Best Grand Tour Specials Ranked

Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: IMDB

Introduction – Best Grand Tour Specials

Well, I guess the BBC rightfully cancelled the Russia Special; I don’t need to explain why. Nevertheless, there are still some fantastic Grand Tour Specials. The locations range from Scandinavia to Franc – oh, they filmed that in Wales. And there’s the knock-off Planet Earth Special in Colombia too. All of these specials are reminiscent of the stupidity of the Top Gear specials. But to celebrate these mad episodes specifically, why not rank the best Grand Tour Specials? But before I get into the list properly, here’s some history about this bizarre yet popular TV show.

History – Grand Tour Specials

The Grand Tour Specials first started airing during series one of The Grand Tour back in 2016. And the first Grand Tour Special was The Beach (Buggy) Boys. They follow the iconic trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May on a long-form adventure or challenge somewhere around the world. This was in the same vein as the old Top Gear Specials, which isn’t that much of a shock. Furthermore, after the Grand Tour finished its weekly episodes, we learned that the Special episodes would air from 2019 onwards.

These included A Massive Hunt, Lochdown, and Carnage A Trois amongst others. (Oh, and props to the guy who created the pun titles!). Now, the most recent Grand Tour Special was Eurocrash. And the next Grand Tour Special is in Eastern Europe … or so we think. Indeed, the Specials are potentially in peril because of a certain hateful person. However, what better time is there than now to rank the best of the Grand Tour Specials? So, let’s get going!

Best Grand Tour Specials – Top Ten

10. Survival Of The Fattest (S3, E13)

Survival Of The Fattest
Image Source: IMDB

Kicking off the list of the best Grand Tour Specials is Survival Of The Fattest. Now, if you’re a regular viewer of the Grand Tour, you may presume an American location due to the obvious jokes. However, the episode actually takes place in Mongolia. And it sees the trio having to build a homemade offroader to cross the Mongolian Steppe. So where are the trio trying to get to? A town with a pub which is definitely open … right? However, there are plenty of funny moments, like the treacherous offroading for a pint they can never have. Overall, it’s a solid episode.

9. Feed The World (S2, E11)

Feed The World Grand Tour
Image Source: IMDB

Who do you call to solve the hunger problem? Three middle-aged British men in a pickup, a motorbike, and a Mercedes Benz 200T. Now, the goal of this Special was simple: deliver fresh fish to the village of Bongo in Mozambique. So, how hard could that be? Well, Hammond’s choice of a motorbike didn’t go exactly well for him on muddy roads. Consequently, more of his fish end up on the road than Bongo. The funniest part of this was James’s Mercedes breaking. That was because of the sheer amount of weight from the saltwater fish tank in his car. Oh, there’s also Clarkson constantly breaks testing May, soaking May every time, which is a funny gag.

8. Seamen (S4, E1)

Seaman Grand Tour
Image Source: IMDB

Bet you can’t guess what the trio are up to here? If you said, “buying boats and messing around in Vietnam and Cambodia”, you’re absolutely right. However, what starts as a simple sail from the Mekong River to Tonle Lake turns pretty mad, pretty quickly. It’s a pretty fun Special. And a change in the episode location due to a monsoon really adds some mad context. Furthermore, on a much lighter note, this is one of the few episodes to not feature cars. That’s a brilliant trivia note. Overall, it’s a fairly decent show, and one of the better Grand Tour Specials.

7. The Beach (Buggy) Boys (S1, E7 + E8)

The Beach (Buggy) Boys
Image Source: IMDB

Ah yes, the one that started all the Grand Tour Specials off. So, where are the trio this time? Well, in Namibia driving beach buggies. That sounds pretty fun, right? Well, until you realise that they must navigate over the treacherous sand dunes to the capital city of Windhoek. One highlight is the differences in camp supply shopping between Clarkson, May, and Hammond. Not forgetting the moment where Jeremy sort of reverses his beach buggy into a V8 engine. Overall, it’s a very fun introduction to the Specials for those who haven’t watched Top Gear.

