This from the country that gave us Leonard Setright, George Bishop, Russell Bulgin, Phil Llewellyn...
I grew up reading their columns (and still re-read them - much to my wife's disappointment at how anyone can need so many old magazines - with my regular pronouncement "they're all dead now..."), continue to hunt out LJK's various books and still usually enjoy Top Gear. It reached a low point a few series back but there's more content now, more intelligence and less silliness (this is all relative - it's not Setright (who I disagreed with in equal measure to Clarkson's buffoonery) at his most highbrow by any means!)
Clarkson himself has referred to being a product of CAR magazine, growing up reading it in the '70s, as is May (who was a columnist in his post-Autocar days). Around 1990 CAR was doing similar challenges to those pioneered on TV with new TG, with May himself being involved, though I think Goodwin and Bremner were the originators.
Last night's finale will be seen globally and, by putting British vehicle manufacturing in such a positive light, probably contribute even more to the British economy than Top Gear's own vast net profit from overseas revenue.