. set of "Top Gear" includes a research and design center, wrecked cars from former "Top Gear" experiments gone awry, and supercars that flourished on the show's test track. The show returns July 24.
"Top Gear" hosts Adam Ferrera, Rutledge Wood, and Tanner Foust are often met with challenges to re-engineer cheap vehicles for alternative uses. This Mazda Miata was transformed into an off-roader with beefed-up suspension and secondary exhaust.
To re-create a showbiz car on a budget, the U.S. "Top Gear" transformed this 1994 Trans Am into KITT from "Knight Rider," complete with a novelty scrolling sign on its hood to simulate the robot car's "eye."
The U.S. "Top Gear" hosts re-created their favorite showbiz cars on a budget. This mash-up dashboard had to suffice to approximate the instrument panel of KITT from the '80s-era TV show "Knight Rider."
The original General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard" was a Dodge Charger, and you can't get one of those on a budget. So, the U.S. "Top Gear" hosts made their Duke Boys mobile out of this Plymouth Duster.