Getting to Know Top Gear America Host Rob Corddry
His philosophy on car fandom, his Porsche 911, and the junk he learned to drive in.
Top Gear America host Rob Corddry may be best known for his comedy and acting, but his car enthusiasm runs far beyond driving the latest exotics on the HBO hit show Ballers.
"In my experiences with cars at a young age," Corddry said, "I made a choice to not get all bogged down in the details. And just get psyched about cars, in general. And yeah, I kind of know the different sizes of engines and I understand why, but I don't bug myself with that. I'm not getting bogged down in it. I guess I kind of know what a Positraction differential is, but don't test me on it."
He may not be a walking automotive encyclopedia, but it doesn't stop him from drooling over cars and talking about them any chance he gets.
"I'm so glad that I've talked about cars in enough interviews that the Top Gear America producers, I assume, they picked that up," Corddry said. "I also did a couple car-based little video pieces with some journalists. And so, they're not, it's definitely not, they're kind of deep cuts, I think, in terms of interviews. But you know, these guys have their ears out for that kind of thing."
But Corddry believes he speaks for Everyman, whose dream job would be to work for Top Gear.
"I was a big fan of Top Gear, the original," he added. "And I said, 'Look, I'm not that guy [on the show]. I'm none of those guys. I'm an enthusiast. I'm, if anything else, the audience.' You know what I mean? And they were like, 'That's perfect. That's all we want.'
"What I love about the original is the interaction between the three hosts. The audience, they like cars, but also, they're there to see the interaction. They're there to see us smile and get all excited. And drive, and potentially embarrass ourselves."
"I was a big fan of Top Gear, the original. And I said, 'Look, I'm not that guy [on the show]. I'm none of those guys. I'm an enthusiast. I'm, if anything else, the audience." —Rob Corddry
He may sell himself short for a laugh, but Corddry is no stranger to both good and bad cars, having owned plenty of each.
"It's not even worth talking about those cars," he said. We kept pushing, though, because cars that bad always have stories. He eventually relented.
"A 1975 Ford Pinto wagon that didn't have any floorboards. But it had the fake wood paneling," he begins. "A yellow Honda Civic hatchback, I taught myself how to drive a stick on that one. So there was the value, there. I had a 1970 mid-year Ford Falcon. And it was kind of a piece of shit. It wasn't like, when you think of a Ford Falcon, you're like, 'Oh, it's great.' It was a grandma car. It was my grandmother's car, and it continued to be my grandmother's car."
These days, he's far more interested in the cars he drove on TV than the classics, good or bad.
"You know, I was on Ballers, and I got to drive some pretty awesome cars on that show. And one of them was that stupid electric BMW i8. Which, actually, I don't think I wish I could buy that, but I would love a Shelby. I would like to buy an M2, because I just want to know what all the fuss is about that. And I drove a 12-cylinder Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. That car's insane. I mean it's like, it's way too heavy to drive, but it's fun. It's super fun, and beautiful. So there's that."
Although he's a bit undecided on new cars to buy, he does have his eye on a particular classic.
"An '87 Grand National GNX is my dream car, but I am in the market right now for a, probably '86 or '87, Buick Regal T-Type. Because, largely because of Dax [Shepard], he was like, 'You shouldn't get a Grand National. You should get a T-Type. '"
While he searches for his dream classic, he's happy with his daily driver.
"I drive a Porsche, it's a 2018 Porsche 911 [Carrera] S, which is my favorite car, ever."
His garage may be getting significantly fuller, now that he's on Top Gear America with Dax Shepard—at least if his kids have any say in it. It seems as though working with Dax is more impressive than getting the TGA gig in the first place.
"It's my kids that are more excited," he said. "When they found out, they knew who Dax was, but that all of a sudden he's married to Kristen Bell? Well, that changed everything for them. Now I'm sure they want me to buy like 10 cars, whereas before they were like, 'I hate your Porsche.' You know? And so they're like, 'Oh, just tell Dax to give her a message.' And I'm like, 'Uh, I don't know if we're going to do that yet, but we'll see. '"
Whether it impresses Corddry's kids or not, Top Gear America is now streaming exclusively on the MotorTrend App!
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Lead image illustration by Ryan Lugo. Photos courtesy of Discovery.