Three luxury cars dubbed the Aristocars from the latest Top Gear filming are to go on show in the World of Top Gear at Beaulieu
Stripped of their plush interior fittings and modified to survive a gruelling six-hour endurance race at Silverstone, Matt LeBlanc’s Bentley Turbo R, Chris Harris’ Mercedes 600 SEL and Rory Reid’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow are quite unlike any normal race cars.
In episode four of the new series, Matt, Chris and Rory were challenged to buy a second-hand car for the same price as the UK’s cheapest new car, a Dacia Sandero. Not surprisingly with a budget of £6,000, the presenters aimed high and snapped up three special executive saloons with powerful V8 and V12 engines.
With his 1988 Bentley, Matt chose a coveted British super saloon with impeccable heritage, while the grandiose appearance of Rory’s 1975 Rolls-Royce was equally imposing and Chris opted for German quality with his high-spec 1992 Mercedes.
The cars were pitted against each other on the Top Gear test track, challenged by Stig at the wheel of a Dacia Sandero and tasked with avoiding obstacles on the ‘Top Gear real-world urban driving simulator’. The greatest test was to complete the Birkett Six-Hour Relay Race at the famous Silverstone circuit. Extensively modified for track use, the trio of cars swapped leather seats for roll cages and beefed up the suspension to create unlikely looking racing cars.
Visitors to Beaulieu can see the Aristocars on display in the World of Top Gear, which was recently refreshed with new exhibits from recent Top Gear filming while continuing to pay homage to the programme’s past.
The World of Top Gear is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu, which also includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, On Screen Cars, the ancestral Montagu home of Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey, the grounds and gardens. Tickets can be bought in advance online. For tickets and details see www.beaulieu.co.uk or call 01590 612345.