Top Gear (2002) s10e04 Episode Script

Botswana Special

Hello! Hello and welcome! Thank you very much.
Now, as you know, the producers on this show like to give us challenges, specifically where they give us a very small amount of money and tell us to buy a used car then they set unbelievably hard tasks to do to see which one of us got the best deal.
Yeah.
This week for a Top Gear special they came up with a real humdinger.
They gave each of us 1500 quid and told us to go to Africa and buy a car.
Yeah, and there were just two conditions: It mustn't be four-wheel drive and it mustn't be built, in any way, to go off road.
The meeting point was the border post between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
And, for once, I was the first to arrive.
Now, as you'd expect, I've done this properly.
What I've got is a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 230E, a car that Africa absolutely adores because it's comfortable, it's rugged, it's dependable and, frankly, if the other two have brought anything other than one of these along, they're idiots.
The first idiot arrived.
- Can you open the door? The handle's broken.
- It is a Lancia Beta.
Coupé, 1981.
The only Lancia of any sort in the whole of Botswana.
It's done 29,000 miles.
Mm.
One owner, is it? It was a little old lady.
And boy had she ragged it.
Yeah, that's normal, isn't it? That fizzing.
That's er Yeah.
What's the piece of cardboard for? Is that for mopping up moisture? - No that's because the battery - Oh, it shorts on the bonnet.
- Shorts on the bonnet a bit.
- Right.
You've done well.
So now what? Do you want a lift? We left the Lancia to cool down because Hammond was arriving.
- What the hell is that? - I dunno.
Could it be a Moskvitch? Ju Opel! It's an Opel! And on the front it says Kadett.
Yeah! What the hell have you done, man? It's an Opel Kadett from 1963.
- So that's the same age as you.
- Same age as me.
Yes, but it's much better nick than you are.
It was 1200 pounds.
I had much change with which to buy many beads.
How much more simple can you get? It's got two moving parts and it's been here for 44 years.
- I love the speedo.
- I do like a horizontal speedo.
I really do.
- Where's the engine? Hold on.
- It's there.
It's tiny! - Do you wanna know about the power? - Yes, I do.
- 40.
- 40? - 40 horsepower? - Well, they did do a sport version with 48 but I didn't want anything too lairy.
- You've both been idiots.
- No! Brilliantly interesting, brilliantly stylish - but stupid.
- Why's mine stupid? What is yours? Where is yours? Whoa! A Lancia? You have been a bit thick.
With the cars at the start line it was time for our challenge.
"The people of Surrey think they need four-wheel drive cars "because they live up a lane which sometimes has leaves on it.
"You will now attempt to prove them wrong by driving your two-wheel drive cars "from here on Botswana's eastern border with Zimbabwe" Just there.
"1000 miles to its western border with Namibia.
"That's right across the spine of Africa.
" I'm confident.
I wasn't.
We hadn't even started and the Lancia was playing up.
James chose not to wait.
He may be mechanically confident but he has just turned right which is Zimbabwe.
Which is where, I should point out, the BBC is not allowed.
Oh, hello! "Sorry, sorry.
I'm going now.
" The Lancia wheezed into life and Hammond and I set off in pursuit.
If you think of the cars that this inspired.
It was latterly built in Russia where it became the Moskvitch, which was rubbish.
And, of course, indirectly, the Vauxhall Astra.
Quite a lot of reasonably average cars owe themselves to this.
I don't know if you know but Africa is really quite large.
And when you're out in a very remote part you need a car like this, that can be mended with a brick and a piece of string.
What you have to remember is that three of the most rugged and successful rally cars ever made were Lancias - the Stratos, the 037 and the Delta Integrale.
Lancia know how to make a rally car.
Unfortunately, on the day my Beta Coupé was made they obviously forgot everything.
The gear box is broken, the steering's broken, the window's broken.
In fact, we all had problems.
Everything works, except this knob, which controls the blower.
I've got to have the windows open because there's quite a strong smell of petrol.
And that mirror over there which is actually slightly stuck.
Hazard warning lights, the clock, the fan, the handbrake, all of the dials.
The brakes are terrible because they only work on that wheel.
They work very well on that wheel, but only on that wheel.
And that instrument's a bit wobbly.
Apart from that everything that's actually important to the car works perfectly.
Apart from the handbrake, which I can pull like this as we go along.
This is just the happiest car in the world.
