Clarkson, Hammond and May competition - who will break down first?
Despite some silly speculation from the UK media surrounding the trio's next move, the filming for The Grand Tour Season 3 has officially kicked off. And Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have set about an epic challenge: driving three classic Italian cars around the entirety of Scotland.
It will be the ultimate test of road trip ability and - most of all - reliability; two things that Italian classics aren't exactly renowned for.
Clarkson has posted a video challenging you guys to guess who will break down first and what will be the cause of the breakdown. The winner will receive an exclusive prize signed by the guys themselves.
So which chariots have the trio chosen?
Jeremy Clarkson - Alfa Romeo GTV6
Jeremy has chosen a car that is very dear to his heart, as the big man once proclaimed that the GTV6 is the car he most regrets selling. Considering the vast array of vehicles he has owned over the years, that's one hell of an accolade for Clarkson to bestow upon the V6 Alfa.
He said: "The GTV6 is the car still to this day that makes the nicest noise of any car I've ever driven".
No pressure for this £10,000 specimen, then.
Featuring a 160bhp, 2.5-litre V6, the Alfa is capable of reaching 60mph in 8.5 seconds and tops out at 128mph. Not bad for 1983.
What The Grand Tour's mechanic found on this model:
- Slight smell of petrol.
- Driver’s side mirror doesn’t work, passenger side mirror is slow.
- Clutch is a little stiff, crunch from gearbox on way down.
- Slight oil leak drips onto the exhaust and smells when warm.
Richard Hammond - Fiat X1/9
Hammond has opted for the "baby Ferrari" that is the rear-engined Fiat X1/9. Developed for the American market, the little X1/9 did a bit of rallying at the hands of Abarth but was much more renowned for its ability to rot into nothingness, with cheap Russian steel being the culprit.
The 85bhp four-cylinder engine puts Hammond well down in the power stakes but the little Fiat is by far the lightest car in the group, coming in at just 920kg. That makes it 290kg lighter than the Alfa and nearly half the weight of James' car, which we'll get onto in a moment.
What The Grand Tour's mechanic found:
- After market aerial has been glued on to the soft top so the roof won’t come off.
- Spare wheel behind driver’s seat.
- Boot doesn’t hold itself up.
- Has been re-sprayed from a lighter blue to colour it is now.
- Bonnet stay catches on the wing when you try and open it.
- Engine overruns when you turn it off.
- Fuel gauge not working.
- Temperature gauge also seemed not to work.
- Only one door mirror.
- Previous owner has spent over £7000 on mechanical work.
James May - Lancia Gamma
And now for the real wildcard of the group.
May has opted for one of few cars (Subarus aside) to have ever used a flat-four engine. The Lancia Gamma uses a 2.5-litre H4 that wasn't exactly the cleverest of engineering designs.
The cambelt on one side of the engine is known to jump due to having to run the power steering pump also. A significant enough jump could lead to mistiming of the engine valves opening and closing, causing catastrophic damage to the internals. The thermostat is also in a dodgy position which led to many head gaskets failing on these cars.
Also known to become rusty at the slightest exposure to moisture, May has really thrown caution to the wind for this trip.
What The Grand Tour's mechanic found:
- No code for the radio.
- Passenger side mirror only works on two of its axis.
- Temperature slider moves itself back to cold when A/C button pressed.
Now that you know the details of the three cars, it's time for a little competition. It's down to you guys to get your betting hats on and decide which one is going to be the first to sit broken at the side of a Scottish country road.
If you can guess which car will break down first AND pinpoint what will go wrong, you will win a DriveTribe T-shirt signed by each of our three road-trippers.
To submit an answer, comment on Clarkson's video (link below) with your prediction and we'll see who among you has the power of mechanical foresight!
Will it be James and his time bomb of a Lancia blowing a head gasket? Could it be Richard putting his foot through the rusty bulkhead of the wee Fiat? Or will the transmission in Jeremy's GTV6 cause him further heartbreak considering how much he loves the classic Alfa?
Good luck with your predictions and let the commenting commence!