The Grand Tour is one of the most popular car shows on television, featuring three of the world’s most famous car enthusiasts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. The show has been on hiatus for some time, but last year they filmed the next episode in Eastern Europe. In this article, we will discuss the release date, story, and cars featured in the Grand Tour Season 5 Special, which is set in Eastern Europe.
Is The Grand Tour cancelled?
While it’s been confirmed by the presenters that the show isn’t cancelled, The Grand Tour may be taking an extended break until 2024. This update comes from a source closely connected to the show which recently shared this news.
Since the show’s transition from a tent and live audience format to more elaborate and highly produced road trip episodes, The Grand Tour has been releasing special episodes sporadically over the past few years. However, recent reports suggest that fans of the show may have to wait even longer than expected for new episodes to be released.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May were in the process of filming a new episode in Europe during mid-2022. However, with episodes being reportedly pushed back until 2024, fans of the show will have to exercise patience and wait for new content.
Next Episode Release Date
Because the next episode is on a reported hiatus, we have no idea when it will be released.
This is a shame, as just after filming the Eastern European Special, Jeremy Clarkson was involved in an interview where he talked about what they’d been doing in the European countries, as well as when it could reach Prime Video.
“Well, we came in through the mountains from Hungary, so it’s just straight away very pretty. And then it stays very pretty to here. So it’s just very pretty,” he said.
“Well, this is, it is actually the finish point for a long – about a 2,200 kilometer drive from Gdansk at the top of Poland. All the way down to Krakow, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and then here.”
He was further asked how long it would be before its release:
“A very long time. Is it six months, perhaps? Six months,” he tells the interviewer.
Unfortunately, if this was true, the episode would already have already been released to Prime Video, so we’re thinking he may have misspoken here.
The Grand Tour Season 5 Special will take place in Eastern Europe, a region that is known for its stunning scenery and fascinating culture. The episode will feature the hosts driving through several countries in the region, including Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. The team has promised that the episode will be filled with exciting challenges, stunning locations, and of course, plenty of car-related shenanigans.
In the Summer of 2022, The Grand Tour team returned from Europe after a long stint of filming. Travelling from Poland to Slovenia, the trio drove 2,000km to bring us what looks to be the best episode so far.
Arriving in Gdansk
Clarkson, Hammond, and May leave Oxford International Airport on June 19th on a private jet. They landed in Gdansk, Poland soon after, where their journey began.
Here, they joined their three cars, a Chevrolet SSR, a Crosley Convertible, and a Mitsuoka Le-Seyde which they took to Długia Street. According to Google Maps, this is completely pedestrianised, but according to local reports, the filming was done under secrecy with not even the local law enforcement knowing about the team and their plans.
This area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city leading from the Golden Gate to Długi Targ square. It looks like the trio drove the length of this, as well as around the post-shipyard areas, the port, and Westerplatte.
This is where our assumptions begin. Gdansk is home to where the first gunshots of World War II were shot, and this theme continues to a few of the locations the team travels to later in the week of filming.
Before they left the city, a hot rod based on a 1959 Ford Popular was also spotted. This will become more prevalent later on.
Did The Grand Tour Travel to Ukraine?
It was a couple of days into filming when fans started wondering if The Grand Tour was heading to Ukraine. As we know, Jeremy has been very passionate about supporting the people of Ukraine since the war with Russia started, so at this point, it wasn’t such a stretch, especially when Jeremy showed his support of driving armoured vehicles into the country on Twitter.
As we now know, the team didn’t make it to Ukraine. Instead, they travelled South-West.
Zielona Gora – The Grand Tour Visits Vineyards
We followed the trio as they travelled to Zielona Gora, a city in the Lubusz province of the country. It’s known for its endless vineyards so it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see Clarkson, Hammond and May tasting some wine at this point of the episode.
It also has connections to WWII, with it being reported that 30% of the city had been damaged by the Germans.
Richard Hammond Crashes At Tor Poznań Racetrack
Continuing West, the trio were spotted at a racetrack. I did some investigation work and figures out that this was the Tor Poznań racetrack in the city of Poznan. The track almost became part of the F1 calendar in the ’80s thanks to its connection to Polish F1 driver Robert Kubica, but this never came to fruition.
This didn’t stop Clarkson, Hammond and May from driving some open-wheeled race cars around the track. As you heard, Richard Hammond lived up to his antics and crashed into a barrier. He was unhurt but the car sustained a little front-end damage. According to our sources, this was caused by the engine seizing. Hammond was seen next to the wreck in a racing suit with May standing next to him looking a bit disappointed in his fellow presenter.
Judging from a photo of Jeremy with a stopwatch hanging around his neck, it looks like they were doing timed laps here.
