Series 01, Episode 04: Australian V8 Coupé Utility Flag Football

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Series 01, Episode 04: Australian V8 Coupé Utility Flag Football

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 6 May 2010 - 15:26

Time for another Top Gear: Italy podcast, this one courtesy of MP5.

For those who prefer to read it offline, Episode 04: Australian V8 Coupé Utility Flag Football.


[“Pickup Truck” by Rodney Carrington plays as an Electric Blue Coupé Utility barrels down a twisting road, white smoke pouring off of the rear tires, the V8 engine roaring as the driver feathers the throttle to keep the vehicle under control.]

[Fade cut to pictures of advertisements for Coupé Utilities through the decades as a voiceover by Allison starts.]

“It is perhaps the best crossover vehicle conceived by modern man. Stemming from a complaint letter to Ford of Australia, the Coupé Utility, or the 'Ute', as it's fondly known as in the Land Down Under, is the marriage of a pickup truck and a two-door coupe.

“It's good for hauling stuff around town or around the farm while still feeling like you're driving a normal car. Its car base gives you a much safer low center of gravity when compared to the big, tough, manly pickup trucks that have defined much of America. The basis behind the ute is in the letter that spawned the idea: A car that can take pigs to the market on a Friday, and people to church on Sunday. And because it's based on a car, there is potential for some truly shocking performance under the bonnet.”

[Jump cut to a view of a dashboard as Allison hammers the throttle, the speedometer rapidly climbing into the triple digits.]

[The Ute pulls up in front of a large white hangar.]

“This is the FPV Super Pursuit, designed and built by Ford of Australia's Ford Performance Vehicles in-house tuning wing.”

“It's based on their Ute version of the Ford Falcon, but this has a 5.4-liter Boss V8 putting out 422bhp and 551Nm of torque at 4,750rpm.”

“That's a lot of go for a farm machine—and I don't think there is another farm machine that can power-slide this easily, either! You can get it with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with a sequential shifting option at no extra cost.”

[Jump cut to shots of the interior.]

“Inside, you get heating and air-con, leather steering wheel, cruise control, no-cost optional leather sports seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, optional SatNav, and Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. It's very civilized then, for the offspring of a vehicle developed for hauling pigs and people—sometimes both at the same time.”

[Jump cut to a fly-by shot of the Super Pursuit racing past the camera vehicle. Another voiceover by Allison as more jump cuts show shots of the Ute's exterior features—particularly the bed.]

“But is it practical? Well, it's a Ute. It has to be usable for something, in particular, carrying stuff. That's no problem with the Super Pursuit, which has a very generous pickup-style bed and hydraulically assisted tonneau cover. Remove it, and you can haul everything, including the kitchen sink—just make sure to have tie-downs handy.”

[Jump cut to shot of Allison standing next to the Super Pursuit's tailgate as she speaks.]

“Merely talking about practicality is not an accurate measure. You need to put it through a real-world test. Well then, to that end, I have filled the bed of the Super Pursuit…”

[She lifts the tonneau cover to reveal the cargo.]

“…with eighty medium-sized pizzas loaded with the works, four boxes a stack. On the other end of this runway…”

[Jump cut to zoom shot of men at picnic tables waving to the camera at the end of the runway.]

“…is a picnic full of airmen. They're looking hungry. Let's not keep them waiting any longer.”

[Allison gets into the driver's seat and presses the 'ENGINE START' button, the V8 engine roaring to life. Clutching in and shifting into first, she builds up the revs as a nearby 'Christmas Tree' stages her, then ticks down to the green light. She lets the clutch go, and the Super Pursuit peels out in an impressive amount of smoke as it begins to thunder down the runway. Jump cut to interior.]

“Performance is certainly no slouch, even on a Ute like this. Naught to 100km/h is 5.5 seconds; flat-out, it'll do an electronically limited 250km/h. On your way to that speed, you have the rumbling soundtrack of the 5.4L Boss V8 resonating in your ears like a demonic didgeridoo! Either that, or they used didgeridoos for the exhaust pipes!”

[The Super Pursuit continues to close the gap between itself and the picnic, and soon, Allison hits the brakes, bringing the muscle-powered Ute to a complete stop.]

“It also stops as good as it goes, with a set of ventilated disc brakes that have Brembo 6-piston calipers up front.”

