Series 01, Episode 05 - "The Not What You Thought" Challenge

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Series 01, Episode 05 - "The Not What You Thought" Challenge

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 17:55

With thanks to rusty-spring and MP5.



[Black screen splits into three horizontal video streams stacked atop each other as the Top Gear theme song, “Jessica”, starts.

The top frame is a panning shot of a black Aston Martin DB9, a yellow first generation Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and a Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione II crossing a low, stone bridge lined with trees. The middle frame is a look-down helicopter shot of a white Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder with the top down driving along a cliff road. The bottom frame is a close-up of the wheel of a Ferrari Daytona.

The top and bottom frame slide off to screen-left, while the bottom frame slides screen-right. Three light blue frames slide in from screen left, with the outline of a woman’s boot pressing down on a gas pedal, followed by three successive jump cuts of black outlines of three girls superimposed over six video frames:


Kara Michelle Deleroux


Fleda Claes Johansson


Laine Penny Brussard


Allison McDonnell


Triela Hilshire


Petrushka Ricci


[As the music builds to a crescendo, the Top Gear logo, in two horizontal parts, slides in from the right, pauses, and then slides off to the left, replaced by a four-part screen with a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a Toyota AE86, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and an Aston Martin DBS Volante, which then jumps to the spinning gear shrinking and “Top Gear Italy” sliding into place as a crowd applauds.]



[Jump cut to in front of the pit complex a race track somewhere in Italy. Kara is dressed in a casual cotton check ruffle blouse with black silk shorts, tennis socks and black Puma-Ferrari leather driving shoes.]

“Hello and welcome! We’re at the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti just outside of the city of Parma. The producers have shipped us here for a challenge and it must be a doozy considering the vehicles arrayed before us.”

[Kara walks over to a row of gleaming automobiles, including a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Lamborghini Gallardo 560/4, the Maserati Gran Turismo, a Jaguar XK-R, a Corvette Z06 and a Porsche 911 Turbo.]

“Six cars means we need six drivers.”

[She turns to her right and we see Claes and Laine, along with Allison, Triela and Petrushka. All are dressed casually in t-shirts or polos with jeans or skirts and sneakers.]

“We’ve already chosen our cars, so I guess we should fire them up and wait for the challenge!”

[All six girls go their respective cars and pull on the handles, but the doors are locked and won’t open. They peer inside and the interior is empty and there is no key or fob in the ignition. As they stand around trying to figure out what is going on, Rico appears dressed in a white lab coat and hands a golden envelope to Kara.]

“Welcome to the ‘Not What You Thought Challenge’. The cars parked in front of you are for a track day scheduled later this afternoon. Your vehicles are in the pit garages behind you.”

[The six girls turn as three garage doors open to reveal a yellow 1977 Ferrari 208 GT4, a red 1976 Lamborghini Uracco P200, a black 1975 Maserati Merak, a green 1975 Jaguar XJ6C, a black 1975 Corvette and a pewter 1983 Porsche 944. All of them are in fair condition inside and out, showing the normal wear and tear one would expect after a few decades of service and a few score thousand kilometers.]














[The girls look at each other in confusion and then drift over to the cars, each choosing the same make as they had outside. Under the windshield wiper of each car is a printout of the vehicle’s specifications. As each girl reads it, their eyes grow wide and their expressions fall.]

“A two-liter V8! And only 180 horsepower!”

“My car has a two-liter V8, as well, but it makes 182hp.”

[Allison opens the hood of her XJ6C and sighs in relief.]

“What?”

“The engine still has carburetors.”

“And that’s good?”

“The first fuel injection system for the XK6 was from Lucas.”

“The Prince of Darkness?”

[Allison nods.]

“Prince of Darkness? You mean like the devil?”

“No, in that Lucas Electrics were notorious for failing. Their unofficial motto was ‘Get home before dark’.”

“Those skunks! Those rats! I can’t believe they did this! I’m going to kill my hand—, I mean the producer.”

“What are you complaining about? You have a 350 cubic inch V8!”

