Rob Corddry’s wish is finally granted. After years of dropping hints in interviews asking car companies to gift him rides, the Emmy-winning actor is now one of the three presenters for the new Top Gear America, the US version of the legendary car show, premiering on January 29 exclusively on the MotorTrend App.
Corddry is joined by fellow actor Dax Shepard, whose 17-car collection makes him a veritable authority, and veteran British journalist Jethro Bovingdon. Like many of us, Corddry describes himself as an enthusiast, not an expert. (“The guy who is really excited to be there!”).
On Ballers, he drove some true blue baller cars like the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and the sporty electric BMW i8. Now, he’ll get to test drive many more – and in real life.
First of all, I’m a big fan of yours! I’ve seen you in so many of my favourite comedies throughout the years. Let’s start with an obvious question: Were you always into cars?
It’s so funny, my good friends in New York who I came up with [in comedy] asked me the same thing. They were like ‘you were never into cars’ and it’s true. In the years I was in New York, there was absolutely no reason to be into cars. I was into practical cars, like ‘I wonder if I can buy a Ford Focus’. My best friend growing up was a huge gearhead. He had a ‘64 Mustang that was just a piece of crap that he loved to death and I ended up loving. After New York when I got to LA it exploded all over again, so the last 13 years have been quite an obsession. I’ve been planting it in the media hoping that I would be one of those people that car companies could catch wind of and I would be one of those people they loan great cars to for a weekend.
Well, congratulations on making that happen. So what can fans expect from the show this time around?
It’s definitely a different show and we’ve really strived to make it our own. There’s an adjustment period where the producers were pretty set on the format of three dudes who would just argue about cars but it turns out we really agree a lot; we have similar taste and it’s only when someone just gets something really offensive that we go at them.
What’s your favourite thing about hosting the show, aside from talking about cool cars with your pals?
Money. I love love love it. But no, you just pretty much described the show. I’ve also enjoyed the learning curve. It’s been, at times, terrifying because these two, Jethro especially, are professional drivers and I am the voice of the audience. I’m the enthusiast who likes the way the cars look and smell—I have romantic notions about them. I kind of know what a limited slip differential does but I am more the guy that is just really excited to be there. A lot of what I’m obsessed with now is the driving part, learning the racing line, hitting the apex, accelerating out of the turn and it’s a whole new skill.
Have you been able to drive a little more now? Get out on the open road?
Yeah, as a matter of fact, I call it Our Time In the Car. Basically, just driving all the time. I’ve gone up to the Los Angeles Crest Highway more times in the last six months than I have in my entire life.
What kind of car are you driving now?
I have a 2018 Porsche 911 S and ‘78 Datsun 280Z, and I also just put an order in for the new Bronco. But the cars that they give you [on the show], I have a Toyota Supra coming on the 15th which I’m really excited about. I’ll just call up [the producer] and say “Hey, I’m really into driving the M2, can you wrangle that for me?” And he’s like “You want to take a Supra?’ I can get that sooner.”
Pretend price doesn’t matter. What are your dream cars?
Oh my God, a couple dream cars. I really love early 80s BMWs, pretty much down the line. My favourite car has always been a Buick Grand National GNX 1987 and I think I missed the boat on that one because it has appreciated so much, it’s way overvalued. So now I’m looking now at Buick T types which are similar cars and some say even better.