[Allison exits the cockpit, going to the back and lifting the tonneau cover and lowering the tailgate, the pizza boxes still in perfect condition. She takes a box out and opens it, the toppings still picture-perfect.]

“Look at that, no mess at all!”

[She takes a slice for herself as the soldiers and airmen gather to get pizza from the bed of the Super Pursuit.]

“So then, Top Gear Italy Important Idea: If you want to be the fastest pizza deliveryman anywhere, a scooter is rubbish, get a Ute.”

[She takes a bite and chews on the pizza in delight.]

“Mmm. Meat lover's.”

[ Voiceover by Allison as a dark shot is lit by a shining Holden badge.]

“However, Fords being what they are, General Motors always has to have a competitor waiting to strike. And they have.”

[Jump cut to a sideways-sliding Lime Green Ute.]

“I meant to do that.”

“In the same market as the FPV Super Pursuit is the Holden Special Vehicles Maloo R8 by Holden. In the Aboriginal language, ‘Maloo’ means thunder and the 6.2-liter, 436 bhp LS3 small-block V8 from a Chevrolet Corvette certainly lives up to that name thanks to the bi-modal exhaust that puts out a more aggressive note as you increase the throttle.”

[Jump cut to the interior shot as Allison puts the Maloo through its paces.]

“Like the Super Pursuit, the Maloo is also well-equipped. It has a 170-watt Blaupunkt sound system with 7 speakers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, adjustable driver's seat, and so on. It's also just as powerslide-happy as the Super Pursuit thanks to the normal lack of weight in the back, but again, it won't roll over because it's not a pickup.”

[Allison initiates another slide around one of the taxiways. Cut to shot of the two utes parked side-by side as Allison walks in between them.]

“So how, then, do we decide which one is better? Perhaps it's time for some car athletics.”

[She catches a football tossed in from off-camera.]

“I'm thinking some good old Flag Football.”

[Cut to footage of flag football being played by school students as Allison provides a voiceover.]

“Flag Football is American football—I like to call it handegg, personally, but that's another story—except instead of making serious, bone-jarring physical contact, you tackle a player or stop them from playing further by peeling off their belt, which has small vinyl flags attached to it.

“Very simple, and it can be played with as few as four to a side. At each end of a standard 110-meter football field is an end zone, where a player with a ball can score six points for their team, and then can choose to kick the ball between the goal posts for one extra point, or try to run it into a now heavily defended end zone for two extra points.

“Wherever the player in possession of the football is stopped from play or the ball is dropped, about nine meters from that location is where the first down line is to be located. The opposing team has four tries to get the ball past this line before turning it over to the other team. Except for at the end zones, a team can keep possession of the ball if their player with the ball can continually get past the first down line, bringing them closer and closer to their goal.”

[Jump cut to Allison as she strides between five Super Pursuits and five Maloos, a special FPV football jersey on, ball in hand. Their 'field' is a paved lot with hastily erected goalposts 120 yards apart.]

“This game is pretty simple, then. Because we're using Utes, each vehicle will have one driver and one rider in each Ute's bed equipped with a slingshot and catching net. For timing purposes, each quarter will be ten minutes long, leading to twenty-minute halves. And of course, what good is a gridiron football game without cheerleaders?”

[Camera pans over to sidelines, where Kara and Petra stand clad in FPV and HSV cheerleading uniforms, pom-poms in hand. Kara's uniform is more school-based, with a sleeveless grey crop tank top emblazoned with the Ford Performance Vehicles logo and blue mid-thigh length pleated skirt.]

“As a matter of fact, I did lose a bet.”

[Petra, on the other hand, has gone the “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” route and opted for a white blouse tied at the bottom of her bust line and the top buttons open with the Vauxhall logo over the right breast, a red vest with the “HSV” logo emblazoned on the back, red shorts, and red cowboy-style boots.]

“Mr. Sandro, put that camera away!”

“I’m filming Petrushka.”

“Petrushka is over there!”

[Alessandro moves off to film Petrushka.]

“I swear, if I end up on a DVD in Thailand I am going to pull his heart out via his throat…”

[Cut back to Allison.]

“And of course, we need a referee for people sitting at home to yell at through their televisions and review disputed plays, a role which Miss Reluctant herself is quite fit for. Her assistants will be keeping track of the first down line and what down it is.”

