TOP Gear fans can now see the cars from The Three Wise Men Christmas Special, in the World of Top Gear exhibition at Beaulieu.
For this year’s adventure, the Top Gear producers sent presenters Jeremy, Richard and James on their most dangerous challenge to date – following the path of the three wise men, starting – rather worryingly – in Iraq and finishing some 1,200 miles later, in Bethlehem.
A journey of remarkable scenery, fascinating culture and considerable scariness, it also did some terrible things to Richard Hammond’s bottom.
Jeremy Clarkson’s car of choice for this epic journey was a Mazda MX-5. Special features include a unique ‘car of many colours’ paint job, evidence that the car was once fitted with an ‘axle of evil’ and holes in the bodywork left behind by Clarkson’s rubbish ‘bulletproofing’ plan. Don’t bother looking for the hookah pipe though – that fell off. If this car was running you might be able to hear if it was spluttering on three cylinders again. But it isn’t, so you can’t.
James May’s malfunctioning BMW Z3 had a cunning camouflage paint scheme, inspired by the work of the Africa Corps and the Luftwaffe. This car does not contain the frankincense James bought in Bethlehem, but if you’d like to recreate that particular gift simply steal a small bottle of shampoo from a hotel.
Richard Hammond was pleasantly surprised by the reliability of his Fiat Barchetta although the missing ‘buttock’ didn’t make for comfortable driving.
Note the bits of actual desert carefully applied to the front of the car by smearing it in glue and then throwing sand at it, and the remnants of the Bedouin tent to the rear of the vehicle.
“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.
World of Top Gear features a collection of cars created by the presenters for some of their most ambitious challenges on the TV show over the years. Exhibition highlights include the Top Gear ‘Enormodrome’ which recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio, where the TV show is filmed in front of a live audience.
Regular features from the programme including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ boards are kept up to date in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the T G production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.