After nearly two decades, Clarkson, Hammond, and May are leaving the studio for good.
The trio will leave their famous tent for the fourth season of the Amazon Prime show to instead focus on producing a run of road trip ‘specials’.
The final episode focused on the impending end of production for the Ford Mondeo, and following the end of a film at Lincoln Cathedral, the pair reminisced about their near-two decade career together.
“It’s very sad, and it’s not the only British motoring institution that’s coming to an end. We are,” Clarkson said, breaking down – Clarkson’s daughters, who were in the audience were also shown in tears. “This is not just the last in the series, the show as you know it is actually ending – with the track, audience, us three, and really badly-fitting jackets every week. This is the last one.”
“I tell you what though, we haven’t half had some laughs.”
“Well we do have some good news, we’re not stopping,” he added, responding to a plea from an audience member to not stop. “We’ll stick around. The thing is, the show as you know it is ending, and that’s very upsetting for us.”
Hammond added that they couldn’t stop making the show because they’d “have to get jobs”.
Clarkson and Hammond first hosted together in the first series of the rebooted version of BBC’s Top Gear in 2002 alongside motoring journalist Jason Dawe, who was replaced by May for the second series.
The trio quickly grew to be hugely popular internationally and at its height, the Clarkson, Hammond, and May-fronted Top Gear was said to be watched by 350 million people globally. It also evolved into a hugely successful touring arena show, which visited 22 countries between 2008-2015.
They left the BBC in 2015 following Clarkson’s involvement in a ‘fracas’ with a producer and signed a three-series deal with Amazon later that year.
“The truth is Amazon loves us, we love Amazon so we’ll carry on a bit,” said May.
The upcoming fourth season of the show was confirmed late last year amid rumours of the show’s demise. The fourth season will comprise of road trip special episodes, such as the Colombia and Mongolia films featured in Season Three.
“There is still so much of the world we haven’t been to,” said Hammond.
Which Clarkson responded with: “So many people I haven’t insulted!”
“So many cars he hasn’t crashed,” May added, pointing to Hammond who was nearly killed twice in huge crashes while filming Top Gear and The Grand Tour.
“Although this [the studio] is gone, The Grand Tour goes on,” said Clarkson. “So while it’s not goodbye from us, it is goodbye from this. Anyone want to buy a tent?
The Grand Tour Season Three finale also featured a montage of the three presenters’ best bits from not just their time on Amazon Prime Video, but also on Top Gear.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, for which he is also a regular columnist, Clarkson said that his quick exit from the BBC show four years ago added to the emotion of the final Grand Tour studio show.
“It’s a wrench. Even though The Grand Tour goes on, it’s a wrench to say goodbye to the studio element of it for sure,” he told the tabloid. “The truth of it is, I think, I never got the chance to say goodbye to Top Gear. One minute I was there and one minute I wasn’t. It was like [I] did the show and then never did another one.”
“[I] Never said goodbye. Never got a gold watch. Never got a retirement speech. Nothing. So this was almost as though we were saying goodbye to Top Gear as well. That’s why it was so emotional for me.”