site search by freefind
MotorBar: 1200+ unique in-depth car reviews. Plus travel & destinations, and 1000 DVD and CD reviews. Online for 14 years. Written by experts.
Top Gear Top Drives: Road Trips Of A Lifetime In The World’s Most Dramatic Locations

Top Gear Top DrivesHead out on the highway for some
  amazing drives
with Top Gear across
  six continents in a variety of exotic,
  hardy and classic vehicles to some
  stunning locations where they ain
t
  misbehavin
— or are they?

HERE WE GO… Get ready to kick ass in the
'States, eat dust in Oz and bust a tyre in Norway Top Gear Top Drives: Road Trips Of A Lifetime In The World's Most Dramatic Locations doesn't miss a trick as you're whisked off across six continents for a roller-coaster ride to die for.

And if it's Indian roads we're talking about here, you really are taking your life in your hands — Top Gear's Bill Thomas is speechless; astonished to escape "fatal accident after fatal accident", even while driving a go-anywhere Land Rover Discovery. In India, the Highway Code is apparently for wimps!

Relax and let the talented writers and photographers of Top Gear Top Drives do the work, steering you through some of the world's most beautiful scenery and meeting fascinating locals on the ride of a lifetime — without leaving the comfort of your armchair. The erstwhile Jeremy Clarkson must have hankered for that comfort while he was freezing his ears off at the timeless and ethereal Magnetic North Pole. Even while driving in a Toyota Hilux, the heating was banned because it interferes with "the special misery-spec Arctic on-board cameras"! Yes, guys...

In the Foreword, Jeremy says: "Top Gear Top Drives goes further, bringing you the most unusual combinations of car and tarmac from all across the planet." And that also includes an otherworldly visit to the sinister ruins of Dracula's Castle in Transylvania in a diabolically-black Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG with the hounds of hell baying at its heels — or at least, a pack of dogs. Sirens wait in the shadows to lure unsuspecting Top Gear drivers into devilish acts and they're lucky to get away without a neck puncture.

But that luck runs out in Norway as a Ferrari F430 Spider speeds through the Mad Max landscape — revving in a tunnel to create a Top Gear "eargasm". Halfway up a freezing mountain and in the middle of nowhere — with nothing but a survival kit containing snacks and eight cans of Red Bull — the front tyre on the F430 explodes. No problem: Two Ferrari engineers leap onto a plane with a balanced wheel and tyre, hire a Ford Focus and travel all night; fixing the problem in 12 minutes flat — "…like being hit by the service crew version of the SAS."

Michael Harvey's introduction promises: "Between these covers you'll find adventure, endeavour, jeopardy, bravery, stupidity, self-discovery and, of course, more than one Sunday evening celebrity." And, sure enough, Top Gear Top Drives takes you under and over mountains, across Polar planes, up the sizzling sand dunes of the Namibian desert, along remote and rugged coastlines, into the Australian outback, through Manga country in an iCar, to the remotest parts of China, across the Canadian wilderness and up Russia's M1 from Warsaw to Moscow in a Ford Mondeo — only to be met at the border by the gun-toting editor of Top Gear in Russia!

You chase The American Dream driving the Rat Packer route to Vegas; get arrested for speeding in Texas; have your Johnson's baby wipes freeze on a mission to the North Pole and your tears while driving an Ariel Atom to the Arctic Circle. And you dare to flash your Aston Martin DB9 in enemy country and take on a Lamborghini Murciélago on it's home tarmac.

Experience a Ford Mustang flashing past Roy's Diner on the old Route 66 in a "sleazy and paranoid" climate where you lose yourself a cop; and have an epic drive on The Stuart Highway in a Ford Falcon Typhoon to see Uluru at sunset and the beautiful opal mining town of Cooper Pedy with its classic Aussie main street. The photography is something else.

Who but Top Gear would take a Ferrari 599 GTB across the rocky roads of the Andes? And have a Jaguar XKR mixed up in a twelve-mile car chase in the US? Would you want to take a Lamborghini Gallardo to the Faroe Islands or a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle tripping around Northern India? Or dice with trucks in a tiny, nimble Polski Fiat 126 in Poland?

Top Gear Top Drives is a really weighty, fantastic book full of quirky rides with events that are totally happening — speed, excitement, wicked experiences and stupendous fun! Satisfied? You bet. These are Top Gear's road trips of a lifetime. Come on board and enjoy the ride.

Top Gear Top Drives: Road Trips Of A Lifetime In The World's Most Dramatic Locations is published by BBC Books (an imprint of Ebury Publishing) in paperback on 5 June, 2008, priced at £18.99.

"Top Gear Top Drives is a really weighty, fantastic book full of quirky rides with events that are totally happening speed, excitement, wicked experiences and stupendous fun!" — MotorBar

Top Gear: The Challenges 2 was released on DVD on 2 June, 2008, priced at £19.99.