I should call it Oliver, not that we'd ever name a car on Top Gear.
I wish I hadn't said that.
It's now five past ten in the morning and it's starting to get quite hot.
I've got an idea.
Oh yeah, that's better.
Don't know what that is.
A horn! Oh, Oliver! You've got a cold.
Listen.
We were having fun but then we discovered we were traveling with Bill 0ddie.
- Why have you got a pen? - You tick them off when you've seen them.
Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed.
to even look at your car.
It's massive! Don't knock Oliver Don't knock my car.
That's a fine he's a fine - What did you call it then? - Oliver's a friend of mine - He's given it a name.
- He's given his car a name.
So far, the journey had been a doddle.
But then the tarmac just sort of stopped.
Oh, this is bad.
I can see from here just how hard the suspension on Jeremy's Lancia is having to work.
It's just a blur.
Come on, Oliver.
Please! The later you book a lift in the Mercedes, the more expensive it gets.
It's a bit like an airline.
Oh God! Oh! I've broken it.
Engine isn't working.
It's cut out.
Oh dear.
- He's done literally one kilometer of this.
- I know what's wrong with it.
The bonnet won't open.
- It's the bonnet catch, it's - Shut up! Hammond was tetchy because he knew the price of failure.
Anyone who's car broke down would have to complete the journey in a Beetle.
It is collectively our least favorite car in the world.
- Ooh, yes.
- It is the punishment.
Please! Oh! Hang on! Hang on! Ooh! Come on, Oliver! What did you say? I said, "Oli Oli I love ya!" - Oh my God.
- What now? My car's on fire, but in a very specific place.
Wow! Look at that.
It was a magnifying glass? - There's a laser beam coming through it.
- It's like you dropped acid on it.
Oh, his piece of cardboard's gone.
So it sets itself on fire.
If you don't have a piece of cardboard.
We drove deeper and deeper into the bush.
Lancia, yeah! What is that? Looks like the sea.
Eventually the road disappeared altogether.
People of Surrey, I hope you're watching this.
We are driving a Lancia Beta Coupé, well, just in the middle of whatever you call this.
The good news was we'd successfully reached our campsite for the night.
The bad news came in the shape of another challenge.
"Stretching before you is the Makgadikgadi.
"These are the biggest salt flats in the world, "almost completely lifeless and as wide as Portugal.
"No car has ever driven across them.
"If you run out of water you will die.
"If your car breaks down and you can't be rescued you will die.
"If you run out of food you will die.
"It's like driving on a creme brulée.
"There's a primeval ooze covered with a thin layer of salty crust.
"If you have thin tires you will break through that crust, get stuck and you will die.
" So it advises to fit fat tires and remove as much weight as possible before setting off.
- Well, how hard can it be? - Don't say that! In camp, the weight-shedding began.
Ready? That doesn't work.
Thanks awfully.
- Wow, feel how much this seat weighs.
- Like your work.
Ah! Fuel filler, I'll need that maybe.
I don't want to take the hub caps off really cos they protect the hubs.
- Can I point something out? - What? Hammond's walking round his car muttering about how he needs all of it.
I know exactly what he's doing.
He's formed an emotional attachment, hasn't he? It'd be like saying to him, "Could you cut bits off your wife?" The next morning, on the edge of the salt pans, we thought we'd come under attack from a Bond villain.
But it turned out to be the vice president of Botswana.
That is a cool ride.
It is.
It's better than an official Rover 75 and a couple of policemen on motorbikes.
He was amazed to hear what was being planned.
I've just never known anybody to go across in a car.
This'll be the first time, I think.
- There they are.
- Oh, really? - Oh, really? - Yes.
- That should be interesting.
- You were smiling, you've just stopped.
Buoyed by the vice president's optimism, we set off.
Nothing really prepares you for the sheer size of these.
I think, in a way, that it's more frightening than the Pole.
There's absolutely nothing.
You can see the curvature of the earth.
As we ploughed on, the little 0pel was going well.
Oliver is just skipping.
Boo! This car was born to do this.
Sadly, despite the weight-shedding, my Lancia was not doing so well.
Judging by the way the tires are kind of digging in as I'm driving along, I think a little bit more has to come out.
Still, as you can see from the tires' grooves, I was doing better than the Merc.
I'm looking at James' rear wheel and he is digging in a long way.
I tried to help him along.
Really helpful.
Well, there's always the Beetle, James.
