Jeremy Clarkson Was Held at Gunpoint While Filming Top Gear in Detroit

Clarkson decided to use an abandoned train station as a film set and accidentally wandered into a gang’s hideout.

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED Jan 11, 2019 12:00 PM
Jeremy Clarkson Was Held at Gunpoint While Filming Top Gear in Detroit

Current host of Amazon's The Grand Tour Jeremy Clarkson recently recalled an encounter that threatened his life while filming an episode of BBC's Top Gear in Detroit, Michigan.

The popular trio and the show's film crew were visiting the Motor City in 1997 when they sought to use an abandoned train station as a film set, even though they had been warned by local police of gang activity inside the building. Undeterred, Jeremy and the film crew entered the premises and found the building was exactly as promised.

"Jeremy was filming in a ruined railway station but was warned by cops not to go inside as there were warring gang factions operating," an unidentified member of the film crew told The Mirror. "But he ignored the advice and was surrounded by gangs."

"Somebody held a gun against my head in Detroit," Clarkson admitted of the event. "It's a long, complicated story but we were trying to do some filming and some people thought we were trespassing on their turf. It was pretty nasty. And this time, 100 yards from where that happened, I was having dumplings in a goose broth."

"I'm sure if you actually lived there you wouldn't call it interesting, you'd call it dangerous," Clarkson continued. "But the chrome shoots of rejuvenation are growing again so you can actually eat quite well there, you can stay in a nice hotel, you can go short distances from A to B without being shot."

Clarkson has since returned to Detroit on multiple occasions to film without any apparent further incident. In the first episode of the upcoming third season of Amazon's The Grand Tour, Clarkson and company revisit the city in a trio of modified American muscle and pony cars, specifically a Ford Mustang RTR Stage 3, a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, and a Chevrolet Camaro "Exorcist" by Hennessey Performance. 

In the new Detroit episode, the three will turn an abandoned car factory into a race track, making peace with the city that once threatened one of the presenters' lives.