Richard Hammond Loved Porsche's 996 GT3 When It Was New

"The engine's at the wrong end, yeah. So what?"

We're really looking forward to the new season of Top Gear. It's fair to say at this point that The Grand Tour was a bit of a letdown and, shouting aside, the last season of Top Gear without "the holy trio" wasn't as bad as we'd expected. With a little honing and the loss of a couple of the more annoying hosts, the next season is shaping up to be perhaps quite good. Still, though, we are a bit nostalgic for the good 'ol days of Top Gear, back in the mid-2000s when the cinematography wasn't the star, back when the jokes would still land, back when the hosts were still genuinely enthusiastic about the cars they drove.

After a little digging, we came up with this excellent clip on YouTube, wherein Hammond takes a brand new 996 GT3 for a spin... Literally. 

Richard, it's easy to tell, has fallen deeply, madly, and truly in love with what is possibly Porsche's best watercooled model ever. Even after more than a decade, it's hard to beat the raw passion that the 996 GT3 engenders. Sure you have to put up with those awful 996 headlamps [admittedly they're growing on us, time heals all wounds, suppose], and a lackluster 996 interior that is as uninspired as it is spartan. But spartan is really what this car is about, there's nothing fiddly to get in the way of your driving. There aren't any nannies to prevent you from having as much sideways fun as you want. This is as pure a sports car as has ever existed, and it deserves as much praise as is heaped upon it in this film. Hell, even Jeremy Clarkson admitted he adored driving it.