Considering the excruciatingly long distance and the myriad of unflattering conditions these three cars were subjected to, it’s a complete miracle that the three drop-top sports cars Top Gear used in their “Christmas Special” made it all the way to their destination in Bethlehem.
Though there were some mishaps and unplanned detours along the 1,200-mile journey from Iraq, Clarkson’s Mazda MX-5, Hammond’s Fiat Barchetta, and May’s BMW Z3, lasted long enough to see the three deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense, and apparently, a Nintendo DS.
As a result of successfully completing the journey of the Three Wise Men, the three sports cars are now on display in the World of Top Gear exhibition at Beaulieu, UK.
They’re not in the best of conditions, to say the least. Clarkson’s MX-5 has bullet holes on its doors as a result of an experiment gone bad, Hammond’s Barchetta experienced radiator problems, and May’s Z3…well, it fared the worst of the three with a laundry list of problems. But like true steeds dedicated to bringing their masters to their destination, the three sports cars battled dirt roads, desert dunes, and even an impromptu NASCAR-style race, to find a way to get to their destination.
So to give honor to these noble four-wheeled sheets of metal, the three sports cars have been placed in the World of Top Gear Exhibition to join its fellow brethren of cars that have been used over the years in different challenges by the cast of the show.
It’s a well-placed recognition considering what they’ve been through.
As you may know by now, Top Gear is headed to Bethlehem for Christmas in order to follow the same route as the Three Wise Men using a BMW Z3, a Fiat Barchetta, and a Mazda MX-5 as their camels. A short preview of the episode was already featured last week, but the full trailer for the special has now been released.
The Christmas special will be aired on December 26th, 2010 and will feature a Top Gear version of the boys’ "own 21st century nativity play," but as a gift for the holiday season Top Gear will also air their regular episode on December 21st. This episode features an "epic road trip up America’s east coast" with the boys driving a Mercedes SLS, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and a Ferrari 458 Italia. In this segment, the trio put the sports cars to the test to determine which is the greatest. Other segments of the episode will include Danny Boyle’s track run of the reasonably priced car and "a round up of car-related Christmas tat."
There you have it, two Top Gear episodes in one week. Isn’t Christmas wonderful?
Last month we got news that the boys from Top Gear were hanging out on the other side of the world in some not-so-extravagant vehicles. In an effort to make a joke, we compared them to the Three Wise Men heading off into the desert. Turns out, we were kind of right.
For Top Gear’s Christmas special, the trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May are following the same route as the Three Wise Men. The only problem is the Bible says the Three Wise men followed the Star to find baby Jesus, so what route are the boys taking?
Making a few suppositions, Top Gear will start their trip from Persia, then head to Iraq - the "Cradle of Civilisation" before following the Euphrates up in to Syria and then down in to Jordan. After that, they head for Israel. And while the Biblical men were riding three camels, Top Gear will take their trip in a BMW Z3, a Fiat Barchetta, and a Mazda MX-5.
Those boys from Top Gear are just racking up their frequent flyer miles, aren’t they?
A few weeks ago, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May trooped to the US to do a number of scenes for season 15 of Top Gear. Now, the troika has once again been spotted in a foreign land about half a world away from US soil.
Yep, photos of the boys have been taken while filming somewhere between Jordan and Israel. From these photos, we see them riding a bunch of sports cars – not to the level of the Ferraris, Mercedes, and Porsches they were spotted driving around the US – that includes a cow-looking BMW Z3, a dinged up and muddy Fiat Barchetta, and a very colorful Mazda MX-5 roadster with a shisha on the side.
We don’t know what these chaps are doing with these cars, but given their nature of off-beat drives and wacky races, we’re guessing that it falls somewhere along those lines. There’s also word that they might be on their way to Nazareth, which is where Jesus himself lived for quite some time. Talk about a reincarnated version of the Three Kings riding sports cars instead of camels.
The Fiat Barchetta
is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1995 to 2005 (though production was paused between May 2002 and 2004).