The Grand Tour

James May’s Top Gear Botswana Special Mercedes Has Been Found

We’ve only recently published an article on Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear Botswana Special Lancia Beta Coupe being found by YouTuber Alaska To Africa, but now the same channel has found the Mercedes 230E driven by James May during the popular episode.

As you can see from the video below, it isn’t in the best condition, with the engine not running anymore, and its exterior seeing better days. The car was obviously used previously, with the doors being welded back on as well as the roof.

According to the YouTuber, the car has been sitting in the field where he found it despite the car being used by its owner at one point after the special was recorded and the Top Gear team left it in the country.

This means that now, all three cars from the Botswana Special are known, with the final car driven by Richard Hammond being owned by him. Oliver, the Opel Kadett became an iconic car of the 2002 Top Gear era, with Hammond falling in love with the car and importing it into the UK. Since then, it has undergone a full restoration, but The Grand Tour presenter is now planning on taking it a step further and modifying it in some way.

It’s even a possibility that the car could be slammed, or turned into a hot rod. Hammond, who has a solo show alongside Tory Belecci later this month, has even teased a possible show starring the classic Opel which follows its journey.

“I’d like one day to maybe do a show using him for as many different things as I can,” he explains.

“I’d like to take him stage rallying, drag racing, take him circuit racing…”

He admits that he will have to “customise the car heavily” to be able to do this, but he’s very interested in taking the car through several evolution.

“I can drop a small block V8 in him for a bit. That would ask questions for the rest of the transmission and drivetrain, yes.

“He’ll tear himself to bits so he’ll need new everything underneath, but I’d quite like to take him through various evolutions. I think that could be fun.”

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One Comment

  1. Somehow finding of those cars (Lancia and Mercedes) warmes my heart. And i am glad that Oliver is alive and kicking:)

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