Ten Top Gear Commandments for proper petrolheads

Ok, so you've done the sensible thing and tuned in religiously, but that's no guarantee you're a real petrolhead. Only by following these Top Gear Ten Commandments can you earn that title, and soar above the ranks of the fair-weather, casual car-nut.

Richard Hammond

1. Thou shalt hate caravans

Caravans. Even the name is miserable. If you've ever been stuck behind one on a motorway you'll know the instinctive gut-tugging misery that these mobile grief-holes summon up, and you'll hate them like the person who told you Santa wasn't real. Luckily the Top Gear boys are on a mission to destroy as many as possible, and televise the process. Ah, that's better.

2. Thou shalt wear faded denim

The committed petrolhead doesn't have time to worry about clothes-shopping, picking out outfits or what goes with what. Take a leaf out of Jeremy Clarkson's book and match denim with slightly different denim. You're good to go. Time spent thinking about clothes is time not spent under the bonnet or behind the wheel, so put down the chinos and rev up your engine – what are you, French?

3.Thou shalt own an Alfa Romeo

According to the Top Gear boys, to be a bona fide petrolhead at some point you have to own, or have owned an Alfa Romeo. Whether comparing them to Angelina Jolie (mad, but you still would) or waxing lyrical about their sleek bodywork, the boys have always had a soft-spot for these stylish little Italian beauties. You should too.

4. Thou shalt not tread the boards

If there's one guarantee you're not going to be any good at driving it's the word 'actor' appearing on your CV. Clarko didn't coin the term 'Thespian line' in 'Star in a reasonably priced car' for nothing. Whatever they do at acting school in between pretending to be a tree and finding their motivation is not conducive to driving, so you have a choice – the Bard or the Beamer.

5. Thou shalt only play ball games using cars

Some people are really into football, and rugby and whatever other reasons people find for spending their time shouting at 20-year old millionaires through a teary fog of broken dreams and shattered hopes. These people are wrong. The only way you should ever play a sport is if you're doing so in a Toyota Aygo, Suzuki Swift or similar.

6. Thou shalt avoid American cars

The only thing America has ever given the world is obesity. And possibly, at a push, if we're feeling generous, incest. They're a young nation and, like young people, they should be seen and not heard, but ideally not seen either. Everything they do is too big, too brassy and contains about as much intricate detail as a Blue Whale's underwear drawer.

7. Thou shalt try anything with wheels

The committed petrolhead will not be content just to while away the hours in a single saloon, hatchback or supercar. If variety is the spice of life, it's also the measure of a true car-nut, so whether it's testing the traction on an Icelandic jeep or building your own motor from scraps like some sort of demented A-Team member the only rule is this: four wheels good, no wheels bad.

8. Thou shalt have a need for speed

There's something else which sets apart the workaday car enthusiast from the card-carrying petrol-sniffing fanatic, and that's the constant need to go faster. The Top Gear boys are never happier than when they're topping out at 200 plus mph in a shiny new supercar, and pledging their love for the machine in tones usually associated with a drunk after a messy break-up.

9. Thou shalt own a passport

We have the enormous good fortune to live in the same nation as Clarkson, Hammond and May but it's not just give, give, give when it comes to international relations – a petrolhead should be willing to cross continents for unique driving experiences, trying out snowy plains, deserts and mountains in the name of experimentation. Think of it as a honeymoon, but with your motor.

10. Thou shalt NEVER use Sat-Nav

Using Sat-Nav to navigate is like asking your mum to dress you. If you're serious about getting the most from your automobile you'll want to navigate by the stars. (You can use roadsigns too, that's allowed). We'll leave the last words to Clarko – "Everyone can navigate by instinct, and if you can't there's something wrong with you and you should be in prison."

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