“Yeah, but it’s a 1975 L-48 350 cubic inch V8!”

“So?”

“So, this asthmatic piece of crap has a catalytic converter and a single exhaust, which means it can barely put out 165 horsepower – that’s not even half a horsepower per cubic inch of displacement!”

[Allison cringes.]

“And look at that interior! Silver and black leather!”


[Kara cringes.]

“I don’t know much about Porsches, but this one at least doesn’t have the van engine in it, right?”

“Even though it is a V6, I think Petra’s Merak has the most powerful engine here. If you can call 190hp powerful.”

“The interior on this sure is low-rent for a German automobile.”


“You want an ugly interior, look at the tan and brown velour abomination inside my car.”


“If nothing else, mine at least looks good on the outside. All that black on the dashboard is a bit depressing, though…”


“Stop your bellyaching! Mine is right-hand drive and it’s painted Moss Green!”

[Rico appears again with another envelope, handing it to Laine.]

“To see how super your super cars are, you will now do a lap of the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti. To have a point of comparison, The Stigette will perform a baseline lap in a Renault Clio hatchback.”

“Uh, I need to use the bathroom. Be right back!”

[Allison dashes off through the back of the garage.

Fade cut to The Stigette behind the wheel of a Renault Clio III five-door hatchback with the F4R 2.0-liter inline four. The Stigette revs the engine and launches down the track, hustling the car along the 14 turns and 2.375km, setting a time of one minute, forty-three seconds.

Jump cut to the six girls slipping behind the wheels of their respective automobiles air is filled with the sounds of cranking engines and squealing fan belts as a cloud of bluish-white smoke drifts out of the garages like a fog bank.

Kara, Claes, and Petrushka pull out in a symphony of grinding gears and line up on the track. Henrietta waves a green flag and Claes promptly stalls as her clutch makes a half-hearted attempt to engage. Kara lurches forward, the engine sputtering and dogging until she stabs the throttle and the car launches in a mixed cloud of tire and oil smoke.]


“Cheerio!”

[Petrushka launches smoothly, but her engine sounds like there is a half-kilo of gravel in the oil sump. Her more powerful engine allows her to close the gap with Kara as they reached the Nuova Chicane. Kara takes the inside line, brakes squealing as she applies them to decelerate for the sharp 90° left followed by the 90° right. As they exit out of the latter, Petrushka plants her foot and the Merak takes the lead into the Parabolica. She brakes too late, however, and goes wide into the gravel. Petrushka keeps the pedal down and the car returns to the track, spraying gravel in it’s wake just in time for Claes to arrive. Claes stands on the brakes and takes the inside “shortcut” to miss the debris.]


[All three cars fly down the two back straights, Kara negotiating the twin esses the best, allowing her to pull ahead by the Ickx chicane. Claes catches up with and then passes Petrushka in the 2° Esse and settles in behind Kara, who crosses the finish line in 1.53, followed by Claes at 1.55 and Petrushka at 1.59.

Next comes the Porsche, the Jaguar and the Chevrolet. All three have automatic transmissions so the girls stand on the brake with their left foot while they press the throttle with their right. Again, Henrietta waves the green flag and again three cars stumble forward. With the least weight, the 944 takes the lead, the Corvette next and the Jaguar third. However, Laine and Allison both use their superior driving abilities to close up and pass Triela through the Parabolica and the two are bumper-to-bumper as they enter the esses. Allison brakes late and barrels past Laine into the Ickx Chicane, using the wide body of the Jaguar to prevent Laine from using her slightly better power-to-weight ratio to pass as they proceed through the Ferro di cavalio and Tornantino. However, the front straight is long enough for Laine to haul her down and pass her by a car-length at the line, 1.56.1 to 1.56.2. Triela arrives shortly thereafter at a 1.59.]


“Not our normal track day, eh?”

“Chevrolet had some cheek to call that dog a Corvette.”

“I could say the same for the Ferrari.”

“That isn’t a Ferrari.”

