The third instalment of Top Gear USA was broadcast on the History channel just recently, and it again showed that the US incarnation of the series is slowly and steadily moving in its own direction as far as content goes, even if the some of the core ideas remain true to the UK original.

A tried and tested challenge from the UK series sees our American hosts – Adam, Rutledge and Tanner – buy cars with a budget of $1,000 and put them through a series of tests in North Carolina to honour the moonshine runners of the American south, who are most famous for originating the NASCAR racing series.

The cars purchased – a Nissan 300ZX, a Ford Thunderbird and a barge Cadillac Coupe DeVille – may not be the wisest of choices when one considers the challenges the trio would face, and it provides plenty of hi-jinx for the audience to enjoy.

Over a series of tests – performing a high-speed J-turn, venturing off-road and outrunning a police car – the three must ensure the protection of their precious cargo: several hundred bottles of moonshine, a 50% alcohol-based distillation.

This episode’s guest celebrity in the Big Star, Small Car segment is none other than Modern Family’s apparent father of the year, Ty Burrell, who sets about trying to tame the Suzuki SX4 on a rather wet test track.

The hosts also look at Ford’s latest offering in the Mustang range, the decidedly overpriced ‘Boss’ model, and the Stig takes it for a spin as well.

[Original video via Marcopon]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.