The axed TV host was allowed back for one “last hurrah” in the name of charity last week, but the BBC made sure that no further liberties would be taken.
“I was feeling a bit choked as I went through the gates for the very last time,” Clarkson said after driving a new Ferrari 488 GTB at the event, which raised £100,000 for the Camden Roundhouse.
“The Top Gear portable office was locked to stop me taking even a small souvenir. The hangar was empty.”
Right. About to do my last ever lap of the Top Gear test track. What car should I use? pic.twitter.com/xbaZkEi3sE— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 13, 2015
Despite the inevitable pangs Clarkson feels for his old job, which he lost in March after a “fracas” with producer Oisin Tymon led BBC director general Tony Hall to decide that “a line had been crossed”, the 55-year-old presenter is “full of memories” from the hit motoring series.
Things you never knew about Top Gear
Things you never knew about Top Gear
1/14 Top Gear isn't really for adults
It's 'aimed at people with a mental age of nine', according to executive producer Andy Wilman.
2/14 Planet Earth loves it...
Top Gear is screened in more than 100 countries worldwide and has millions of fans.
3/14 ...but not all motoring hacks do
You might think Jezza was a hero of the motoring hack world but that's not strictly accurate. Telegraph journalist Neil Lyndon summed Top Gear's 21st birthday last year up well: 'Does that mean Billy Bunter and his gang finally get forced out of the Fourth Remove and into long trousers?'
4/14 The Top Gear theme tune is a classic rock song
Seven-minute instrumental 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers was a hit in 1973. Top Gear has recorded its own version now but used part of the original recording at first. One for the road trip playlist.
5/14 Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get much more controversial if he tried
The presenter is currently suspended from the BBC following a 'fracas' with a producer over a steak dinner. Past scandals include a string of racism allegations.
6/14 This Porsche caused all sorts of trouble in Argentina
The Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina after locals took offence at the car's number plate - believing it was a deliberately provocative reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
7/14 If it's car-buying advice you want, look elsewhere
It's an in-joke in Top Gear that they don't do car tests. You would be mad to make a purchases based on Jezza's verdict.
8/14 Richard Hammond had a near-death experience filming Top Gear
The 'Hamster' was filming a Top Gear segment in a dragster called Vampire when its front-right tyre burst at 288mph. Hammond spent two weeks in a coma but luckily went on to make a full recovery. He requested that no mention of the crash was made in future Top Gear episodes.
9/14 Jeremy Clarkson is more than a little bit taller than Richard Hammond
Nine inches, to be precise.
10/14 Top Gear used to offer real advice
Before these lads took over, it was a real car-reviewing show with presenters such as Angela Rippon, who gave practical reviews of down-to-earth workhorses such as Cavaliers or Mini Metros.
11/14 Those 'reasonably priced' cars take quite a battering
Denis Chick, of Vauxhall, is brave to have lent the show a fleet of his Astras. He said: "Vauxhall Astra sales would not improve if everyone drove like Jimmy Carr around the Dunsfold track." The comedian hilariously took his test car's front off-side tyre clean off its rim.
12/14 Jeremy Clarkson is a YouTube star
Stray down the motoring internet hole and you'll find lovingly posted videos of 'Clarkson the early years' with incredibly loud hair reviewing 1990s cars in an oddly sensible manner. Very disturbing viewing.
13/14 There have been multiple Stigs
Racing driver Perry McCarthy was stuntsman The Stig on the first two series of Top Gear - here's the man under that famous helmet.
14/14 Ben Collins was The Stig for eight years
Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. He left amid a clash with the BBC when he unmasked his identity and published an autobiography. Collins thinks Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle'.
“The missing lamp where Black Stig went off in Aston Martin Vanguish. The tyre wall rendered cockeyed by the first White Stig’s Koenigsegg moment, and the two furrows left by me after a quarter-of-a-mile spin in a BMW 1-series,” he remembered in a piece for The Sunday Times.
His last lap was a good one too, “a smooth one, the sort of lap that would have made the Stig proud”.
My last ever lap of the Top Gear track is done. Bit sad leaving the place for the final time.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 13, 2015
It remains to be seen where Clarkson and his former co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May will pop up next, but they are strongly rumoured to be on the brink of a Netflix or Amazon streaming deal.
The trio’s old BBC contracts reportedly prevent them from making a rival Top Gear on another UK channel for two years.Reuse content