IRVINE, Calif.--Hidden away on an arid stretch of Orange Country land that once housed a Marine base, a wonderland for gearheads exists--complete with super cars, a test track, and custom automobiles lined side-by-side halfway to the mountains. It's the set where the History Channel produces the U.S. version of "Top Gear," the BBC's hit car show.
"Top Gear" returns on July 24, and BBC Worldwide Productions and History Channel invited CNET to visit the set earlier this week on the final day of shooting for the second season.
While show hosts Adam Ferrera, Rutledge Wood, and Tanner Foust shot segments and recorded voiceovers for upcoming episodes, I explored the set and wandered blissfully through the fleet of elite, custom, and wrecked vehicles sprinkled around the studio grounds. I even got to set foot on the esteemed track where The Stig (the show's anonymous racing driver) power-tests some of the world's elite cars. … Read more