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TopGear magazine in 1996

Clarkson in 1996: “If the environmentalists ever realise their dreams, you can kiss goodbye to free thought and say hello to the Gestapo or the KGB. Environmentalism is every bit as dangerous as communism or fascism.”

Three cars from 1996

Lotus Elise

“There’s plenty of room in the engine bay for a bigger one, but you have to question whether the Elise really needs it. Let’s face it, the days of lashing about at super-high speeds are damn-near over. This is where the real fun is, top down, reveling in razor-sharp handling without worrying about being locked up because you’ve been caught doing over a ton.” August 1995

Porsche Boxster

“On longer, fast corners, the Boxster feels every bit as stable and solid as the 911. But it’s on the tighter, twistier stuff - where the 911 can’t use its extra grunt - that it really shines. Here, it feels sharper and more effective than the 911. And that’s not just our opinion, Porsche’s tame double ex-World Rally Champion, Walter Rorhl, says that where the 911 can’t use its superior power, the Boxster wins.” October 1996

Ferrari 550

“Luca [Di Montezemolo] asks me what I think of the 550. I tell him that to my knowledge, it’s the best Ferrari ever and he nods and replies, “I’m glad you said that, because it’s just what Michael Schumacher told me at the weekend.” Schumacher played a role in what Luca describes as “extreme performance” testing, and Niki Lauda was involved fom the very beginning. Let’s face it, employee credentials don’t come much better than that.” November 1996

The best-selling car of 1996: Ford Escort

The best-selling song of 1996: Killing Me Softly - The Fugees

And elsewhere in the world in 1996: The GM EV-1 - the first commercially available electric car - is launched, the Mad-Cow Disease epidemic leads to an EU ban on all exports of British beef, and rapper Tupac Shakur is shot and killed in Las Vegas, NV.


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