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TopGear Magazine in 2001

Clarkson in 2001: “The computer I’m using to write this is also capable of putting me through to a Thai ladyboy in Saigon. But even though I never wish to use this facility, it’s nice to know I could.”

TopGear Car of The Year: Ford Mondeo

“The BMW 3-Series is the epitome of the quality small car, and made even more desirable by its new engine range. Yet even it had to give best to the Mondeo. The Ford has to be all things to all men: private car, business car, one capable of absorbing families and yet satisfying to the single driver. A Jack-of-all-trades. Once that would have meant master of none, but boasting improved driving qualities and high levels of safety this Jack-of-all-trades is now a master of them all, too.”

Three cars from 2001

Jaguar X-Type

“The X-Type is targeted at the sort of person who wears Paul Smith, rather than plays bowls against him. It’s certainly practical enough to be regular family transport, but the wife and kids won’t thank you if you try to explore the X-Type’s sporting pedigree. There’s too much body roll; and while the 4WD set-up gives you more security, there’s also ugly, lurching understeer in tight corners to contend with. The BMW 3-Series remains the car to beat, but the X-Type is a truly desirable alternative.” June 2001

New Mini

“If you strip away all the flim-flam you’re left with a fantastic little car. Many of the old car’s virtues have been preserved, and there’s no doubt that having a wheel at each corner really does result in what the experts might call ‘chuck-ability’. Granted, you can’t lob it down the road with quite the same fearless enthusiasm that you could the original, but you’re now far less likely to end up in hospital should you get carried away.” July 2001

Aston Martin Vanquish

“The Vanquish was worth the wait. Aston has done itself proud. At the very least its developmental costs, which incidentally are said to be far greater than originally budgeted, demonstrates Ford’s very serious commitment to the brand and its followers. The Vanquish is the most sophisticated, most advanced, best built and, to all intents and purposes, the finest production Aston ever.” September 2001

The best-selling car of 2001: Ford Focus

The best-selling song of 2001: It Wasn’t Me - Shaggy

And elsewhere in the world in 2001: Nearly 3,000 people are killed when hijacked airliners strike the World Trade Centre and Pentagon; Dale Earnhardt is killed in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500; and on October 7th, the US and its allies invade Afghanistan.

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