imageTop Gear: The Perfect Roadtrip
DVD, © 2013 BBC Worldwide

Seven days, more than 1,000 miles, 20 cars, two boats, a motorbike and one dream…

Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond set out to embark on The Perfect Road Trip, the latest in the show’s series of off-season DVD releases.

The aim: to select the ideal vehicles for each leg of an epic pilgrimage from Venice to the French town of Pau – home to the famous street circuit that hosted the very first Grand Prix race.

As is always the case with these off-season specials, one of the hosts is missing – this time it’s James May’s turn. While it may help quicken the pace of the 90-minute special, it does rob you of some of the critical chemistry between all three that is part of what makes Top Gear such a cult series.

Despite this, there’s still plenty of jaw-droppingly beautiful machinery on display to satisfy the most die-hard car lovers. From a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta to a Porsche Cayman S, there’s also the Aston Martin Vanquish, a Bugatti Veyron, a classic Jaguar E-Type, Pagani Huayra and a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series – to name but a few.

The duo pick their weapons for each driving leg, which included stops at the Autodromo Nazionale do Monza and the streets of Monaco, as well as beautiful stretches through the Southern European mountains and the Atlantic coastline.

It would be Top Gear without some of the traditional stunts and plenty of cheating in the challenges – particularly on the part of Clarkson – as the film builds towards its climax of arriving at Pau.

But then it all falls apart. The pair are stopped by the gendarme for – not surprisingly – speeding, and had their licenses and permits to film scrapped on the spot.

As a viewer, I had a mix of emotions at this. I had loved much of what had been filmed in the lead-up, but felt thoroughly cheated that the opportunity to relive the origins of Grand Prix racing was now robbed from me.

You have been warned.

Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Top Gear: The Perfect Roadtrip…


Top Gear: The Perfect Roadtrip is now available for sale at all good DVD resellers. Our review copy was kindly supplied to us by Roadshow Media.

CLICK HERE to view our other Top Gear media reviews.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.