Here’s what Top Gear’s ‘The Stig’ now does as a day job

Key things

  • Ben Collins, aka ‘The Stig’, has gone from racing driver to successful Hollywood stuntman, working on blockbuster films such as James Bond and The Fast and the Furious.
  • He has also driven in other major Hollywood films such as Transformers and Solo: A Star Wars Story, showcasing his driving skills and versatility on the big screen.
  • Ben is currently working with GoPro founder Nick Woodman on a promotional video for the new Hero12 camera, highlighting the camera’s capabilities and the role of motorsport in its development.


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Back in the heyday of the BBC Top GearOne of the most interesting aspects of the show was the mysterious nature of the mute racing driver known simply as “The Stig”. Viewers have spent years speculating who the man behind the white helmet is – with the Stig’s superior driving potential and quiet personality a key factor in the show’s success.

After years of successfully hiding Stig’s identity, the mystery began to unravel in 2009, according to The Telegraph, when the British press began reporting rumors that British racing driver Ben Collins was actually the man behind the helmet. Ben published his autobiography the following year confirming the rumours, and was subsequently fired from the hit BBC motoring show.

The sacking didn’t put him out of work though, and Ben has since carved out a prolific career as a Hollywood stuntman. Ben also appears regularly on Drivetribe’s YouTube channeland today, works with GoPro founder Nick Woodman to show off his latest Hero12 camera and talk about his work on the silver screen.

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Ben Collins went from being a racing driver to becoming a James Bond lookalike

Ben Collins with James Bond and Stig's Aston Martin DBS
via Shutterstock and Getty Images

While Ben is best known for his role as The Stig, he first rose to fame as a top racing driver. Ben has been competing since 1994 and has driven up the Formula 1 ladder in Formula 3 as well as the BTCC, British and International FIA GT Series, Indy Lights and has raced several times in 24 hours of Le Mans race. Most recently, Ben has been racing a Praga R1 race car in the Praga Cup – finishing second in the inaugural 2022 season.

While Ben achieved moderate success as a racing driver, his most impressive performances were probably off the field Top Gear they are like a Hollywood stunt driver. Ben started working as a stuntman in 2004 working on film National treasure. After doing more work on the 2007 sequel, Ben was then cast as James Bond’s stunt driver in the 2008 Bond film. Quantum of Solace.

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Arguably one of the franchise’s most famous chases, Ben was tasked with driving V12 Aston Martin DBS through the narrow and winding tunnels around Lago di Garda in Italy as he is chased by several Uzi-wielding bad guys Alfa Romeo 159. Since then, Ben has been cast as Bond’s stunt driver Heavy rain, Ghostand There is no time to die.

Ben rode in many other big Hollywood movies

Video key details

  • Former Stig Ben Collins teams up with GoPro founder Nick Woodman to shoot promotional video for new Hero 12 Black camera
  • The video shows Nick in a Ram TRX chasing Ben in a Porsche 992 911 Turbo S
  • Drivetribe host Mike interviews Ben about his experience working as a stuntman in Hollywood
  • Mike also talks to GoPro founder Nick Woodman about the influence of motorsport on action camera development

While Ben was cutting his teeth in Hollywood Quantum of Solacehis next big role was in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 superhero epic, The Dark Knight rose. Ben says he was one of the many stunt drivers on set the infamous Batmobile ‘Tumbler’ – a custom military-style vehicle with a detachable Batcycle and powered by a 500 horsepower Chevy LS V8 engine.

From there, Ben went on to ride in arguably the most famous (or infamous) film franchise of all time, Fast and furious. Ben was cast as Vin Diesel’s stuntman Fast and furious 6which he describes as epic.

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With the recent influx of motorsport inspired films, Ben’s career has seemingly come to an end. Ben was cast as one of the stunt drivers favorite biopic of 2021 Ford vs Ferrariand will also perform driving duties in an eagerly awaited state Ferrari a film directed by industry legend Michael Mann. Mann was the director and pioneer of the cult TV show of the 1980s Miami Vice and he sure knows how to shoot a chase scene. Talk about coming Ferrari filmBen describes the shoot as pretty hectic with a lot of close driving with a mixture of period ‘hero’ cars and replicas mostly built on Caterham foundations.

Other notable films in which Ben has driven are from 2017 Transformers: The Last Knight and the 2018 Star Wars spin-off Solo. While talking to Mike on the Drivetribe video, Ben recalls that the speeder driving the desert v Solo was a custom vehicle built on a space frame chassis with rally-spec suspension and powered by a V8 engine that was later CGI modified.

Ben Collins Movie Stunt Ride Highlights

Year

Title

2004

A national treasure

2008

Quantum of Solace

2012

The Dark Knight rose

2013

Fast and furious 6

2015

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

2019

Ford vs Ferrari

2021

There is no time to die

2023

Ferrari

(information courtesy of IMDB)

Ben directs a short film to show off the latest GoPro Hero Camera

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S vs 2023 RAM 1500 TRX Specs

Model

2023 Porsche 911 Turbo S (992)

2023 RAM 1500 TRX

Engine

3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6

6.2 liter supercharged Hemi V8

Drivetrain

Rear engine, all-wheel drive

Front engine, all wheel drive

Transmission

8-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic

8-speed ZF automatic

Power supply

640 horses

702 HP

Torque

590 lb-ft

650 lb-ft

Mass

3,636 pounds

6.866 lbs

Price

$230,400 (MSRP)

$85,700 (MSRP)

(figures with permission Porsche/Stellar)

In what’s pretty clearly a promotional tie-in for the latest GoPro Hero 12 action camera, Ben teamed up with GoPro founder Nick Woodman to film a sort of impromptu chase between 992 Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Ram 1500 TRX pickup truck. While most movie chases take place in cities, on winding roads or on Hollywood sets, this rather low-budget affair is filmed at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, England.

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Ben directs the shoot, works with the Drivetribe film crew and tries to use the latest GoPro for as many shots as possible. Drivetribe’s video goes behind the scenes and shows the planning and shooting stages of a basic short film, while talking to Ben about his experiences working with different directors on different films over the years.

The basic plot is that Ben, playing himself, has a very important MacGuffin case that he transports in his 911 Turbo S. From there, GoPro CEO Nick chases Ben on and off the racetrack in his Ram 1500 TRX. In fact, the film won’t win any Oscars. Still, it highlights the flexibility of the GoPro Hero 12 and shows how motorsport has played a key role in GoPro’s development and evolution.

Ben Collins also has his own YouTube channel

Red Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 with DriveTribe's Mike Fernie left and Ben Collins (The Stig)
Via: DriveTribe/YouTube

While it’s doubtful that Ben would ever describe himself as a YouTuber or content creator, he regularly posts videos on his channel “Ben Collins Drives” gathering more than 125 thousand subscribers in the process. Ben’s content is also very diverse, with everything from collaborations with YouTubers to reviews of classic Group C race cars like the Rothmans Porsche 962.

While Ben’s most famous role will probably forever be ‘The Stig’, his talent behind the wheel has since resulted in plenty of amazing jobs. Working with some of the world’s most important directors and being a part of cinema history is definitely not a bad way to make a living.

Source: YouTube @ DRIVETRIBE, YouTube @ Ben Collins Drives, Porsche, Stellantis, The Daily Telegraph, IMDB, BBC Top Gear