Not all car shows are created equal. While some of the shows might look great on paper, there's so much that needs to be right in order for it to be a success - one of the biggest factors is the host.
The host is the face and voice of the show. A good host can make the show a success, a great host can make even the worst of shows become a hit. A great host possesses charisma, knowledge, enthusiasm, and most of the time; a sense of humor. That being said, there have been plenty of successful shows where the host sucked, and most of them seem to add a lot of fake drama to cover their other flaws. Here are 10 car show hosts who probably suck to work with, and 10 who are nothing short of awesome!
20. Nightmare: Dan Short - FantomWorks
FantomWorks claims nothing is scripted, and if that's the truth, then the owner is just a horrible person to be around. The prices he quotes his customers are ridiculous, he also has a know-it-all, everything-I-do-is-perfect attitude. Having seen the end results of the cars they work on, this guy is in serious need of an attitude adjustment!
19. Sweetheart: Brian Johnson From Cars That Rock
Johnson was the lead singer in AC/DC - but if you didn't know who he is, you certainly wouldn't guess that he's a rock n' roll god from watching his car show. The guy is so humble and down to earth, it's almost shocking. Upon meeting a guy who had rebuilt the Minis from the original 1969 Italian Job movie, Johnson treated him like a superstar instead of the other way around.
18. Nightmare: Jesse James - Monster Garage
Jesse James never tried to hide that he's a bad boy, in fact, he made a pretty decent living by combining his reputation with his fabricating skills. Talented and hard-working as he may be, we still wouldn't want to work with him for too long in fear of his attitude rubbing off on us.
17. Sweetheart: Jay Leno - Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno is probably one of the most genuine car guys around. He's got a massive collection of vehicles, yet he still takes an interest in what other people have in their garage. That's exactly what his show, Jay Leno's Garage, is all about. People bring their cars to him, and he'll comment on it and say how cool and impressive it is before they go for a drive.
16. Nightmare: Richard Rawlings - Fast N' Loud
We get that he's a businessman, but Rawlings comes off as a guy who's more into the money than the cars. This could be down to the script and editing, or maybe that's exactly who he is. He did seem to be a genuinely cool guy when he visited Joe Rogan's Podcast though, but we're not gonna risk it - we'll just stay away from him and his garage full of monkeys.
15. Sweetheart: Aaron Kaufman - Shifting Gears
Aaron was the guy with all the technical know-how and sometimes acted as the voice of reason when he was working at Gas Monkey Garage. After leaving, he got his own show where he gets to do more of the things he enjoys. We certainly wouldn't mind hanging out with him and pick up a new skill or two.
14. Nightmare: Jeremy Clarkson - The Grand Tour
Don't get us wrong. We absolutely love every car show Clarkson has appeared on. He truly is one of the best motoring journalists out there! However, that does not excuse the fact that he punched a co-worker just because he didn't get a hot meal after a long day of filming.
13. Sweetheart: Chris Jacobs - Overhaulin'
How could we possibly have a problem with this guy? Sure he pranks people and tells them their cars have been stolen, but he also presents them with their newly overhauled vehicle once they're done. Other than that, there's never any drama surrounding him on the Overhaulin' episodes, and we like that.
12. Nightmare: Xzibit - Pimp My Ride
The Pimp My Ride years are easily the most successful years of Xzibit's career, even if the show's content was questionable. Seeing as his prima donna tendencies pretty much ruined all other aspects of his career, he's not really the kind of guy we would like to work with... unless it's to make us look good.
11. Sweetheart: Edd China - Wheeler Dealers
Edd was the highly skilled mechanic on the show Wheeler Dealers. Basically, Mike Brewer would find a cheap, broken car, bring it to Edd - who would call it a disaster - then Edd would fix it while explaining to the viewer how and why it's done. Edd was also the voice of reason those times Mike would come up with some outrageous plans for the cars he brought in.
10. Nightmare: Danny Koker - Counting Cars
Driving around with someone who keeps asking random strangers if they want to sell their car is so creepy that we would never want to work with this guy. As if that wasn't enough, he keeps spouting "car facts" that seem to be wrong almost as often as he's right.
9. Sweetheart: Wayne Carini - Chasing Classic Cars
Speaking of car facts, Wayne actually does know what he's talking about. His show, Chasing Classic Cars, might not be as fast-paced and dramatic as some of the other shows on TV, but there are also no fake deadlines or rock music playing while the sparks are flying. It's just an honest car guy buying, fixing, and selling honest cars, and we like that!
8. Nightmare: Willie B and Kevin Byrd - 2 Guys Garage
These two might be cool guys and great mechanics, but they have no clue how to run a successful car show. It’s one thing to be an automotive junkie and it’s another thing to be a decent presenter who can capture the viewers' attention. Their presentation is a boring snooze-fest - you'd see us sleeping next to them if we were working together.
7. Sweetheart: Matt LeBlanc - Top Gear
Of course 'Joey' gets a spot on this list. While he has now quit his gig at Top Gear, the years he was hosting it alongside Chris Harris (another good guy) are actually quite decent. He comes off as a fun-loving guy who's really into cars and bikes - and actually knows how to drive as well.
6. Nightmare: Ryan Friedlinghaus - West Coast Customs
As if Pimp My Ride wasn't bad enough, West Coast Customs went on to pimping celebs' rides, and it's just as bad. The owner, Ryan Friedlinghaus, comes off more like a ghetto smurf with a very questionable taste in car mods. Would we want to work for him? Only if we get to work balaclavas so nobody can recognize us.
5. Sweetheart: Heavy D and Diesel Dave - Diesel Brothers
While the show might not have the best rankings, there are some things that set it apart from many other shows; the humoristic angle, and the lack of arguments and intrigues. Heavy D and Diesel Dave, along with the rest of the guys, just come off as a bunch of bros building cars and having fun while doing it. We'd love to hang out with these guys.
4. Nightmare: Thomas Weeks - Misfit Garage
Other than the show being 100% fake, Thomas also comes off as 100% annoying and actually a bit creepy. In fact, we wouldn't want to work with any of the guys from that show, as they all come across as whiny cry babies... Then again, that could be as fake as the rest of the show.
3. Sweetheart: Tiff Needell - Fifth Gear
Needell has raced both Formula 1 and Le Mans 24h, and he hosted Top Gear before moving on to Fifth Gear (and now Lovecars), who wouldn't want to work with a guy like that? It certainly helps that he comes off as a friendly and fun-loving guy on the show... even if he drives like an absolute maniac.
2. Nightmare: Mark Worman - Graveyard Carz
Mark Worman's motto apparently is “It’s Mopar or No Car.” Both he and his crew are completely clueless about any other cars. In addition, every episode seems to focus on selling the viewer on some sponsored tool, then there are about 15 minutes of Worman yelling and tooting his own horn before the inevitable team-building activity.
1. Sweetheart: Rutledge Wood - Hyperdrive
When hosting the Top Gear USA, Rutledge came across as the nice, sensible, and perhaps slightly gullible host - especially so when compared to his two brash, loud, and sneaky co-hosts, Foust and Ferrara. On the new Netflix hit show, Hyperdrive, Wood still comes across as a nice and sensible guy, with tons of car and driving knowledge.
Sources: Imdb, Behind The Scenes, Jalopnik, Car And Driver