[Cut to Claes, looking official in her ref's uniform, while Rico, wearing a white lab coat, holds the down counter and Henrietta (also in a white lab coat), the first down line marker. Cut to shot of several pairs of moving men wearing the team jerseys chat or smoke or scratching themselves as Allison adds a voiceover.]

“The teams representing FPV and HSV are derived by the finest moving services available for the lowest bids. But where is the captain of the HSV team?”

[Cut to shot of Triela sauntering onto the field.]

“Ah. It's The Princess.”

[Jump cut to shot of the two captains coming together as Claes approaches them with a coin in hand.]

“It's a toss for kick-off. Call it, ladies.”

[She flips the Euro coin into the air.]


[The coin lands atop Claes' palm. She uncovers it.]

“Tails. Team HSV kicks off.”

[Triela pumps her fist in the air.]

“You're going down, Allison!”

“Dream on, Princess.”

[The two climb aboard their Utes and rally their teams to opposite sides of the field, where they situate themselves. The football is loaded into the slingshot mounted in the bed of Triela's Maloo.

Claes' whistle blows, and the thunder of BOSS 315 and LS2 small-block V8 engines explode as Triela's Maloo fires off the football towards the approaching FPV team. Allison rushes forward, the catch net poised to take the football from the air, at which point it is taken into possession. Both sides end up quickly approach each other and the teams split off in different directions, creating lots of tire smoke.

Her route blocked off, Allison has her passenger launch the ball to the nearest open teammate, but the ball is not caught, and the play stops. First down, FPV's ball.

Allison and the FPV team set up in a line as Triela and the HSV team park in front of them. Ball loaded into her Super Pursuit's slingshot, Allison gets ready to start the play.]

“Ready! Set! Hut, hut! Hut, hut! Hike!”

[The linemen on the other team rev their engines menacingly, getting ready to charge as Allison throws the Ute in reverse, her teammates scrambling to get open. Triela counts down the five-second delay before she can charge at Allison and remove a flag to “tackle” her.]

“One-Calabria...Two- Calabria...Three-Calabria... Four- Calabria...Five!”

[Triela throws her Maloo into gear and charges after Allison, who is dropping back in reverse while her passenger gets rid of the ball. The pigskin spirals through the air and drops down into the bed of an FPV Super Pursuit, which is then quickly stopped when a HSV Maloo pulls alongside, its driver ripping off the flag on the left side, activating an engine cutoff switch that also engages the brake mechanism. First and thirty, FPV in possession.]

“One thing about American football is that it's like traffic. It can flow smoothly with few interruptions, or become very stop-and-go.”

[Cut to later footage, well after the “snap”, of Allison's Super Pursuit streaking past the HSV team and power sliding into the End Zone. With a blow of Claes' whistle, the play is over, and FPV leads 8-0 after a 2-point conversion. Voiceover by Triela.]

“Things were not starting off great for Team HSV. Luckily, however, FPV would be kicking towards us at the start of the second quarter, giving HSV a chance to recoup our losses, and our own cheering section was getting fired up.”

[Jump cut to Petra getting into the spirit of things with a cheer made up on the spot, based on her own cursory study of American high school cheerleading.]

“Holden! Holden! Kick Ford's arse! H! S! V! Three letters strike fear in the Blue Oval's heart! H! S! V!”

[Jump cut back to kickoff. Triela's Maloo catches the ball, and her teammates surge forward to block off/sacrifice themselves to the FPV defensive line. As two of her teammates fend off oncoming defenders, Triela puts her foot down, trying to scramble to the End Zone. Allison yanks the handbrake and snaps around to chase Triela down. By the time she does catch up with Triela's Maloo, the HSV team is already at first and forty. Jump cut to in-car shot of Allison's Super Pursuit.]

“'D' up, guys! We have to stop them here!”

[Jump cut to beginning of the play. Voiceover by Allison as the Maloos begin to streak past.]

“Unfortunately, the moving men aren't familiar with what 'D' is in gridiron football terminology, and so HSV evened up the score quickly.”

[Cut to shot of Triela powersliding the Maloo into the End Zone. Elated by her success, she starts performing donuts.]

“Yes! Touchdown, HSV!”

