Top Gear is the best car enthusiast show of our time. Watching Richard Hammond, James May, and Jeremy Clarkson tear across the globe in everything from a Bugatti Veyron to a Reliant Robin (which flips more than a gymnast) is television at its finest. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Top Gear, or someone wondering what Top Gear is, (Where have you been?! Antarctica?) these five episodes are great examples of what makes this show special.
1. Season 14 Episode 6
Season 14 episode 6 is a roller coaster of sheer cliffs, volcanic mountains, and dense rain forests. There’s suspense, victory, near death experiences, and the elation you can only experience after having survived one. The team, using just £1500 apiece, must buy a car in Bolivia and drive it over 1000 miles of the harshest terrain.
As always, this band of merry-men keeps the outlook on their grim situation bright with witty banter and obnoxious practical jokes. Watch as Clarkson takes a joke too far, and finds himself at the end of a machete!
2. Season 19 Episode 6 & 7
This two-part adventure begins in the heart of Uganda, where the team must buy an estate car (translation: a wagon) for £1500, and take it across the continent of Africa. Their mission: Find the source of the Nile River. On their quest, they’ll brave crocodile infested rivers, inhospitable hotel rooms, and massive mountain ranges.
But along the journey, their obstacles give way to an expansive culture, the exotic African wildlife, and some of the most breath-taking sunsets imaginable. Join the crew as they make their way into the guild of explorers by tackling the ferocious beauty of Africa.
3. Season 10 Episode 4
The Botswana special, is hot. Not only because it was filmed in southern Africa, but also because every car bought has a broken A/C. On this challenge, the teams once again receive £1500 quid and are told to buy cars that are neither 4-wheel drive, nor built to go off-road.
With these cars, James, Jeremy, and Richard take on the vast salt flats of Botswana – terrain that definitely calls for 4-wheel drive vehicles. Tune in to see who got the best deal, and who gets left in the dust.
4. Top Gear Polar Special
The polar special was a standalone Top Gear episode that takes place across the ice sheets of Northern Canada. Clarkson and May team up to race a specially-modified Toyota Hilux truck against Hammond on a Dogsled.
But before they embark, the team learns how to survive in the harsh polar environment. Luckily, they have a pixely-faced man (as pictured above) to gently guide them through their training.
5. Season 15 Episode 1
It’s with great regret that we suggest this episode of Top Gear. The team decides to make a journey through the great state of Alabama, and what they find does not speak well for the state – or the country for that matter.
We won’t spoil all the fun, but we will reveal that the episode involves rock-throwing and a redneck-pursuit. It’s as hilarious as it is terrifying. Alabama was not ready for the Top Gear crew.
How to watch the episodes
Parts of the episodes listed above are posted on Top Gear’s YouTube page, which means you can start watching them right now! If you want the full episodes, a quick Google search will reveal where to find them. Netflix is currently streaming all of the previous seasons, and mid-way through 2016 the trio will be returning on their new Amazon Prime Video show.