Top Gear specials were the best, weren’t they? We watched as Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May embarked on adventures across the world. They drove through war-torn cities, pushed three beater cars to their limits, and sometimes even made the history books. But what was most important to us viewers was not only the chemistry between the presenters, but the relationships they built with their cars.
Oliver, Richard Hammond’s Opel from the Botswana special is a prime example of this. He loved that car so much that he had to bring it home to Wales where it underwent a full restoration. He still owns it to this day, and it’s become one of the most famous cars from Top Gear history, up there with the invincible Toyota Hilux and Geoff.
But Clarkson’s Lancia from Botswana was just as interesting, and while he didn’t form an emotional attachment to it like the Alfa Romeo GTV6 from The Grand Tour’s Scotland Special, it left a mark on Top Gear fan Ryan Ball.
He and his family, after lots of calls and research, went on the hunt to find the old Lancia Beta Coupe which was apparently left to rot in the African country. You can see their travels by watching the video below. While there’s a bit of controversy surrounding this find, everything points to this being the correct car, as it sits lifted from the ground and without its wheels. In fact, it’s looking rather sorry for itself.
It’s said that before leaving Botswana, the team behind the Botswana special reattached the doors and sold it on. Since then, it looks like it’s been through the wars.
What was your favourite special episode car? Let us know in the comments.