James May Breaks Down
As the trio headed from Poznan to Lower Silesia, Hammond’s bad luck was passed to James May as his Crosley broke down. We don’t know what happened to the car, but it was pushed onto the back of a trailer as May waited for a replacement.
What was that replacement? The hot rod, of course.
The Grand Tour Visits a German Concentration Camp
Next stop: Jeremy posted a photo to his Instagram account of Stalag Luft 3, a German concentration camp in the town of Sagan, Lower Silesia. This continues the WWII theme and should act as a sobering moment in the episode. Around this time the team also visited Krakow.
Leaving The Country and Entering Slovakia
After a brief drive through Czechia, the trio was seen driving through Slovakia, the country where there are the most cars produced per capita. Here they visited Patak Motors who showed the presenters their car, the Roadster.
Jeremy Clarkson Drives The Skoda 1100 OHC Spider
Still in Slovakia, Jeremy gets into the driver’s seat of a Skoda 1100 OHC Spider, which he describes as “absolutely fantastic”, at Piešťany Airport. At the same time, James May was spotted driving the KleinVision AirCar.
The Road To The Finale
The trio continue their travels through Bratislava where they go cycling by the Danube River before continuing to Hungary, and eventually Slovenia.
Slovenia, The Final Destination Of The Grand Tour European Special
Here, Clarkson and Hammond were spotted on Lake Bled without May in the northwest of Slovenia in the Julian Alps. Again, we don’t quite know what they were doing, but they were seen rowing a boat onto the lake before Hammond stood up, rocking the boat.
Despite this being an incredibly popular area for tourists, barely any footage from around the area was taken which is a shame.
The Cars of the next Grand Tour Special
Jeremy Clarkson – Mitsuoka Le-Seyde
Based on a Nissan Silvia S13, this sports car is made to resemble a Zimmer Golden Spirit. under the body panels it retains a lot of the same running gear as the iconic Japanese sports car, but as these cars are so tunable, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out it’s been modified in some way.
In an off-white, it’s definitely the most identifiable of the three cars used in the upcoming episode.
Richard Hammond – Chevrolet SSR
The Chevrolet SSR is very, very cool. Standing for Super Sport Roadster, the SSR is powered by either a 300 horsepower or 380 horsepower V8 depending on the year. The year of this exact car I can’t figure out, but it’s safe to say these things were negatively reviewed when they were revealed. But its retro shape has kind of stood the test of time and I’m really excited to hear what the show’s resident American thinks of this interesting but impractical car.
James May – Crosley Convertible
The Crosley Convertible is yet another car from America which tried to capitalise on the lack of cars available after the war. The owner of Crosley, Powel Crosley, Jr., actually made his money from refrigerators and radios before WW2, but 1946 brought this horrible thing. Creating just 26 and a half horsepower from its 725cc engine, this slab-sided vehicle likely won’t be fast enough to stay in front of the camera for too long.
Although this might actually be a good thing if you know the mess James got into the last episode…
We spotted this car broken down later in the process of filming, so it will be interesting to see if it makes it.
Backup Car – 1959 Ford Popular
A hot rod, based on a 1959 Ford Popular, can be seen from photos of The Grand Tour trio taken during filming. Painted in a pearlescent blue with writing down the side, this car is certainly a standout part of the episode. And after May breaks down, he can be seen driving it later during filming.
Jeremy Clarkson Drives The Skoda 1100 OHC Spider
The 110 OHC Spider, or “Red Racer”, was released in 1956. The idea for the car was only imagined a number of months before this, but Skoda was quickly able to spin up production to produce this sleek, low-slung, high-performance car.
And that it was, despite wielding only a 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine producing 85 horsepower, it could reach 124mph at full chat. This was a lot of power at the time and the reason? High-octane aviation fuel. Who knew Skoda used to be so cool?
Jeremy takes this for a spin, but we’re unsure exactly where.
James May Flies The AirCar
Similarly to an old Top Gear episode, James May has apparently taken to the air in the AirCar, a car that’s capable of flight.
Powered by a 1.6-litre BMW engine, the AirCar has been issued a certificate of airworthiness by Slovakia’s Transport Authority. the Slovakian company achieved its first intercity flight in June 2021 where it hit speeds of 170 kilometres per hour (105 mph) over a distance of 1,000km. Once on the land, a single press of a button transforms it into a car.
KleinVision, the makers of AirCar, said the following:
“Based on the fact that the aircraft met the conditions of national regulations set for individually manufactured aircraft and the required level of safety was demonstrated, the Slovak Transport Authority (STA) has issued a special certificate of airworthiness.
“After obtaining the type certificate, it can manufacture the aircraft commercially.”