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Top Gear magazine in 1998

Clarkson in 1998: “Anyone who fails their driving test three times should be told that they may not apply again.
They must accept that they can’t drive, in the same way I have now accepted that I’ll never be an astronaut or a lesbian.”

Three cars from 1998

Audi TT

“I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It looks fabulous, absolutely right. The interior is lovely and the dash is a pleasure to sit behind. However, it’s not a sports car. The steering is awful; the wheel is not connected to the front tyres at all. The gearbox is dreadful. It’s notchy and the ratios are totally wrong. The TT understeers at a far lower speed than you’d expect and while the suspension is harsh on the straights, it rolls terribly in the corners.” October 1998

Ford Focus

“I can’t say whether or not the Focus’s suspension is quieter than that fitted to its rivals but that’s only because it’s so much fun to drive that I forgot to check. Even in 1.6-litre guise it really is a corker to flick down a twisty section of track. Turn the power-assisted steering - standard across the range - and the car goes just where you want it to. Try the 2.0-litre, which comes with differently set-up shocks and anti-roll bars, and the funometer needle leaves the scale.” October 1998

BMW E39 M5

“The M5’s speedo sits at a rock-steady 155mph. 40 tons of frank-furter-laden truck pulls out of my way, giving me time to ponder the fact that this car could, go even faster than it is now. Development M5s have hit over 180mph, yet production versions are limited for political correctness. This is the only compromise you’ll find on BMW’s most powerful, most accelerative road car ever.” December 1998

The best-selling car of 1998: Ford Fiesta

The best-selling song of 1998: Believe - Cher

And elsewhere in the world in 1998: Then-President Bill Clinton is accused of having an affair with a White House intern - something he later admitted, Google is founded in California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and the Second Congo War begins. It became the deadliest war in the history of modern Africa.


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