This year’s Top Gear Christmas Special saw Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embark on their most dangerous challenge yet: following the path of the three wise men, which took them on a 1,200 mile (1,932 km) journey, from Iraq to Bethlehem. In classic Top Gear fashion, the TV show hosts completed the trip in a trio of specially modified cars. These vehicles are now on display in the World of Top Gear exhibition at Beaulieu, UK.
Jeremy Clarkson bet his money on a Mazda MX5 that featured a unique “car of many colors” paintjob, an “axle of evil” and body full of holes, as a testimony to a “bulletproofing” plan gone wrong. An oversized bullbar and hookah pipe were also installed, but the latter fell off at some point in the journey.
James May went for an Afrika Korps and Luftwaffe themed BMW Z3, complete with a shovel and pickaxe mounted on the bonnet, plus a gas canister on the left fender.
Richard Hammond used a Fiat Barchetta, which, surprisingly, proved to be quite reliable. Special touches applied included actual “bits” of desert glued to the front of the car and parts of a Bedouin tent strapped to the rear.
World of Top Gear features a collection of cars used over the years in different challenges by the cast of the TV show and it also includes the “Enormodrome”, a recreation of the actual studio where the show is filmed.
“We like to keep the exhibition as up to date as we possibly can and what could be better than for fans to see the show on TV and then the cars just a few days later”, said Stephen Munn, Commercial Director at the National Motor Museum.
For more information visit www.beaulieu.co.uk.
By Csaba Daradics