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.
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.