Fans of the BBC Top Gear TV series should consider a trip to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu Palace in southern England. One of its biggest attractions is Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear exhibition, which now includes the mobility scooters from the 18th series that survived the presenters’ recent challenge, currently unseen on BBC America but probably available online…
The unique scooters were created by the three presenters when Top Gear decided it could do more to help disabled people get out in the British countryside. They felt that off-road mobility scooters aren’t rugged enough and are expensive, so decided to design and build true off-road mobility machines at an affordable price and race them against some wounded servicemen driving off-the-shelf scooters. It didn’t end well!
Jeremy Clarkson’s machine was constructed from two conventional scooters, thereby giving it four-wheel drive and four wheel-steering.
The scooter created by Richard Hammond combines the front of a regular mobility trike with the motor and tracks from a powered barrow used to move heavy objects around construction sites.
Bringing up the rear, James May, created a wheelchair with an adjustable seat angle, built-in grit dispenser, and mounting for a tablet computer.
All three creations can be seen at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear, which features a collection of vehicles, created by the presenters, for some of their most ambitious challenges on the show over the years. Exhibition highlights include the Top Gear ‘Enormodrome’ which recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio, where the TV show is filmed. You will also find the Cool Wall and Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board, which is kept up to date in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.
World of Top Gear can be viewed as part of a visit to the Beaulieu attraction. This includes the National Motor Museum with more than 250 vehicles; the new BOND IN MOTION exhibition, which showcases 50 original vehicles from the James Bond films; On Screen Cars featuring TV and film favorites; Palace House; and the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey.
Beaulieu is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am-5pm. For more information visit www.beaulieu.co.uk