The roofless Reliant Rialtos driven by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc in their first road trip challenge of the BBC’s new Top Gear series have gone on display at Beaulieu.
The new presenters defended the honour of their nations in a 250-mile journey from London to Blackpool in the fibreglass three-wheelers in the first show of the series. The two cars came straight from filming to their new home in Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear, which features original and unique cars from the TV show.
Chris, driving the better performing car which was decorated in the British Union Flag, ended up helping Matt in his American stars and stripes painted car to complete the challenge when it continued to overheat.
The pair battled through wind and rain and Matt’s car even had to be carried part of the way on a flatbed truck in order to complete the challenge. Chris described Matt’s car as the “worst car in the world” and gave it a shunt in his Reliant Rialto to literally bump-start it on the outskirts of the seaside resort, so that it could arrive under its own steam for a night-time welcome under the Blackpool illuminations.
The challenge was the first of many for the new six-part series of Top Gear, the world’s biggest motoring show. More glamorous challenges include chauffeuring superstar musicians to the top of Africa in 4x4s and hitting the Rolls-Royce campaign trail in western Ireland. There will also be a battle of off-road baddies in the Ariel Nomad, a car made mostly from scaffolding.
German racer Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan and motoring journalist Rory Reid will join the presenters to put the finest cars from across the globe to the test, including Ferrari’s fearsome F12tdf, the McLaren 675LT, BMW’s pugnacious M2 and the screaming Aston Martin Vulcan.
At Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear, visitors can see cars from some of the most ambitious challenges on the TV show over the years – from stretch limousines, which were built to carry stars to the glittering Brit Awards, to the unforgettable Grannymobile.
Beaulieu’s Enormodrome also recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio with the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board and behind-the-scenes footages and clips from some of the best Top Gear moments.
World of Top Gear can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which also includes the National Motor Museum, Palace House which has been home to the Montagu family since 1538 and the 13thcentury Beaulieu Abbey and gardens.
Entrance to the World of Top Gear is included in the Beaulieu admission price and discounted tickets can be bought in advance online at www.beaulieu.co.uk. Beaulieu is open every day except Christmas Day from 10am to 6pm. For more information call 01590 612345.