[She laughs in triumph, placing the Maloo into a donut spin, smoke pouring off the rear tires. Jump cut to Allison in the Super Pursuit.]

“It's all right, we'll make it up. They haven't seen anything yet.”

[Cut to short snippets of the ensuing plays; constant stops and rushes being made, at one point Allison getting “sacked” by one of Triela's teammates. Voiceover by Allison.]

“The game had settled into an absolute tug-of war between FPV and HSV. Neither myself nor Triela would give in easily, and we kept fighting until Miss Reluctant blew the whistle, signaling the end of the first half.”

[Jump cut to Claes blasting on her referee's whistle, motioning for the players to stop and clear off the field for a halftime break. The Utes move off the field, and Kara and Petra step on with a voiceover by Triela.]

“As was said before, no self-respecting gridiron football game is nothing without cheerleaders. So, Kara and Petra put on a little halftime show for us.”

[Jump cut to Halftime show snippets, first featuring Kara's performance, dancing Yuki Kimura's “Love & Joy.” Petra goes up next with a routine set to Lady GaGa's “Just Dance.” Finally, the two join up for a performance of Touhou: Lotus Land Story / Nomico's “BAD APPLE!” As they finish, the audience claps, and they vacate the field as the Utes roar back on, their tanks and drivers refueled. Voiceover by Allison.]

“The second half kicked off, FPV and HSV tied 8-8. One of us had to break the stalemate. And since it was FPV's ball, hopefully, we would.”

[The utes line up for the snap. Allison calls out her cues to her team.]

“Red 51! Red 51! Ready! Set! Hut, hut! Hut, hut! Hike!”

[Allison throws her Ute in reverse gear as she drops back, to make a long throw to one of her receivers. Suddenly, her passenger tosses the ball to another FPV player passing by, who floors it as soon as they secure the ball. Triela is the only one on her team to react in time, and even then, she is left merely chasing exhaust as FPV scores, bringing the score 14-8 in their favor. Jump cut to later footage from further on in the game. Voiceover by Triela.]

“As the third quarter ticked down into the fourth, the game really heated up, naturally leading to some bits of roughness from both sides. In short, things got violent.”

[Jump cut to footage of a Super Pursuit applying a P.I.T maneuver to a Maloo, then a Maloo shunting a Super Pursuit off to the sidelines. A montage of similar footage continues as a voiceover from Allison comes on, and then cut to a 'final play' shot.]

“Finally, the do-or-die moment arrived. Fourth quarter, fourth down, 14-14 tie, 30 seconds left on the clock. Team FPV had to make an end run from our own goal line. If we could get past the HSV defense, we would win the game. Get it wrong, and it's HSV's ball, and it's all over. So we initiated a ‘Hail Mary’.”

[Jump cut to in-car shot as Allison calls out to her team.]

“Set! Hut, hut! Hut, hut! Hike!”

[Jump cut to view of the playing field as the other Super Pursuits rush past the Maloos before their flags can be snatched. Allison throws the vehicle in reverse as her passenger stretches back the slingshot as far as possible before launching it to whichever teammate she has down the field. One begins to catch the ball, but it bounces wildly into the bed of another Super Pursuit, which immediately accelerates to the end zone, finishing with a power slide into the end zone itself. Jump cut to shot of Team FPV doing donuts in some of their Super Pursuits while others get out of their vehicles and attack each other with mid-air chest bumps in celebration.

Jump cut to in-car shot as Allison drives by Triela's Maloo, driving circles around the pigtailed girl while being a most ungracious winner as she places her thumb and forefinger in an 'L' shape on her forehead.]

“Looooooooserrrrrrrrrr! Lo-ser!”

“Yes, yes, that's very mature. Way to be a good winner, Allison.”

[Jump cut to shot of both Triela in the Maloo and Allison in the Super Pursuit drifting parallel to each other as the beat of Sir Mix Alot's “Baby Got Back” plays in the background. Voiceover by Allison.]

“Despite Team HSV's loss, they nonetheless put up a fight against the mighty Blue Oval and they must be respected for that. Funky American stadium sports aside, you really can't go wrong with either of these options from the land down under. So the next time you feel the need to haul arse while there's some junk in the trunk...”

[Cut to ending shot of both vehicles driving off into the setting sun.]

“Remember, the Ute is your best friend.”


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
A Cat of Many Talents


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