Top Gear South Africa
Man On The Moon Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa
Man On The Moon Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa

Man On The Moon

How TG faked our Moon landing – not with Stanley Kubrick, but with a trip to Cancún.

Dan Read

BEFORE ANY CONSPIRACY THEORISTS WRITE IN, LET’S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT... We definitely faked our Moon landing. Total hoax. Never happened. TopGear can magic up many things, but parking a Land Rover on our lunar neighbour for a cover shoot is – for now – beyond us. Still, hell of an effort, don’t you reckon? I mean, proper Hollywood-grade fakery. But here’s the thing: it’s not quite as made-up as you might think. Some bits are so real you could almost touch them.

Don’t believe me? You’re not alone. So allow us to let you in on a few secrets. For starters, to shoot the new Defender on the Moon, first we had to take it to Mexico. In hand luggage. Yep, the car you see on the cover is, in fact, 16 times smaller than the real thing.

It was made by Land Rover’s modelling team especially for our shoot, and is one of the very first undisguised new Defenders in the world, micro-size or otherwise. So – this being over a month before the car’s official reveal – it was probably the most heavily guarded secret in the car world. Not only were we the first outsiders to see it, we were the first to remove it from its armoured bunker in the Midlands. Understandably, then, Land Rover’s people wouldn’t let us travel without a chaperone from their beefy security team.

And so we headed to Gatwick to rendezvous with our minder, expecting a six-foot-five bouncer called


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