An elderly motorist branded Jeremy Clarkson ”irresponsible” today after his Reliant Robin was tipped over twice by yobs recreating a stunt from Top Gear.
Fed-up Barry Cloughton, 78, had his three-wheeled car flipped on its side twice in 48 hours following an episode of the BBC motoring show.
During the show – aired on Sunday night – host Clarkson is shown repeatedly turning a Reliant Robin on its side as he speeds round corners.
Over the next two nights Barry, of St Austell, Cornwall, found yobs had attacked his white three-wheeler and pushed it over on its side.
The first attack happened at 11.30pm on Sunday night – just two-and-a half hours after Top Gear was broadcast on BBC2 from 8pm to 9pm.
During the attacks the car suffered a smashed wing mirror, scratched paint work and damaged one door beyond repair.
The total repair bill is at least £1,000 and following the first incident Barry was so distressed he need medical treatment from paramedics.
Retired heating engineer Barry, who has owned Reliant Robins for 40 years, says he believes the vandals were inspired by the episode of Top Gear.
Barry, a great-grandfather-of-five, has now branded Clarkson’s stunts as ”ridiculous, irresponsible and dangerous”.
He said: ”Twice I found my car on its side in the driveway and whoever is doing this thinks it’s funny but it is very distressing.
”It all followed Top Gear where a car like mine was being flipped over. I think they saw the broadcast and that put the idea into their heads.
”It might all be a laugh for Mr Clarkson but believe me this is not funny for me – I’ve been vandalised and nearly ended up in hospital.
”Robin Reliants do flip quite easily and the last thing yobs need is someone showing them how to do it. His schemes are ridiculous, irresponsible and dangerous.”
During Sunday night’s episode, Clarkson drove a 17 mile route in Yorkshire in a Reliant Robin which was seen regularly flipping on its side.
Clarkson, 50, was then helped to right the car back onto its wheels by a number of celebrities including Peter Stringfellow.
The episode was first shown in June repeated again on Sunday night as part of a ‘best of’ show.
But just over two hours after the broadcast Barry’s car, one of the last off the production line eight years ago, was flipped on its roof.
He said: ”That cannot be a coincidence. Mr Clarkson was on television at 9pm flipping a Reliant Robin on its side and minutes later mine was on its side too.
”That car is special to me as it was one of the last ones off the production line when they stopped making them.
”The fuel was running down the road and I was worried about my neighbours. All it would take was one was one match and the car would go up in flames.”
Police and paramedics were called to the scene on Sunday and the car was righted – but on Monday night at 3am the yobs returned and flipped it again.
Barry, who suffers from angina and diabetes, has driven the iconic cars ever since he finished his national service with the army in 1970.
He has owned several of them over the years and the only other vehicle he has ever driven is a tank during his time in the forces.
Sergeant Steve Reid of St Austell police said paramedics had to be called to the scene at around 11.30pm on Sunday.
He said: ”Due to the stress of one incident the 78-year-old owner suffered a minor medical incident. He was treated at the scene after having trouble breathing.
”He has been targeted on two occasions in what appears to be antisocial behaviour.
”I would appeal to the offenders that they do not realise the implications and the stress they are causing the victims of their crimes.”
A BBC spokesman added: ”We do not condone these actions.”