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Some Say: Former Stig Ben Collins Answers Questions On Reddit


The Stig in wardrobe

The Stig in wardrobe

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"Some say, he's illegal in 17 U.S. states, and that he blinks like this [sideways]."

Actually, it's 18 states, according to former Stig Ben Collins, who answered questions about his life as Top Gear's "tame racing driver" on Reddit. No comment on the sideways blinking thing.

Collins says he got to be the Man in the White Suit after introducing himself to the Top Gear staff and beating the old Stig's lap times. Still, he had to work hard to really become the Stig.

"I was entirely method. I slept in that suit. I spent family Christmases never revealing my identity. To anyone. Not even myself," Collins said.

Collins detailed some of the extraordinary lengths he went to to keep his identity secret.

He got a fake BBC ID card under the name Richard Jameson--a mashup of the three Top Gear presenters' names--and wore a balaclava while on location. When a police officer asked him who he was after pulling him over during one challenge, Collins replied "The Stig."

Collins said his favorite Top Gear car was the Ferrari 458 Italia, and his least favorite was "any kind of TVR." He's looking to get into the McLaren P1 hybrid hypercar or a Ferrari P4 next.

Jeremy Clarkson once speculated that the Stig's actual car was a Hyundai i10 hatchback, but Collins really owns a Volkswagen Transporter, and used to own an Audi A3.

On why he left the show, Collins said he had essentially been unmasked by media leaks, and was looking to get back into full-time racing anyway. His departure--and the memoir he subsequently wrote--created a lot of tension with Top Gear.

Collins describes his current relationship with his former colleagues as "frosty but warm--but not boiling, more luke [warm] with a slice of lime and hint of mint."

Recent rumors pointed toward race driver Gordon Sheddon being the latest Stig, but Collins says the truth is much stranger.

"There's several, bless them," he told the Reddit audience. Can the world handle more than one Stig?

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