Rory Reid is an award-winning journalist of 18 years specialising in cars. Rory has written and presented for the likes of CNET UK, where he launched the company's popular Car Tech channel, receiving a prestigious Association of Online Publishers (AOP) award for ‘Best Use of Video’ in the process. Rory has featured in a number of car-focused television shows, and had a starring role in the Gadget Geeks series on Sky 1, where he reviewed cars and consumer tech. He was also a presenter on the hugely successful Fast Furious & Funny YouTube channel. He was editor-in-chief of Recombu, specialising in producing car reviews. It was Rory who bagged the presenter role in the public entry category.
Q&A with Rory
Who would you say is your racing legend?
My dream car is a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Astronauts drove them and I always wanted to be an astronautRory Reid
I love Ayrton Senna’s style. But I’m also a huge fan of Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers share an aggressive, sometimes all-or-nothing approach and have a huge desire to be the best. I like anyone that likes to race on the edge, and those two represent that philosophy so well.
What is the first car you learnt to drive in?
A 1978 Ford Fiesta. It was blue, I think, but had more dents and rust than actual paint.
Fastest you’ve ever gone in a car and when? What does it feel like when you’re going that fast?
186mph in a Jaguar XKR-S on the air strip where they filmed Top Gun in the USA. I had the top down. Top speed’s OK, but I get more joy from cornering - that’s where the real fun is.
What is the best car you’ve ever driven?
I think Range Rovers are the best cars, as they’re capable of just about everything, on or off-road, high or low speed, and they’re practical.
What is your earliest car memory and your age then?
Being in a minor car accident. I think I was about five or six years old. Until that point, it hadn’t dawned on me that people could be good or bad at driving. I vowed from that day that I was going to be one of the good ones that never got into accidents. So far, so good.
What is the first car you bought for yourself?
I was given several (very rubbish) cars as a teen - hand-me-downs basically. The first car I bought with my own cash was a Vauxhall Astra GTE 8V. I wanted it because it was fast-ish and had a digital dashboard. I love anything high-tech.
What is your all time dream car?
1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Astronauts drove them and I always wanted to be an astronaut.
What is it about cars that fascinates you?
I love the freedom they give you. I love the way they look and the way they make you feel. It’s possible to have an emotional connection with a car and to form a bond with it. I also love the way they make other people react. The smile on a kid’s face for example, when he or she sees me driving something nice warms my heart. I do what I do partly because I want to spread that kind of joy.
What was your first thought when you heard you’d got the gig on Top Gear? Who was the first person you’d told?
I was a ball of emotions. I was ecstatic and a little apprehensive. I didn’t know what they had planned for the new series, but I was convinced I was the right person to help drive it forward. I wanted to get started straight away making the best car show even better.
What was your very first day of filming like for Top Gear?
I was testing the new Ford Mustang up in the Western Highlands of Scotland. It was really exciting, but also really straightforward. I’ve been making car films for years so I felt very comfortable doing the job. Apart from the bigger budget, it was a normal day at work.
Has filming with Top Gear taught you something you didn’t know about cars?
The Stig taught me a few tricks behind the wheel. He made me a better driver, so I’m looking forward to showing off those skills on the new series.