Jeremy Clarkson has been voted screen’s greatest automotive icon, ahead of cinematic stars such as Steve McQueen, Vin Diesel and no fewer than three James Bonds.
The outspoken Grand Tour presenter topped the rankings in a new poll which sought to find out car fans’ favourite on-screen stars as well as their most-watched shows and films.
Clarkson’s TV celebrity has come largely thanks to ever-more ridiculous wheeled adventures alongside Richard Hammond and James May, both of whom also appear in the top 10 list of automotive screen icons compiled by Hyundai.
While McQueen’s films such as Bullitt, The Great Escape and Le Mans featured some of film’s most iconic car and motorbike scenes, it seems Clarkson’s attempts to ride a motorbike the length of Vietnam or nurse a Lancia Beta across Botswana have struck more of a chord with car fans.
McQueen came second in the poll of petrolheads, ahead of Hammond and Fast and Furious stalwart Vin Diesel. James Bond star Sean Connery was ranked fourth, with fellow Bonds Daniel Craig and Roger Moore in eighth and ninth.
Among the others on the list were two of Diesel’s Fast and Furious co-stars - the late Paul Walker and Jason Statham.
A spokesman for Hyundai said: “Steve McQueen is nicknamed the King of Cool and he’s responsible for some of Hollywood’s most iconic moments, whether it’s the bike scene in The Great Escape or the famous chase in Bullitt.
“But he plays second fiddle to Jeremy Clarkson, whose legendary adventures from behind the wheel of a car have crowned him as our favourite automotive screen icon.
“The best cars and films are always the subject of fierce and fun debate and thanks to the internet and streaming services there is no shortage of shows and websites to keep us occupied.”
The very best car film according to the 2,000 Brits surveyed was The Italian Job, followed by Steve McQueen-starring Bullitt and the Fast and the Furious franchise.
In addition to being named the greatest car movie, the Italian Job also features the most popular car chase to ever appear on the big screen.
On the small screen, Top Gear was voted the greatest show, with Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazzard in second and third place.
And when it came to the most memorable motors, James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 was named greatest movie car ahead of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the De Lorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future.
TOP 10 - GREATEST AUTOMOTIVE ICONS
- Jeremy Clarkson
- Steve McQueen
- Richard Hammond
- Vin Diesel
- Sir Sean Connery
- James May
- Paul Walker
- Daniel Craig
- Sir Roger Moore
- Jason Statham