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'Top Gear' Star -- My SWEET Summer Ride

7/26/2011 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Top Gear" star Rutledge Wood is gonna have a fun time driving this summer ... because the TV host just bought a SICK vintage Volkswagen van from the '60s -- and he's already got some awesome plans for it.

0722-top-gear-vw-ex

Rutledge tells TMZ he recently purchased a 1966 VW Double Cab -- and even though it doesn't have any seat belts yet, it did come with a cool surfboard ... and he plans to put a '50s Coca-Cola cooler in it as well.

The car enthusiast says his father-in-law found the car on eBay and asked Rutledge to go check it out for him. Wood fell in love with it and made a deal to trade his 1970 Datsun 521 for it, as well as a little extra cash.

Rutledge says he plans on piling the family inside the car a lot this summer to drive down and hang out with his NASCAR pal Kyle Petty at his beach house in Charleston, SC.


31 COMMENTS

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16.

cindy    

AAAW, That's cute!!

1130 days ago
17.

fgsd    

Got to get in on this one too.

Top Gear America blows. I like the two guys, but, Tanner?! Yuk, he is so arrogant, thinks he is handsome, is a non-funny smart -azzz and I got news. Some little girls may find him 'cute' I find I loathe him. So, I can'*****ch the show....new producers maybe?

Love the English version, been watching it for years now. There are gear head women out there ya know, I like my G8 GT with it's, thanks to the husband, 373 horsepower. And oh, the color, well worth the extra 500.00!

1130 days ago
18.

svizzy    

i would like to hear what clarkson would say about that car.

1129 days ago
19.

andy    

Rutledge Wood is hilarious, and seems to be a decent person . . .
Top Gear USA has had a significant hurdle to overcome, in the fact that it was popular for people to "bash" the worth of the show long before the first episode had ever aired. The original Top Gear (UK) has had a very loyal following, and those very supporters found it necessary to verbally tear down the new US version, in an effort to try to maintain the stand alone prominence of the BBC aired, UK based show. The original show has been sculpted to entertain the "die hard" auto enthusiast, whereas the USA verson takes a completely different approach. The Top Gear USA version is patterned to appeal to the widest audience possible, appealing to persons with a more general appreciation for car related elements, and it uses comedic reality entertainment as the driving force of the show. With the U.S. based version of Top Gear, reality entertainment is the priority, and serving one's car interest is secondary (but still met). The USA version of Top Gear has improved dramatically in its relatively short run, just past one season, . . . and this is something which had taken the original UK based show about 3 or 4 years to achieve. The UK version of Top Gear is a great show for true car enthusiasts, but it had taken a lot of "tweaking" to morph it into the tremendous show that it is currently. Nothing happens overnight!!!

The premier episode of season 2, Top Gear (US) which recently aired, was nearly as entertaining as the closing episode of last season, even if the results were predictable. Definitely, worth a look for light hearted entertainment.

GOOD TIMES . . .

1129 days ago
20.

DaveB    

Nice.
BUT...
They never came with chrome bumpers, chrome safari windows, or chrome emblems..ugly.
Wrong headlights...ugly
All commercial VW trucks came painted a solid color from the factory, not two toned.....ugly
No wipers mounted and no clip to hold the wipers when you have the safari windows opened....lazy and probably cheap restoration attempt.

As to the comments of no power, the early (pre '68) busses and trucks had a reduction gearbox transaxle. It allowed the trucks and busses to push the extra weight up hills and down the road quite nicely. Granted you won't break any speed records, but they do fine for what they were designed to do. Rebuilding the engine to a respectable 100 HP is not difficult nor too expensive. Noise levels are NOT bad if all soundproofing, exhaust and weatherstripping are in place.
We've driven our 1966 bus and my 1960... single cab truck on many 800-1000 mile roadtrips and have enjoyed every mile.

1129 days ago
21.

mat    

I had a 60's model VW bus new in the 60's. I hope this guy has a membership with AAA. He will spend a lot of time sitting on the side of the road waiting for the tow. He just bought a vintage plant box.

1129 days ago
22.

ThinkingWoman    

James May wrote a Daily Telegraph column in May 2010 in which he expressed interest in acquiring a "camper van." Make of that what you will. :)

I have to agree that US TG is a huge bore. Pity.

1129 days ago
23.

carlos    

Top gear USA way better!!!..

1129 days ago
24.

Christina     

Their called "buses" not vans you pendejo's!!! It's a hippie thing...VW bus...oh, and Amy Winehouse is dead...MOVE ON ALREADY!!!

1129 days ago
25.

lo    

there's only one top gear worth talking about and he's not on it

1129 days ago
26.

Ted    

I thought that was Jack Osbourne in the photo

1129 days ago
27.

Tsavo    

A-this guy isn't a "star". he's a hack announcer dropped into the americanized (read:crappy) version of Top Gear.

B-who cares what he drives, he doesn't know **** except what he's told to read.

1129 days ago
28.

Bluto    

And this an 'Exclusive' exactly how?

Must be a very slow news day indeed at TMZ.

-Bluto

1129 days ago
29.

jeremy    

This guy is a lose and the show sucks. You can tell he ws the fat kid with the cool car. Only way he was getting laid.

1128 days ago
30.

en Todo Momento!!    

what? so people are still into all this german 'nazi gone communist' auto crap? vw = nazi mobile gone communist. where's the difference????!

1127 days ago
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