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Episode 1

James May discovers how cars became an everyday part of people's lives. His journey begins in Europe, where he reveals a tale of war, fraud, double dealing and dictators.

In his quest to discover how we, the people, got our wheels, James travels to Germany, Italy and Russia to reveal the extraordinary story of how dictators kickstarted the mobilisation of the masses.

It is a tale of design brilliance, abject failure, war, fraud and double dealing, featuring some of the best (and worst) cars and characters of the 20th century. James discovers how the British motor industry blew a gift-wrapped chance to rule the world and he gets his own back with a stunt that means bad news for one of the planet's most hated cars.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 11 Aug 2019 22:30

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:06

    Joy Division

    Day Of The Lords

  • 00:11

    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Raymond Leppard

    Allegro Ma Non Troppo, Un Poco Maestoso

  • 00:40



  • 00:45

    John Barry

    The Persuaders

  • 00:51


    Clint Eastwood (Case Remix)

  • 00:57




Role Contributor
Presenter James May
Producer Tom Whitter
Director Tom Whitter