“Let’s not get into that debate again, shall we? It’s a 1977 and the Dino brand was retired in 1976. It is therefore a Ferrari.”

“I thought inline-six engines were supposed to be naturally balanced?”

“Not when they’re built by British Leyland employees. On the plus side, replace the head gasket with one that fits and flow the heads and you can get an easy 50hp out of it.”

“What do you mean ‘replace the head gasket with one that fits’?”

“They used gaskets too small for the gap. Plus those engines were built by apes who spent most of their shift picketing or roasting marshmallows over burn barrels.”

“So I should be worried that my water temperature gauge was high?”

“Coolant leakage from a head gasket failure, I imagine.”

“Lovely.”

“My Ferrari was doing a solid impersonation of a mosquito sprayer with all that oil smoke coming out the tailpipe. I had one eye on the track and one eye on the oil pressure gauge the entire lap.”

[This time it is Henrietta in a lab coat with a golden envelope, which she delivers to Claes.]

“Having shown that your cars can cross a track, let us see if they can now cross Italy. You will leave the track, proceed north on the A15 to the A1, stopping off at Modena to refuel – and to drive by the Ferrari factory in Maranello. You will then return to the A1 and proceed to the resort town of Porto San Giorgio for the weekend.”

[The other five girls high-five each other.

All six return to their cars and, after a few tries for some, successfully pull out of the Autodromo and onto the SP28, heading north towards the A15 Autostrada. Kara’s Ferrari and Petrushka’s Maserati are blowing oil smoke out the back, Claes’ Lamborghini lurches with each gear change, Allison’s Jaguar drips water and oil behind it and Laine’s chassis shimmies and shakes with each bump, dip and pothole. Only Triela’s Porsche seems to be mechanically sound, except for a slight lean to the left caused by worn shocks.

Once they reached the A1, the smoke out of Kara’s tailpipe lessens, while that out of Petra’s increases. Allison’s temperature continues to rise and eventually the coolant warning light comes on and the convoy pulls off at the Secchia rest area just outside Modena so Allison can re-fill the cooling system. As she pours water in from the top, a small estuary appears near her right front tire. She sends Petrushka inside, whom returns with a bag with four one liter bottles of water a few minutes later.]


“Let’s move while I still can.”

[The convoy take off again, with more smoke starting to billow out of Kara’s Ferrari. Inside, the sound of a woodpecker attacking aluminum siding fills the cabin every time Kara accelerates hard – which she has to do, considering how weak the engine is. Petra’s is now smoking continuously and sounds like another half-kilo of gravel has been added.

They take the Modena exit and proceed down to Maranello. As the drove past the factory, they all received dirty looks: five of the girls because their cars were not Ferraris – and Kara because her car was not a real Ferrari. As they passed a weekend market, a volley of tomatoes arced into the sky like vegetable artillery, splattering on the cars. All six girls quickly accelerate out of the city and return to the A1, driving into Bologna.

Inside the Lamborghini, Claes goes for a gear shift, but the engine suddenly screams as it flies towards red-line and Claes pumps the clutch with her left foot, but nothing happens.]


“My clutch is gone.”

[Claes activates her hazard flashers and pulls off to the side of the road. Allison comes over and looks.]

“Looks like the clutch cable snapped. I can do a temporary fix here, but for it to last, I’ll need a replacement cable and a vehicle lift.”

[Voice over by Kara.]

“Fortunately for Claes, our next challenge was to show up at a service center.”

[Fade cut to the cars arriving at a large service garage on the outskirts of Bologna. Rico hands Kara an envelope.]

“You must now change your own oil.”

[Kara looks like a deer caught in the headlights of a dump truck. Claes, Petrushka and Triela all have similar looks on their faces.

Fade cut to Kara staring at the engine bay of her car.]


"Where do I put the oil in?"

"The cover is at the top of the engine."

"I don't see it."

"It's black and should say oil."

"I see a cap, but it doesn't say oil."

"What does it say?"

"710"

[A spanner hits Kara in the back of the head.

