- Patagonia Special Part 1 of 2.
- The boys go on an epic road trip across Argentina in three used coupes.
- Porsche 928 GT, Lotus Esprit V8 and a Ford Mustang Mach 1.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take three V8-engined sports cars on a gruelling 1600-mile journey through the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia. Along the way they encounter rough roads, collapsed bridges, broken bones and a cow as they press onwards against the odds in a quest to reach the southernmost city in the world.
The trio are challenged with finding a car with a V8 engine. Clarkson chooses a Porsche 928, which the other presenters mock for being boring. Hammond chooses a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1, which is berated for having a number of pointless features. James May chooses a Lotus Esprit, which is constantly belittled for its notorious history of unreliability; even James admits that it is “a risk”. They are first told that they have to travel 130 miles to Butch Cassidy’s final resting place, much to the shock and delight of the presenters, Jeremy in particular. On the way, they drive through Bariloche, a place Hammond describes as “a haven for Nazi war criminals”. Hammond’s car experiences problems at this stage; the Mach 1 has poor steering and requires a lot of fuel stops. It then breaks down a mile and a half from the destination, forcing him to push it the rest of the way.
After spending the night in the house, they are then told to drive to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the world, 1600 miles away. Hammond’s car breaks down a number of times which he blames on Jeremy’s route. Both the Porsche and the Mustang get beached in a swamp, forcing the Lotus to rescue them, much to their surprise. They also drive over numerous dangerous bridges, one of which is very unsturdy and ends up leading them to a dead end. At this point, Jeremy notes that although it is the most unreliable car to have brought, the Lotus is surprisingly doing the best. Along the way, they notice a Citroën 2CV following them, which they realise is the comedy backup car. Clarkson notes his particular dislike for this car, saying that the only reason he got on to the orginal series of Top Gear was because he spent his screentest ranting about how much he hated it for twenty minutes.
Hammond then decides to change the route, as Clarkson’s had led them along numerous dangerous roads which Hammond claimed to have damaged his Mustang. Hammond’s route proves to be worse, driving back over the Andes and on rickety roads. Hammond’s car loses two gears, and the Porsche’s window wipers bizarrely turn on without any instruction to. Jeremy cannot turn them off, and his engine breaks down numerous times. It is later revealed that damage to a shock absorber has affected the electrical systems. Hammond and May continue, and Jeremy is left with two options – to fix the car, which involves doing manual labour (something he hates) and is very complicated, or to drive in the 2CV. When the Lotus and Mustang stop, James is infuriated by Hammond’s camping suggestion. Hammond returns with a cow, though James opposes this, saying they already did that joke. Despite Jeremy’s incompetence, he fixes the Porsche and is also annoyed with the camping. James and Hammond annoy him further by adding garish visuals to the Porsche.
In the ensuing rant, Hammond is stripped of leadership, and the team drive on.