It's waiting for you.
What are you gonna do? It's sinking.
- We've done How far's that? A mile? - If that.
My Lancia waded in again.
Just a nudge.
- That's a crash - There's a thing.
Unfortunately, because it was an automatic, it was useless.
So, we told Richard to try.
But he didn't want to hurt 0liver.
This was hopeless, so we had to rope in the camera crew.
Three! Two! One! Hoy! Because the ooze was so bad, we had to get even more drastic with the weight-shedding.
We toiled away for hours.
Da-da! Oh God! Well, two of us did.
And then finally we were ready.
Now, this is light.
Lancia Beta Coupé Superleggera! Not a modification! - This is excellent.
- Why don't all cars have no doors? When I come to power I'm gonna make it a rule, cos this is just better.
However, the Makgadikgadi was not going to let us off that lightly.
And soon even our super-lightweight cars started to struggle again.
Come on, just Oh! Oh, yes.
No, this isn't good.
Oh, no.
which was bad news for me.
Yes! Come on, man! I'll go forwards, Hammond, then we'll do it again.
Hang on.
- How far is it? - Five or six yards and we might be Bobby.
Oh, this is just horrible! Keep going, keep going, keep going! Keep going! Yes! Yes! No! James, don't go there.
You'll get stuck.
That's close.
Come on! Oh, permission to say cock.
- Can we have everybody? We'll push it off.
- We need 100 men or more.
No! This is hopeless.
People of Surrey, you need four-wheel drive for this bit.
The gunk was so sticky it had completely jammed the Lancia's rear wheels.
I can't describe You just think it's just mud Do you know what it is? Fish.
It's just rotted prehistoric fish.
One, two, three.
Mercifully, the ground eventually hardened and we made good progress.
But then suddenly the horizon was no longer flat.
This is interesting.
We're now coming between what look like islands.
And I suppose they are.
This was a lake, so they would have been islands.
Amazing.
Absolutely amazing.
Where are we? It's called Kubu Island.
We're about I'm trying to think.
a third of the way across.
And you've been stuck about a thousand times.
That is smug.
A Baobab tree.
I've always wanted to see one of those.
- Hammond, look at this.
- Whoa! It is just about the most astonishing place I've ever been.
God, I'm with you there.
As the sun set, we headed for the campsite.
Day two on the salt pans, and we'd been told that today our problem would not be mud but dust.
That meant James and I had to rethink our wardrobe solutions.
I've teamed my keffiyeh with a bin liner.
V-necked! The last time I wore one of these I went to see the Clash.
Frankly, I thought it was all a bit much.
I mean, how bad could this dust be? Aargh! My eyes! Crikey, I can't even see Jezza already.
Oh, no, no, no, no! Meanwhile, in my unmodified Kadett I'm gonna adjust my quarter light a bit.
Just an inch.
That's better.
I can feel the hate now.
It's nice.
Me kakai's come off.
Hello? James and I made it through the dust with our lives considerably shortened.
I've got consumption and TB.
I've got every single 1920s disease.
And then Lord Smug piped up.
I had to close this at one point.
About that much, then it pulls the air out and you get fresh air through.
It's nice.
Know what it's like when someone punches you really hard in the face? I do, actually.
Then the surface got even worse.
It was like we were descending through the seven circles of hell.
Oh no! I'd assumed it'd be the salts that would kill the notoriously rust-prone Lancia but it was the rough going.
Even though it had now smoothed out again, the Beta was in a bad way.
- I've gone.
- Are you conkered out? - I've got no power, no drive.
- Do you remember what the man said, Jeremy? Break down and you will What is it? Have a nice time? No, die.
Well that's loose, that's hot.
It is a good job they canted this engine over by 20 degrees cos that means it's more inaccessible than it would otherwise have Oh my God, look at this.
For God's sake.
I gotta say it has been nice, the peace.
You know, not having him around.
I've checked the alternator, the spark plugs, the HT leads and the distributor cap, poked around with the starter solenoid.
There's been faults with all of them, but it still isn't going.
I'm not sure which I favor most here - certain death or that Beetle.
Come off! Oh, for God's sake.
I honestly believe it's had it.
- Is my car on the crab? - No, it's tracking true, mate.
He's worried about tracking and look at it.
We knew that Jeremy would eventually catch us up, but what would he be driving? I can see something in the mirrors.
- Please let it be a Beetle.
