See What Happened To Top Gear’s Challenge Cars From Its Africa Special
Top Gear became a show that was about more than just new cars. Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond were a formidable and funny glue that held the show together and drove some of TV’s most outrageous builds throughout the series. Some cars are now in a museum, while the hosts own others. However, not every vehicle used in the show got saved.
Three such cars are the BMW 528i Touring, Subaru WRX, and Volvo 850 R from 2013’s Africa Special. The Subaru remains missing, with only rumors alleging its whereabouts, but fans have found the Ford Scorpio wagon backup car sitting alongside the discarded Volvo. The Ford is in better shape, at least from the outside.
The 850 R is missing its front bumper, and the side rear window appears smashed out. The green paint has odd lesions covering it, with May’s mismatched wheels still installed on the wagon. Dust cakes the car, and the interior is dirty, but the engine allegedly still runs. The Ford’s interior is rough, with its seats torn to shreds, and the car suffers from several electrical faults, which isn’t a surprise considering it did end up at the bottom of a river during filming. Water will do that.
The video also covers the 528i Touring, but its pedigree is not as certain as the other two. The BMW looks stock, and it’s unclear if anyone would put in the time, money, and effort to put it back together after Clarkson’s chaotic ownership. The interior looks like it was returned to stock, too.
If you’re not into hunting down former Top Gear cars, Beaulieu Motor Museum’s World of Top Gear exhibit can provide a taste of the show. The museum revamped the display over a year ago, highlighting famous challenge cars. Must-see vehicles include the indestructible Toyota Hilux truck, the ski-jumping Mini, and the bungee-jumping Rover. Top Gear has turned some very old, beat-up, and junky cars into unlikely superstars that people still seek out a decade after the episodes originally aired.