Top Gear Cool Wall
The Cool Wall, in which Jeremy and Richard decide which cars are 'cool', and which aren't, by placing photographs of them onto various sections of a large board. The categories are Sub Zero, Cool, Uncool , and Seriously Uncool, a vehicle's placement has nothing to do with how good or bad a car it is.
Initially, part of that coolness factor rested on the extent to which the presenters believed each car would impress English actress Kristin Scott Thomas. More recently, BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce has replaced Scott Thomas as their notional judge, after Kristin Scott Thomas said in a conversation with Clarkson that she owned a Honda Civic, which was deemed uncool, and preferred a red Bentley Continental GT over the Aston Martin DB9. She also described a Lamborghini as "pathetic". She later threw huge problems Jeremy Clarkson's way when she revealed that she drives a G-Wiz when in London, while on the "Star in a reasonably priced car" feature.
The Aston Martin DB9 was judged too cool for the whole wall: it was put in a little fridge called the DB9 Section. Since then, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage joined the DB9 (at least until a footballer buys one). Another judgement was the BMW 3 Series (E90): the presenters considered it was ugly and just a "lump of car", so they decided they couldn't be bothered to put it on the wall at all.
Rules and Tactics
There are some rules to the Cool Wall, although all seem to be flexible:
* Motorcycles are not allowed in, as demonstrated on February 18, 2007 when Richard Hammond, a lifelong fan of bikes, added a picture of a Ducati 1098 to the cool section. Jeremy Clarkson responded by using a chainsaw to remove not only the picture, but also the section of wall where it had been.
* Supercars are automatically uncool or seriously uncool, as there are few cool people who can actually afford them. An exception is the Koenigsegg CCX which is cool on account of its scariness. Two other supercars, the Bugatti Veyron and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren are also classed as cool (both of which have been driven by Clarkson in races against other forms of transport).
* Diesel-powered cars are never cool as, regardless of how good they are, their only purpose is to save money.
* Cars owned by any of the Top Gear presenters aren't cool. This applies for uncool celebrities and footballers, as well.
* Small European cars, such as the Peugeot 206, are generally cool.
* People carriers are never cool, because they're not cars people want to have; they're cars people need to have. Jeremy Clarkson has always described them as for "people who have given up".
* Everything with a ? koda badge on it is considered to be seriously uncool; the picture of the ? koda Fabia represents all ? kodas.
* Hybrids are seriously uncool; the Toyota Prius was hanging off the end, but was updated to cool in a later episode due to the fact that it will seem an attractive prospect to environmentalist women to see a man "caring for the environment".
* German Cars, particually BMWs and Mercedes, are always uncool. When Clarkson tried to put the BMW M6 in the sub zero section, there was a fight when Hammond said that you can't put a BMW as cool.
Clarkson often puts the cars at the top of the wall if Hammond disagrees with him, so that the much shorter Hammond cannot reach to change it. For the first time, on the November 27, 2005 programme, the disagreement over the placement of a car on the Cool Wall (the BMW M6) resulted in an actual (staged) fight between Clarkson and Hammond that led into the audience and ended with Hammond eating part of the picture. The situation was reversed on the July 10, 2005 programme after Clarkson slipped two discs in his back, and was unable to bend low enough to reach Hammond's low-lying pictures. Hammond has been known to stand on a box to move a picture when Clarkson has placed it at the top of the board, out of his reach.
After Clarkson placed an order for a new Ford GT, all the Ford vehicles on the board gradually progressed up towards 'Sub-Zero' after it was announced that Ford would be carefully selecting who received the small number of GTs sold in the UK. Clarkson's tactics worked, and he eventually purchased a Ford GT, which of course ended up as Uncool, on the grounds that Clarkson owns one. However after Clarkson announced on February 18, 2007 that he had got rid of it, it was upgraded back to cool. Jeremy now owns a Lamborghini Gallardo Spider
Cars can move up and down the Cool Wall depending on new insights and theories as well. For example the Toyota Prius was originally deemed "Seriously Uncool" in an early episode, however in the episode when the car was road tested by Jeremy Clarkson (Series 5, Episode 7) during a Cool Wall update, Clarkson reasoned that if one is looking to attract liberal, environmentally aware types of girls, then the Prius is cool. He did give a warning that at any moment she might wish to be swept away by "Clint Thrust" in a Ford Mustang. He has now applied this to 4x4s saying that they are all now uncool. Also the Mini Cooper was downgraded to Uncool. This was because too many estate agents own the Mini. Another example was the Bentley Continental GT Clarkson said that if David Beckham brought one then it would move down the wall (series 3 episode 3)
Clarkson is also particularly fond of Alfa Romeo, once making the statement "You cannot be a true petrolhead until you've owned an Alfa ???- until you've experienced that rollercoaster of pain, disappointment, and agony for that brief moment when everything works and you're on a nice road". As a result of this, a large number of the Alfas on the wall are grouped towards the "Cool" end. In 2005, the Alfa Romeo Brera's time came to the cool wall, and all three of the presenters agreed that it was not only the best looking car that money could buy, but Jeremy went as far as saying "I only have to imagine this in black, in tan leather, and I'm nursing a semi".
On Series 8 Episode 3, The Koenigsegg CCX is the first supercar to be deemed "Cool", because of its scariness and danger factor. The Lotus Exige S is declared "Uncool" because of a man in shorts liking it; the Proton Savvy is also deemed "Uncool" due to its name. The Nissan Micra C+C is deemed almost too uncool for the wall (it is hanging off the edge of the "Seriously Uncool" section). The Jaguar XK is also deemed "Uncool" because of the game of golf, which influences the car's performance (in Clarkson's view). Clarkson afterwards said: "It's also pissing off our director, who's just bought one!"