- I do hope it's a Beetle.
Please, please let it be a Beetle! Please let it be a Beetle.
I'm back! Oh, Jeremy, well done.
I'm disapp Sorry, delighted.
You're not in a Beetle! Not a Beetle! A fully-functioning Lancia Beta Coupé! I just wanted the Beetle to pounce on you when you were straying behind.
I'm gutted.
- Shall we just sandwich him, James? - No! With our convoy back up to strength, we pressed on.
Apart from Jeremy being Bill 0ddie occasionally.
- This is where flamingos breed out here.
- So that's breeding, is it? - It's a fossil.
- It's not, it only died about two years ago.
- I was talking about you.
- It's an ex-flamingo.
- Look! - What now? I know what created this.
- Ostrich.
- Yes! It's legs are miles apart.
That's exactly how it was walking.
You know David Attenborough's about to retire? Can I just say, you look like a gay cowboy and you look like a gay terrorist.
No, you look like a terrorist with a broken windscreen wiper and your face is ridiculous.
Then Hammond started to pick on my car.
- Why haven't you turned it off? - It's gathering electricity.
So, if you turn it off the battery's not going to start it again.
- Turn it off and start it then.
- Yeah, go on.
Turn it off and start it.
Let's have some beautiful silence.
- Are you ready? - Yes.
- Are you ready? - Yes.
Behold.
- Why did you turn it off? - Because he said it would - Good luck.
Somebody'll give you a jump start.
- It'll be fi Don't go away.
Goodbye! Annoyingly, Clarkson got the Lancia going again, and then we came across some big birds.
Wow! And then we saw even more wildlife.
There's a cow.
Two cows, three cows.
Yes! We've done it! We had crossed the Makgadikgadi.
Trees! Life! Mate, did you ever think that you'd do that? I'm genuinely proud of him.
I am! Really, I'm startled that this It isn't a car any more, whatever it is, has done it, with its low-profile tires and its low suspension that's broken.
Personally, I'm absolutely delighted cos I think the Makgadikgadi is one of the most unpleasant places I've ever been.
It's just a big bowl of dust.
Hello, mate.
Widow Twankey may have been glad to see the back of the salt pans but despite this they gave us a startling parting gift.
That is amazing.
That's the moon? Yeah, that's the moon.
Because of the dust from the pans you get A moonrise.
An orange.
I've got goose bumps.
I know a Philip Larkin poem about the moon.
Would you like to hear it? No.
As a new day dawned our cars looked like wrecks.
But their ordeal was far from over.
Yes, we had crossed the salt pans, but we were still only a third of the way across Botswana.
And now, we were about to enter the Kalahari.
The Kalahari.
Everyone who comes to the Kalahari takes away a different memory of it: The savagery, the simplicity, the vast heat.
Me, I think the bumpiness.
It was as rough as hell, so we were glad when news came through that we were to stop at the next village.
They seem to recognize a truly classy car.
What could they possibly have in mind for us here? It was another challenge.
There you are.
"Your cars have traveled far and suffered much.
" Yes, they have.
"So we will now discover how much performance they've lost "in a competition against the clock on a rally special stage.
" Mine can't have lost any performance, it never had any.
- True.
- I'm not gonna ruin my Mercedes just for a few points.
- You're right, you're not.
You're not driving it.
- Well, who is? Some say he's seen The Lion King 1,780 times and that his second best friend is a cape buffalo.
All we know is he's not The Stig, but he is The Stig's African cousin! Wow! He's protected the important bits.
Keen to get going, the three of us fired up our engines.
And we drove to African Stig's rally stage which was in a dried-up river bed a few miles away.
With packed spectator stands 0liver went first.
Three! Two! One! - Go! - Start! Three miles an hour.
You know when it was new it had 40 horsepower? - If it's lost one a year it's at minus four.
- Minus four, yeah.
He's going round the first corner, hold on.
That was a power slide.
Look at that, it does look "Ridiculous" is the word you're looking for.
As the Kadett struggled to get up the hill, the spectators left.
It is having a Come on, joggle it, Stig's cousin.
He's enjoying that.
- And one minute, 12 seconds.
- Oh yes! That's a good benchmark for you to try and beat.
Next up was the Panzer tank.
- Most powerful, longest, best tires - Heaviest, slowest.
What, longest? - Longest is good for rallying, is it? - It is on this.
