|Hindustan taxi racing|
In the second instalment of the show − now in its 20th series − Top Gear’s executive director of the crucible of the prism of the furnace of motorsport, Professor Richard Hammond organised a world taxi shootout to find which could claim the crown as the world’s best taxi. The winner was India’s virtually indestructible Hindustan Ambassador.
Keen students of the car will note that this machine started life in Britain as the Morris Oxford but, with a quick name change, it went on to become one of India’s most enduring vehicles.
This particular example proved just how enduring the Ambassador really is when it saw off rivals from Britain, America, Germany, South Africa, Mexico and Russia to be named the world’s best taxi. It’s so tough that, although it now lives in World of Top Gear, with a quick wash and brush up, it could be back in service tomorrow – probably.
The Hindustan taxi joins a whole host of vehicles at Beaulieu created by the Top Gear presenters for some of their most ambitious challenges. Another recent addition is the Grannymobile, from the last series, painted ‘hearing aid’ pink and sporting such features as an extended bumper to accommodate knocks and scrapes and easy chairs replacing rear seats − to make getting in and out so much easier!
The ‘Enormodrome’ recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio with regular features from the programme, including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board, kept up to date in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of the best Top Gear moments.
World of Top Gear can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which also includes the National Motor Museum, BOND IN MOTION, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.
Beaulieu is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am. For more information telephone 01590 612345 or visit www.beaulieu.co.uk