Cut to Laine opening the hood of her 'vette. There is a partial bird nest, a blue nylon shirt, and a swimsuit pinup calendar holding together what appears to be the air filter. She reaches towards the items to remove them, then thinks that anyone who would place such things in her engine bay knew infinitely more about the delicate balance of her working car and leaves it alone.

As Laine removes her oil cap, Allison has already popped her hood and found the oil reservoir flawlessly. She reaches to unscrew the cap but is bewildered at the inability to twist it off, even with her cyborg strength. She struggles for a moment before finally prying it off with a screwdriver. The oil cap flies off with an impressive trajectory, where it hits the ground on it’s edge and promptly rolls out of the garage…and into a nearby storm sewer. Wiping her brow, Allison pulls out the dipstick and is caught off guard again as it ends only 3 inches down from the handle. She looks around for a moment, unsure of what to make of the situation. Using an old trick she remembered from her track experience, she sneaks over to Laine's car and 'borrows' her friend's. She inserts it into the hole and pushes, but it jams three inches in. She pushes harder, and the dipstick promptly accordions into a zigzag of folded steel, sticking about an inch out from the entrance.

Voiceover by Laine.]


"Once Allison and I changed the oil in our own cars, we helped…supervise…the efforts of the other girls."

[View of Kara peering at the engine of her Ferrari. She has managed to put her car up on jacks and donned a protective set of overalls. She scampers underneath.]

"Ok, I know the oil pan is around here somewhere."

[From Kara's point of view, we suddenly hear a knocking sound on her car's chassis.]

“What are you doing?”

[Kara's semi-muffled voice emerges from beneath the car.]

"I'm preparing to change the oil."

[Allison pinches her nose.]

"Then might I suggest you position yourself under the engine of your car?"

[Camera moves out and sure enough, Kara's legs are sticking out of the front of the rear-engine Ferrari.

Meanwhile, at Claes' car Laine is idly leaning on the driver's side door as Claes flips through the owner's manual. A long minute passes.]


"You know I could-"

"I'm familiarizing myself with the documentation."

[This shuts up the older girl as Claes continues to read. Another long minute passes.]

"But it would only-"

"No."

[Petra and Triela are last in the line of cars and both girls look flummoxed on what to do next.]

"I've never changed the oil in a car before."

"Neither have I."

"Do you think we should wait until one of the other girls can help us?"

"I think we can handle something simple like an oil change."

[Five minutes later...

Two technicians hover over Triela, working to treat minor burns on her hands and forearms caused by the hot oil. The Porsche is now on the other end of the garage, a snaking trail of black oil leading back to the car’s original location, now marked by a large pool of 10W-40 and two tipped over jack stands.

Sitting on a chair against the wall, Petrushka sucks deeply on an oxygen mask. Her clothes are covered in a thin layer of fire retardant…as opposed to the back of her Maserati, which is covered in a quite thick layer.

Voiceover by Laine.]


"For better or worse, and likely worse, the oil change ordeal was complete and it was time for our next challenge.”

[Rico returns and hands Kara another gold envelope. Kara pulls out the card, along with a stack of 500 Euro banknotes.]

“Since you are in a garage, the Producers have kindly consented to giving you 1000 Euro to modify, upgrade or repair your vehicles.”

[Screen fades to black and “Some Time Later” appears. Fade back to the six vehicles parked in front of the garage. They look mostly unchanged to the naked eye.]

“I spent my money on detailing the car.”

[The camera lingers over Kara’s 208, the faded and scratched paint and rust patches gleaming in the afternoon sun under a fresh coat of wax. Inside, the ripped leather glistens with conditioner. The engine bay also looks pristine…except for the fresh oil leaks along the exhaust manifold.]

“I purchased some sheepskin seat covers to hide the hideous leather combination. I also had a local paint shop add some ghost flames to the sides and hood of my car.”

“I don’t see any flames.”

“That’s because their ghost flames.”

[Claes pinches her nose.]

“I went with performance. Since I didn’t have the time or the tools to flow my heads, I went with a performance exhaust and a new high-flow air filter and more aggressive brake pads.”