So on loose-surface rallies why don't they turn up with intercity trains? Go! That's the most ridiculous spectacle I've ever seen.
A Mercedes with no bonnet, no front wings, no doors.
In the hands of African Stig though, it was flying.
That is the latest in a long line of pedigree-lightened Mercedes-Benz sports cars.
There's never been a Mercedes rally car.
Oh, yours is flying up the hill, mate.
Look at it go.
You wait till you see, the Lancia will dance through there.
Oh yes.
Lovely.
Oh! It's out of control there.
That's a big slide! - One minute, six.
- I'll just do my ancient I hate you gloating.
Let him.
It's like winning a semi final.
Time now to put James in his place because the Lancia was on home turf with its rally pedigree.
Stratos, 037 What? It's not dust, it's on fire! Shut it down.
Can you turn it off? Look at it all! Stopwatch still running.
45 seconds.
We'll replace the seal and then when it's cooled down a bit he'll be able to do the lap.
You'll have difficulty though.
He's off.
Maybe he's started.
Start the stopwatch.
I think he was in a hurry - so he decided not to take your car.
- Jeremy.
- What? - You're right, though.
Your engine, it's canted.
The next day, in the center of Maun, we got our next challenge.
- This is it.
- Ah, the glittering golden envelope.
"You will drive your cars to Namibia through the Okavango Delta.
" That's the really big wildlife place.
"In the Okavango you will encounter many deadly animals "including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, "wild dogs, hippos, black rhino and crocodile, "bird snakes, shield-nose snakes, puff adders, "boomslang, cape cobras, banded cobras, "black mambas, black widows and thick-tailed scorpions.
" - What about the honey badger? - The what? That's the least scary-sounding animal in the world.
A honey badger does not kill you to eat you, it tears off your testicles.
- It does not! - Why's it called a honey badger? - Cos that's what's made it angry.
- Why isn't it called the badger of death? In order to protect ourselves from the lions and the honey badgers, Jeremy and I would have to rebuild our cars.
But because we'd left all the bits on the other side of the salt pans, we had to use whatever we could find.
Could a lion eat this? Grrr! Who do I see about the corrugated metal? Suppose I better practice, at least, my lion drill.
Oh no! There's a lion coming! Ah! What shall I That.
Oliver will protect me.
Because Mercedes were very popular in Africa, James soon found a spare door and boot lid for his car.
And while he was looking for more bits, I hatched a plan.
Look what I've got.
- That's a cow's head.
- Yeah.
Now, this will attract flies which will make his life unpleasant.
- Yes.
- It will also attract lions, tigers He effectively becomes a burger van driving through.
And to make sure the lions didn't miss - Oh, yeah! That's a whopper! - That's a good piece.
Oh, yeah, under the seat.
- And the smell - Oh! The smell will be beautiful.
We also attached a cowbell to the underside of his car.
But while we were doing this, he was making merry with the paint.
That afternoon we left Maun and headed north to the 0kavango Delta.
Right.
My car now has been readied.
As you can see, I have a wooden door here.
It's a gull-wing, so I can get in and out, obviously.
God, this is like being in an allotment shed.
On a very windy day.
On the left I have all the cans that were in the car for the last few days, they've been arranged.
And the piece de résistance Badgers, go away.
I am the road warrior.
Mad Jeremy.
It's a police car.
Can anybody else smell burning or is it my car? Is it like a barbecue smell? As we went through the gates and into the game reserve, the road changed again.
For the worse.
This is new.
Very soft sand.
To stop our cars bogging down we had to drive as fast as possible.
We had ourselves another rally stage.
Amazingly, even Jeremy had his work cut out keeping up with the 0pel.
Hammond's car just looks so composed.
I'm developing this irrational hatred of him and it.
Ho-ho! This is such a good game! Eventually he was slowed down by a bridge over the river Kwai.
The rally stage had taken its toll on one of the cars.
Take a guess which one.
I'm in a car which, as you can probably hear, has got a throttle that's jammed wide open and I can't hold it on the brakes.
Hammond, move! You're gonna have to go fast when I hit you.
What? - Oh, God! - Thanks! Well, help yourself to my brakes! - Why not? - I've lost a skull.
Monkeys.
I'm sorry, I can't Whoa! Just hear the throttle.
That's tick-over.
Look, my leg's not on it.
Having bodged my throttle, we headed deeper into the 0kavango.
Front, twelve o'clock One o'clock.
