Wrong Car, Right Car (partially found BBC Two television series; 2002-2003)

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Title card

Status: Partially Found

During the time in which the channel's flagship automotive program, Top Gear, was undergoing a hiatus before its reboot into the highly-successful version presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, BBC Two commissioned[1] two series to take the show's place. The first of these, Panic Mechanics, was a car-themed game show. The other, originally named Top Gear: Car Jack but changed[2] to its eventual name in light of the 2002 carjacking murder of Tim Robinson, aired two series[3] in 2002 and 2003.

The show is mostly lost, only a few episodes from 2003 were ever found.


Wrong Car, Right Car was developed as a show primarily to fulfill presenter Jason Barlow's contract, as he had originally been planned to remain as host of Top Gear until 2003. However, with the Top Gear's cancellation and the return[4] of renowned host Jeremy Clarkson in March of 2002, Barlow would be removed from his role[5] by Clarkson who felt the pair did not gel. Barlow was joined by Dominic Littlewood, as the pair helped a show participant to buy the new car[6] they wanted using the tricks of the trade. An example of this is divorcee Lynn Spalding[7] having £9,000 to spend from her settlement and the dilemma being whether she'd go for bargain or image, which is where the pair of presenters would come in. Each participant would also be given the chance to drive their dream car, which in Spalding's case[8] was a Noble M12. According to PassionFord member In The Pit, Littlewood's catchphrase[9] was "get the mats and flaps."


Wrong Car, Right Car was originally announced on August 8th, 2001, alongside Panic Mechanic, which would later have an "S" added to its name before making it to air. In August 2002, the BBC requested[10] members of the public to sign up for the show's second series, which began broadcasting in 2003. Each episode was directed[11] by Dave Smith and produced by Karen MacKinder for the BBC's Pebble Mill studio in Birmingham, which was formerly the base for Top Gear.

It appears that the show was nominated for an award in late 2002, but was beaten[12] by another program entitled Follow That Tomato, which cost its production team just £6,000.


According to the Radio Times[13], 21 episodes of Wrong Car, Right Car aired; 6 in 2002 (including a pilot in February of that year), and 15 in 2003. Only the latter of these have episode names.

Series 1

Episode Airdate Title
1 02/28/2002 Hamish: Northants
2 03/07/2002 Unknown
3 03/14/2002 Unknown
4 03/21/2002 Unknown
5 03/28/2002 Unknown
6 04/04/2002 Unknown

Series 2

Episode Airdate Title
1 01/07/2003 The Smack on the Bum
2 01/14/2003 Unknown
3 01/21/2003 Make Some Noise, Baby
4 01/28/2003 Go Go Granny
5 02/03/2003 Unknown
6 02/10/2003 Unknown
7 02/17/2003 Do I Look Good in This?
8 02/24/2003 Kicking Over The Traces
9 03/03/2003 Releasing The Dinosaur
10 03/10/2003 Up for the Crack
11 03/17/2003 A Load of Blarney!
12 03/24/2003 N/A
13 03/31/2003 More Bangs For Your Bucks
14 04/07/2003 Pukka Deluxe
15 04/14/2003 Blowout