“Shouldn’t you have fixed your coolant leak?”

“Oh, yeah…Probably. But now at the track test I can accelerate harder and brake later!”

“But we already had the track test.”

[Allison shrugs sheepishly, her Petrolhead tendencies once again getting the better of her common sense.]

“I dashed into town to purchase a new iPod Touch and can-type headphones to drown out the racket from the back of my car. I also bought a wood appliqué dashboard trim kit to replace that band of aluminum.”

“Once again, I prove to be the only practical member, choosing to have my damaged clutch cable replaced.”

“That couldn’t have cost 1000 Euro. What did you do with the rest of the money?”

“I pocketed it, of course. That will buy me some nice gardening supplies.”

[Now it was Laine’s turn to pinch her nose.]

“I didn’t know what to do, so I returned the money.”

[The other five girls facepalm.

Voiceover by Laine.]


“With the work done, we continued on our way to Porto san Giorgio.”

[The girls are now on the A14 and heading north towards Ferrara. The woodpecker in Kara’s engine bay is having a spasm and Triela’s Porsche is now leaning like the Andrea Doria after her collision with the Stockholm. While Claes’ clutch cable has been replaced, the clutch plate continues to deteriorate and Allison’s XJ6C leaks coolant onto the Autostrada like the Exxon Valdez had leaked oil into Prince William Sound. She’d topped it off at the service station, but with every kilometer travelled the temperature gauge needle moves ever closer to the red.

Voice over by Kara.]


“Somehow all of our cars had held together for almost 200 kilometers and we started to believe we might actually make it. But then, just outside of Cesena…”

[Allison’s Jaguar shudders as the head gasket fails and coolant gushes into a cylinder, causing hydrostatic lock and bending a connecting rod and fracturing the block. She immediately pulls off, coolant gushing out from under the car like a burst dam.]

“Well, that’s not gone well.”

“Allison transferred to my car, but within twenty minutes the woodpecker in my crankcase finally broke his way through as we reached the off-ramp for Pesaro.”

[The 208 pulls off on the side of the road in a huge cloud of smoke and metal bits.

Kara joins Laine and Allison takes the passenger seat in Petrushka’s Maserati.]


“Connecting rod failure, like airplane crashes and celebrity deaths, must happen in threes for Petrushka’s V6 threw a rod 80 kilometers onwards.”

[Voice over by Claes.]

“Having successfully driven 200 kilometers without incident, within 150 kilometers we’d lost half of the cars. I, unfortunately, was next, as my clutch exploded as I engaged it to get going from the final resting place of Petrushka’s Maserati.”

“And with Top Gear Italy presenters littering the Adriatic Coast, the asthmatic Vette and the Leaning Porsche of Pisa continued to soldier on.”

“At this point, the four of us decided to board the Land Rover camera car to give Laine and Triela a fighting chance to make it Porto san Giorgio. We also moved off the Autostrade onto the SS16 to reduce the strain on the engines.”

[Triela’s Porsche and Laine’s Corvette continue to motor on, successfully crossing the Tenna River and reaching their resort hotel.]

“Yes! Victory is mine! I take back all the bad things I said about you!”

[She leans down and kisses the hood, receiving a shock as some wire in the High Energy Ignition had come loose and energized the frame. She kicks the bumper, her foot caving in the fiberglass.

Triela carefully pats the top of her 944.]


“Even crappy German engineering evidently is up to the task.”

[A brace of ACI trucks appear with the various dead vehicles of the other presenters on them.]

“Next time, I think we should take the train.”

“A Top Gear Italy Top Tip. And on that bombshell, good night!”

[Roll credits]


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 11:55; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Series 01, Episode 05 - "The Not What You Thought" Challenge

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 19:54

Hee hee hee... I LOVE it!

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Re: Series 01, Episode 05 - "The Not What You Thought" Challenge

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 23:26

That's the kind of comic misadventure I was hoping for...and the "710" makes another appearance!

Well done guys.

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