This is where wildlife cameramen come to make a name for themselves with David Attenborough.
But, unfortunately, our film crew are best really with cars.
A giraffe on the right.
There.
The big thing.
If we ever do a program called The Back End Of An Animal, these are the boys to hire.
This week on Too Late To Look Baboon on the left with animals, with a baby on its back.
To give our crew a chance we stopped, and discovered that we weren't much good at animals either.
- Wow! Look! Look! - Where? - A hippo's head.
- It's probably a whole hippo.
The rest of him's under the water.
What does a hippo do just before it's about to attack? Opens its mouth.
It can open its jaw there's a thing it can do.
Oh, look! Aw! Look at that.
They stop for a drink, using their noses to shovel water into their mouths.
Jeremy, that's a rubbish commentary.
James took over.
That one's lifting its paw up a bit like a dog does.
- Paw! - Hoof, foot, whatever you call it.
- Hoof? - What is it on an elephant? It's amazing.
There's a man over there with the best combover I have ever seen in my life.
That is He's got four partings as a result of that, can you see? Why don't "You're bald, live with it.
" Oops, he caught me looking at him.
- I was looking through binoculars.
- I was looking at the elephants, really, I was.
Look at that sun now, boys.
Elephants, rally special stage, - best combover I've ever seen.
- Everything's here.
We camped by the river and while James serviced his car I hatched a plan.
- Jeremy.
Jeremy.
Jeremy! - What? Quick, come here.
Come here.
It's the cow's head.
It wasn't working in the boot but I've had a better idea.
- What? - Tent.
- His tent? - Yeah.
Love your thinking.
It's the second one from the right.
You find it.
That's it.
Put it under his bed.
- Shh! - What? - What was that? - That was a hippo.
What? Clarkson There's a very big hippo.
Oh my Look at that.
Hippos spend all day in the water and then they come out at night because I can't remember why.
Well, thank you.
That's useful.
What's that? Oh, brilliant! Look, do you wanna go out there with a hippopotamus? Or do you want to stay in here with a horse's head? - That's not a question that's ever been asked.
- It's not a horse either, it's a cow! Erm, hang on.
That's my bag in James' This is my tent! Oh man! Get it out! border felt like it was in another time zone.
But still there were many miles of delta to cover, and our cars were in a really bad way.
The bush mechanic we have on the team took two cubic feet of sand out of my carburetor last night and asked if I wouldn't mind driving a little bit more slowly today.
James' cowbell! getting more and more out of their depth.
This is proper off-roading now.
Men in camouflage trousers in Wales who like murdering people at weekends would say this was tough-going.
It was a whole Oh! - What is it? It's like iron.
- It's a tree root.
I think I've bent my steering rack a bit.
Wow! Wow, there is an elephant right there.
Got my door down.
Cos that would stop an elephant.
Soon our route was blocked by a river and what you're supposed to do is wade in to check the depth.
Right.
James went first and I said I'd watch for crocodiles.
I say, there's a ground-hornbill over there.
It's getting deeper! - Ooh! Hang on a minute! - Permission to say cock.
It's coming in! Thunderbird One to the rescue! Come on, I'm sinking by the bows.
Coming.
- Aargh! No! I can't help you! - Come on! - James, I'm in a low-slung sports car! - I'm going down! - That's good.
Yes! - I've got water coming into my car! Oh, I've got a wet bottom! We're through! Both our cars were flooded but our guides weren't bothered at all.
People of Surrey, if this happens to you, you get water in the foot well and you need to drain it out, you need a hole, well, the people of Botswana have a tip for you.
Meanwhile, using patience, I'd found a proper crossing point.
There is a technique to fording rivers, even on a proper ford like this.
You've gotta keep enough speed up so you push a bow wave like that then you use whatever power you've got in the engine.
Come on, come on, come on.
Oh my! No! Oh God! He stalled! He's going down! I can't open the door! Oh God! Please! Come out! Come on! Float! Float! Float! Oliver! Hammond, how's it going? Well, I got a bit of water in him.
We did as well, but it doesn't matter cos we used the rifles, we shot the cars and the water's all drained out.
It's brilliant.
Good.
I might need the rifle.
As a local tourist truck pulled me out, the laughing hyenas arrived.
May gave his diagnosis.
Starting from the top, the battery's probably pretty knackered - and then the carburetor will be flooded.
- Mm, very.
