This episode starts with a conversation about money in the tent. Clarkson explains that by putting money in a savings account, you’re doing yourself a misfortune. You should rather invest in a classic car.
There are however, some classic cars that haven’t yet started to appreciate. So they go on an adventure to try and find the next best investment.
They begin in a fishing port near Inverness, where Clarkson arrives in an Alfa Romeo GTV6. He bought it from an old man for £10,000, but before he talks too much about it, James May turns up in a Lancia Gamma Coupe. Clarkson says it’s one of the prettiest cars in the world, but doesn’t want to tell that to James who had bought it for £13,500.
James and Jeremy argue for a while before Hammond turns up in a Fiat X19 that he bought for £2,250. It’s starting to rust and has been painted a multitude of colours in its lifetime.
The trio decides to do the North Coast 500 road trip. It’s 500 miles around the North Coast of Scotland, but before they set off, Andy Wilman texts Jeremy. He tells him, if their cars don’t survive, they’ll be riding a bicycle home.
They set off, and straight away become disappointed with the scenery. Then one of James’ windscreen wipers falls off… This isn’t the only problem the car has, though. The car overheats, is prone to engine explosions, and, well, the main problem is the engine explodey bit.
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On the way, Clarkson is having trouble changing gear in the GTV6, but he explains that he still loves it, despite its human-like flaws.
Hammond loves his Fiat, but isn’t a fan of the close proximity of the pedals.
Hammond decides they should have a drifting competition on a go-kart track. But unfortunately, none of them have the power to kick the tail out. And well… James’ car is front-wheel drive. He decides to cover his tyres in something very slippery to induce tail-happy handling. It eventually works, after quite a few attempts.
Hammond and Clarkson do the same to their tyres, but they try wrapping their tyres in some plastic they found – it doesn’t work. He crashes.
They do the same with Clarkson’s car, but there’s a bang. His prop-shaft is broken. Unfortunately this means Clarkson is on his bike back to the pub, just as it starts to get very cold and wet.
The Next Morning
With Clarkson getting safely back to where they were staying, overnight he removes Hammond’s roof, only for Hammond to accidentally reverse over it in the morning. And to top it all off, Clarkson got his car back, too.
They begin by talking about James’ weird habit of putting insulating tape on the rear wheels of Scalextric cars to reduce their grip. But they quickly turn to how Clarkson fixed his Alfa Romeo – he didn’t, someone else did.
Onto the real news, firstly with Land Rover. They’ve developed a system to counter motion sickness automatically. They discuss sea sickness and their own horror stories. After that, they discuss a hover bike in Dubai. Hammond loves it, but Clarkson and May think it’s awful, complaining that it’s useless and dangerous.
Clarkson then goes on a rant about electric cars. For a long time…
The BMW M5 Review
Clarkson drives the M5 with an aim to find out if it’s actually what drivers want. It’s the fastest ever yet, so he has a drag race with a Mercedes AMG GT. The BMW wins by a long way, but Clarkson is put off by the four-wheel drive system and its turbo technology. But when driving it, he doesn’t feel like these are changing the driving experience. And when you turn off the AWD system, he loves it.
But there’s a competitor: the Alpina B5. It’s made to be comfortable and luxurious with a relaxed suspension and steering setup. It still does have a very 600hp V8 however. And that’s more than the M5. And because it doesn’t have a limiter, it will do 205mph. The M5 will pull away on a track, but the B5 will be the car that you’d want to take home.
Abbie Eaton takes the M5 around the Eboladrome and gets a time of 1:20.4, 4 seconds faster than the old M5. The Alpina gets a time of 1:21.6.
Back To Scotland
Back in Scotland, the trio start to travel through gorgeous scenic locations, but because Hammond is getting cold without a rood, they stop for a cup of tea. Hammond argues that they need to take another road because of its amazing views. They decide to do it, and are astounded by the incredible scenery.
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Clarkson tells the camera that it’s his birthday, but Hammond and May haven’t remembered. But while Clarkson pops into a local town to try and balance his prop-shaft, Hammond and May start to plan Clarkson’s birthday surprise.
They go ahead to set up his surprise party. Hammond cooks spaghetti bolognese, but goes on to deep dry it. During this time, May was organising the guests. Clarkson pulls up, can’t believe they’ve remembered, but is interrupted by James playing the bagpipes.
He quickly shouts that it’s the worst party he’s ever had.
The Next Day
Complaining that he’s not hung over and that the prop-shaft vibration was back, Clarkson continues through gorgeous Scotland, followed closely by Hammond and May.
Each presenter sums up their cars, explaining how they love each of them. Clarkson loves his Alfa so much that he takes it home to keep.
After an incredible drive, they arrive back at Inverness.
The Final Thought
Back at the tent, they explain that the drive around Scotland was possibly the best drive they’ve ever had. Since the film, James lost money on his car, as did Clarkson, and Hammond’s car blew up.