This Guy Bought A Problematic BMW M3, Then Saw His Car Had Been Abused By Top Gear

After buying a BMW M3, 27-year-old Rob Willis had nothing but trouble with his car. Then, one day while watching a Top Gear rerun, he realised his car had been abused on the Top Gear test track
This Guy Bought A Problematic BMW M3, Then Saw His Car Had Been Abused By Top Gear

No matter how careful you are when checking a used car’s history, it’s impossible to know exactly how difficult its life has been. For example, just because your car has been regularly serviced, it doesn’t mean it was never drifted around an airfield by a bloke who had literally no interest in being careful since he got to give the keys back at the end of the day. At least, that would be impossible to know, unless, say, it was drifted around an airfield by the bloke who hosts the world’s most watched television show.

Rob Willis, 27, encountered exactly this problem recently, after buying himself a lovely looking Yas Marina Blue BMW M3. The IT operations manager told The Sun:

“When I bought it, I was told it was an ex-demo which one of the managers had been driving. The brakes were constantly squeaking and the steering wheel made a clunking noise every time I came off the motorway.”

Then, about a month after picking up the car, Rob was watching an old episode of Top Gear, when his girlfriend spotted that the M3 being hooned by Clarkson was wearing the same number plate as the car he’d just bought. Obviously unimpressed by the fact he’d been sold a car that had been abused in such a way without disclosure of that fact, Willis took his M3 back to his local dealership: “The dealers told me it was a mistake and the car should never have been sold as it was unfit for the road.”

This Guy Bought A Problematic BMW M3, Then Saw His Car Had Been Abused By Top Gear

The life of a press car is a rough one. The cars are handed around from publication to publication, and driven by people who grow no sense of attachment to the car. Most of us are careful to treat cars properly, but there will always be those who use and abuse their privilege. Furthermore, making cool content often involves driving these cars hard, repeatedly for the camera; no matter how careful you are, that’ll take its toll - and occasionally these cars come with delivery mileage, and we simply don’t have time to get the engines run in before enjoying them. So when these cars exit service and are sold off, it’s no surprise that occasionally they might seem a little rough around the edges.

Fortunately the cars are looked after and serviced by dedicated teams, so there’s very little chance of people encountering an issue like Rob has. Still, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to drop big money on a car the likes of Chris Harris or Jeremy Clarkson have had on camera, no matter how carefully it’s been serviced in the meantime.


TurboToddler (Straight-five)

The only difference between a regular BMW and that one is that his was driven dangerously on a track

12/10/2015 - 13:30 |
460 | 0

With Clarkson behind the wheel too. That’s worth at least 500k Pounds.

12/10/2015 - 14:41 |
198 | 6

I refuse to belive, that it was ruined only because Top Gear shot, most demo cars are abused even more than that and he was stupid enough to go for highest performance version of the car that was a demo car.

12/10/2015 - 15:05 |
42 | 4
Delightful Citizen (Classic Truck Squad)

Did he not test drive the car before buying?

12/10/2015 - 13:52 |
110 | 2

I’m sure the problem must have started after owning the car, I don’t think anyone would put down so much money on a used car without test driving them.

12/10/2015 - 15:15 |
24 | 0

it can get has a surprise to you but most of people don’t test the cars, when I bought my 206 I committed to buy it before even test it, a friend just bought a 3008 also in second hand and the first person to drive it has me from the dealer to his house, only then he test it for the first time…

12/10/2015 - 15:17 |
2 | 2
🇮🇩Mk7Golfer 🇦🇺

I’d be happy and proud if I own a car that is driven by Jezza.

12/10/2015 - 13:53 |
100 | 16

But also if steering and brakes are feeling sluggish and making weird noises?

12/10/2015 - 14:25 |
40 | 0

celebrity abused car.. must be of some value..

12/10/2015 - 14:34 |
100 | 2

And a ton of other journalists who all powerslid the thing all the time, abused the redline, did not complete the break in procedure and naturally every button that ever needed to be pressed was pressed so many times it feels like the car is 15 years old now. Must be worth every penny cause one of them was Clarkson.

It’s like being glad that your new girlfriend was raped by every person who damn well pleased, but it’s cool cause one of them is your childhood hero - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

12/10/2015 - 14:43 |
54 | 2

Imagine, if he would’ve kept it he could’ve probably auctioned it off for more than he paid.

12/10/2015 - 14:54 |
4 | 2

Hopefully he left his hammer in the glovebox.

12/10/2015 - 15:07 |
28 | 0
ramses rizal

I hope he get a return of his money or get the replacement unit that’s not a demo car for TV shows.

12/10/2015 - 14:05 |
16 | 0

Regular demo car could be trashed even more.

12/10/2015 - 15:07 |
0 | 0
Car learner

That car is problematic, but yet proudable (if you ask me). Pretty much a Clarkson then

12/10/2015 - 14:11 |
6 | 0
Ryan Ellington

So man complains his sports car has been driven like a sports car? If he didn’t plan to drive it at least a little bit spiritedly why didn’t he buy a 320d? Complaining for the sake of complaining if you ask me.

12/10/2015 - 14:15 |
6 | 10

When you buy a new car you expect it to work not to be falling to pieces

12/10/2015 - 14:37 |
0 | 0

Because he bought a car that, if you actually read the article, was unfit for the road.

12/10/2015 - 14:59 |
4 | 4

his fault that he bought an auto not an older manual smh

12/10/2015 - 14:19 |
2 | 4

Goes to show that these M series are only to be pranced about or to be looked at …

12/10/2015 - 14:24 |
8 | 4

How does he know it is the exact car from the Top Gear Demo? Just cause it is the same color doesn’t mean it is the same car.

12/10/2015 - 14:30 |
4 | 12

It had the same number plate…

12/10/2015 - 14:35 |
0 | 0

Did you not read the part about his girlfriend spotting the numberplate?

12/10/2015 - 14:35 |
0 | 0

It’s the same number plate

12/10/2015 - 14:35 |
4 | 0

My bad, I was skimming the article.

12/10/2015 - 14:36 |
2 | 2

There you go dude i’m up votes your comments so it back to zero again.

12/10/2015 - 14:38 |
0 | 0

My Impreza P1 was an ex presscar owned by Prodrive. It was well documented that this was the case. My car was thrashed around the rally X course of Silverstone by Vicky Butler-Henderson, while racing Tiff Nedell in an Evo VII.

It’s now done 126,000 miles and more damage has been done by the crap roads around Oxford than any rally stage could. It’s still a tight, great driving car and has done really well for it’s age.

12/10/2015 - 14:36 |
40 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

the biggest problem here is the fact that they lied to him, they told it has a manager car, not a press car…

12/10/2015 - 15:20 |
14 | 0



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