Then working down, the distributor cap, that'll be full of water.
The engine itself, if water went into the cylinders you might have compressed it.
- The oil will be ruined - I know all this.
I can fix him.
- You are going to try and mend this? - If you'd leave me to it, yeah.
So we did.
Oh, that's harsh.
That is quite harsh but go on.
Oh, you'll like this one.
# It's sad # So sad # It's a sad, sad situation Unfortunately, you can only give a man so much sympathy, so James and I went ahead to make camp.
Hammond knew that in the morning, if his beloved 0liver wasn't fixed, he'd have to leave him behind.
So he got our bush mechanic to bring the generator down and worked on through the night.
Morning came, and still no Hammond.
I'm knackered today.
I mean, I'm feeling quite like an explorer.
- That Hammond? - Is it a Beetle, more to the point? No way.
No way.
Oh yeah! Yeah, he's back.
Ah! And here's the best thing.
Remember the horn which was rubbish? It's excellent.
Is that technically possible? Probably not.
With all the cars defying all the odds, we began our final push to the border.
My car is working perfectly, as usual.
I've got no brakes, the pedal goes straight to the floor and I have to declutch to stop so I just tread on my own foot, so I'm using the handbrake.
Hal The Lancia could beat that.
Every time I brake it spears off to the right and I'm unable to steer left to correct that.
This has now gone from being a nuisance to being downright dangerous.
We soon reached the end of the 0kavango, so we pulled over to remove the animal protection.
And then, guess what? The Lancia simply would not get going again.
It now won't start because the starter solenoid's chosen this moment to pack up, but when it was running it wouldn't move off in any of the gears.
It was just that last 60K, it had that feel of a car that was dying.
Richard actually sympathized because he'd been there.
As for James? Beetle! I'm not gonna give up.
I'll push it.
Is this a good time to acknowledge that mine is the only one - that has worked consistently? - No.
This is worrying.
I need to be home by Saturday.
I've been invited to a Beetle drive.
The entire crew was working on the stricken Beta.
Until we were rewarded with the most glorious sound in the world.
Life.
It lives! It lives! I got a whole hundred yards.
Oh, not stuck! My idle speed's not good.
Bye, everybody! I can't stop! Please! Please! Soon, we hit the tarmac and we started to taste the hope.
Just 20 miles, you can do that, you've crossed Botswana.
Now I'm stuck in second but second will do.
Obviously, mine would keep going to the other side of the whole continent but, you know.
Come on, ten miles, please! Then something really surprising happened.
Oh no, not now.
Please! Because the Lancia had been such a problem child everyone was fed up with it.
Carburetor's gone.
Even if we can get that fixed, the starter motor is gone.
We've put it into gear, it goes into third.
That stalls the engine and you're back to square one.
The border was just five miles away.
This is an object lesson for the owners of old cars everywhere.
- You can drive 'em round the world.
- Yeah, it's really relaxing.
Come on.
Border! a thousand miles, I've still got half a car left and very bad hair.
I don't believe that.
Sorry! I've got no brakes.
I've Yeah.
It's there.
We've done it! All we had to do now was wait.
Wait to see which car Jeremy arrived in.
- Is that an engine? - That's a car.
Unmistakable clatter of an air-cooled engine.
It's gonna be the Beetle.
And it was.
But I wasn't driving it.
- I'm almost pleased! - Yes! Oh, that's excellent.
Watch it! Brakes don't work! Sorry, there's no brakes.
Congratulations.
That's astonishing! I think, realistically, we have to say the Lancia's won it.
- Why? By what possible measure? - Erm No.
- It's the most surprising.
- It's the worst.
Well, you don't buy a second-hand car to be surprised that it still works.
- It had to be rebuilt once a day.
- But You're right.
It's rubbish.
- Mercedes is the best car.
- What? - What have I had to do? I've had to - Take the entire body off! It's a showroom model, James.
I admit that it's not entirely original but in mechanical terms it was perfect.
You cannot break that I think, honestly, we have to be magnanimous here because only one of the cars has actually made it unmodified.
So that brings us on to a Top Gear top tip.
If you want to replace your BMW X5 with something that's brilliant off-road - Simple.
simple, inexpensive.
- Easy to maintain, surprisingly comfortable.
- Absolutely.
Then you've got to get yourself a Volkswagen Beetle.
- What? - It's true.
He's right.
You've replaced all the electrics in that