James May's Cars of the People

James May's Cars of the People

Series 1 - Episode 2



“If you’re a regular viewer of Top Gear, you might be a bit disappointed that this programme is full of stupid, small cars,” admits James May. “But I have to say, I’m enjoying myself immensely.”

And so he is, piloting a range of more or less daft microcars like the Peel Trident and the Messerschmitt Tiger – cars created essentially to let people without a licence drive a (sort of) car – and look, as May says, like berks.

He spends a bit too long on this design cul-de-sac, but things get more interesting when he moves on to the classically French 2CV and Renault 4. Which sold more, do you think? And for that matter, what would be the biggest selling vehicle of all time? Answer: a Honda moped.


The presenter continues his examination of how the car became an everyday part of people's lives, exploring the weird world of small vehicles. He discovers how austerity and fears of congestion led to European disasters in the shape of Britain's infamous three-wheelers, French death traps and German absurdities, and also takes to the battlefield to settle one of the greatest rivalries in car history.

Cast & Crew

Presenter James May
Director Tom Whitter
Series Producer Tom Whitter
Documentary Lifestyle