James May loves to talk about cars. In videos from earlier this year, he discussed how he once stole a Jaguar, what kind of a car is Lightning McQueen, how he followed the wrong camera car during the early Top Gear days, and even made a brief review of the Honda Civic Type R. Clearly, “it's not often that James May has any spare time,” but when he does get some, “he likes to sit on a park bench.” And talk about cars, again.
In his latest appearance on the Drivetribe channel on YouTube, May talks about many auto-related things. The part that caught our attention the most is where he was asked about the car that every gearhead should drive before they die. No, it’s not an Alfa Romeo or an original Mini. It’s something way more trivial – a Volkswagen Beetle. Here’s why.
“From my perspective, if you are interested in, sort of, the history of the car and what it means to the state of being human and the developments of the society, you have to drive – and I’m sorry to say this – a Beetle. Because it is, without question, the most interesting car that’s ever existed. Never mind that it’s also the best-selling car that has ever existed.”
Well, we’ll have to slightly disagree with that final statement. The best-selling nameplate in the history of the automotive industry is the Toyota Corolla, which has more than 45 million sales. According to Wikipedia, the Beetle registered 21,529,464 sales from 1938 to 2003. But other than that, we totally agree with May’s opinion.
“It is the most significant and important car ever made. If you are into cars, you have to drive that. Only once because you’ll hate it, but drive one. Not a beach buggy, that’s cheating. A Beetle. The older the better.”
In the 6:45-minute video, May also talks about the cars that he is most excited about driving soon and other pretty interesting topics. Spoiler alert – he likes Tesla.