James May's Cars of the People

The Model T, the 2CV, The Fiat Cinquecento - history says these are the iconic Peoples' Cars, but James May begs to differ, telling the story of the cars he believes are the true Cars of the People. In typical Top Gear style, there'll be thrilling road tests, capers and challenges galore as James explores the astonishing true stories behind some of the world's most popular vehicles.
James May
UnscriptedSpecial Interest
English [CC]
Audio languages

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  1. 1. Episode 1
    August 10, 2014
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    In his quest to discover how we, the people, got our wheels, James travels to Germany, Italy and Russia to reveal the extraordinary story of how dictators kickstarted the mobilization of the masses. James discovers how the British motor industry blew a gift-wrapped chance to rule the world and he gets his own back with a stunt that means bad news for one of the planet's most hated cars.
  2. 2. Episode 2
    August 17, 2014
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    James downsizes to explore the weird world of the micro car. We discover how austerity and fears of congestion led to European tragicomic disasters in the shape of Britain's infamous three wheelers, French death traps and German absurdities. James takes to the battlefield to settle one of the greatest rivalries in car history.
  3. 3. Episode 3
    August 24, 2014
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    James reveals the unlikely champions that finally gave the people performance, pride and a hint of luxury. We discover Rolls Royce's strange journey from the elite to the everyman and how the Mustang and the Capri pioneered excitement and performance on blue collar wages.

More details

Tom Whitter
Tom WhitterCaroline Wright
Season year
BBC Studios
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


3.3 out of 5 stars

19 global ratings

  1. 29% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 24% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 16% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 16% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 16% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

George GoldbergReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great fun for all the family
After Episode 1:
I’ve driven a 34 hp Renault 4 through most of western Europe and England. I hope May reviews that car too. It didn’t have A/C, or power steering, or power brakes, or automatic transmission (it was a 3-speed gearshift on a pipe coming out of the dashboard). What it did have is the most comfortable seats in any car I have owned, and the ability to go over bumps without shaking up the passengers – it was designed for French farmers bringing their eggs to market and had a TV ad showing it driving up a flight of stairs. Also, it was a hatchback, and we could put our baby’s pram in the back. It made around 50 mpg! And it was a piece of cake to fix – it didn’t have belts, it had rubber bands. Anyway, this is a fun program and informative too; even my wife, who usually can’t tell one car from another, enjoys it.

Edit: Well, May does drive the Renault 4 in Episode 2, and the equally iconic Citroen 2 CV, but then he blows them up with a rifle, a machine gun and, those failing, a bazooka, proving that they are not tanks; whoever thought they were? He actually takes more time shooting these cars than driving them! Then he goes to Japan where he is going to indulge in a noodle delivery race. I still think Episode 1 is worth 5 stars, but Episode 2 isn’t worth any. I will never know what Episode 3 brings.
sharonReviewed in the United States on June 18, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
The first episode was particularly interesting and some new insight for me in the the 3rd Reich and how the German people were tricked into financially backing Hitler's filthy war, beginning in the 1930s. They willingly went along with Hitlerism and invested, but that happens when people are working to have hope in difficult times. They are anxious to jump on what they see as the first Peace Train. Hitler was an evil cult leader promising a better life for simple people, willing to believe a lit. Most people are relatively simple and working to survive - keep roofs over their heads, food in the pantry, clothing and to care for their children and their elderly, heating, cooling, education and a bit more than enough.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on August 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
more James May and cars...what could be better/
jAMES mAY REVIEWING CARS WITH HISTORY...sorry about the caps lock...what could be better? The only one of the 3 that likes cars that won't reach 200 mph, lol
4 people found this helpful
DJAReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Entertaining and informative
It's not really a car show, it's a history lesson with cars at the center. It's entertaining and informative; told with typical James May wit and snark.
2 people found this helpful
ZhangYaoReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
An overly politicized, but generally good entertainment.
I usually would describe May’s review as classy, entertaining while being informational. His review, even if it’s not about cars, usually is a blast. But in this series, especially episode 1, it is a devastating disappointment. Much less a car review, or even a history satire. The show focuses primarily from a British pretentious lenses and overly downplayed their formerly defeated enemies, and their cars. For literally every second, these cars in question bear the suspicion of propaganda, copycat, and bad simply because they are “commies.” All the while he seems to ignore the cost of these cars, a gargantuan, fundamental core and advantage over their western counterparts. The reviews are astonishingly double standard to a degree where it becomes not fun to watch and shows the producers’ naivety on history and its lessons.

Cars are innocent, and they will always be irregardless of what your view on history is!
cbmReviewed in the United States on July 12, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
History with no History?
How James May tells us the story of the peoples car without the Fliver is beyond me. Ford had a vision and it involved bringing cars to everyone. Sorry if you don't like that story James, but it is the history, and its bound up with how we go from individually crafted machines to the production line; whether you care for it or not.
M KReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely Awesome History of cars
This is Mr. May without the interruptions of Hammond and Clarkson, LOL! (secretly waiting to see them pop in somewhere) But enjoying the uninterrupted informative program. Thanks Mr. May and Amazon!
One person found this helpful
David HoltReviewed in the United States on December 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A different perspective
Good information AND entertaining.
One person found this helpful
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