6. Colombia Special (S3, E2 + E3)

Colombia Special
Image Source: IMDB

Remember when I mentioned that the Colombia Special was almost a knock-off Planet Earth? Well, that’s because it involved the trio photographing various animals around Colombia. These included black bears, jaguars, and condors. What followed was utter chaos as Clarkson turned up with a camera that was 95% lens, aka a Daily Mail camera. There’s also May throwing rocks off his fellow host’s cars, and Hammond coming up short. No seriously, he couldn’t get into his monster truck without a stepladder. Overall, this is a very funny Special.

Best Grand Tour Specials – Top Five

5. A Scandi Flick (S5, E1)

A Scandi Flick - Best Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: Yorkshire Post

So at the halfway point of the list, we arrive at the most recent Special: A Scandi Flick. Now from the title alone, it’s obvious that this is taking place in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. But what exactly is going down? Well, it was a road trip with the trio travelling from Norway to Finland, via Sweden, in AWD Rally-inspired cars. And naturally, it goes mad. For instance, Clarkson decides to freeze Hammond’s keys in a bath, because why not? Oh, and thankfully, James May was okay after his gimmick infringement of Hammond. This is a relatively strong episode that deserves its place on our list of the top Grand Tour episodes.

4. A Massive Hunt (S4, E2)

A Massive Hunt - Best Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: Hagerty UK

Well, this is just an interesting episode, isn’t it? Mostly because of the switcheroo that the crew pulls on the trio. Our heroes don’t just drive their high-performance, pre-production cars around Reunion Island’s nice bridge. Nope: instead, they must embark on a treacherous treasure hunt in Madagascar. Naturally, this leads to some very fun upgrades. An example is when James’s Caterham ends up widely unsuitable in hindsight. And there’s also Hammond reinventing the wheel with caterpillar tracks. Surprisingly, James didn’t enjoy it and spent most of the time muddy and collapsing into hotel pools. Overall, this is very funny stuff.

Best Grand Tour Specials – Top Three

3. International Buffoon’s Vacation (S3, E8)

International Buffoon's Vacation - Best Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: IMDB

Now, this just feels like a lad’s holiday, only with a massive budget. So, given the trio’s hatred for motorhomes and caravans, the producers naturally send them on a motorhome holiday in America. Obviously, each man modifies his motorhome with interesting results. Hammond makes a massive tent with a deck on the back of a lorry. May makes a moving pub on wheels. And Clarkson makes a minimalist motorhome with a steering wheel on top. Naturally, that ends extremely well! Other highlights include Hammond and Clarkson throwing a massive party, RV demolition derbies, and speed-racing dune buggies. So there’s plenty to love about this episode. And yet it doesn’t make our top two Grand Tour Specials?

2. Lochdown (S4, E3)

Lochdown - Best Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: IMDB

Ahh yes, the Scottish Special has plenty of deep-fried food and rain. I mean, what else can I summarise? Okay, so with lockdown restrictions in place, the trio must use their American cars to tow caravans around. Naturally, this descends into chaos when Hammond and Clarkson flood May’s caravan while he’s in a service station. Oh, and they must somehow build a massive bridge. The same bridge that traps James, by the way. But that doesn’t even cover how James keeps deep frying all their food (peas, kedgeree, and carrots) with interesting results. So, this is a very chaotic and entertaining Special.

Top Ranking – Best Grand Tour Specials

1. Carnage A Trois (S4, E4)

Carnage A Trois - Best Grand Tour Specials
Image Source: BT

And the best Grand Tour Special is… Carnage A Trois. Now, why is this the best one? Because it’s the closest the trio ever came to recapturing the pre-2015 Top Gear magic. This is evident in the insanity from the off. Due to Covid restrictions, the settings for the French special are, well, English and Welsh. So, why does this top our list of the best Grand Tour Specials, exactly?

Well, aside from the location snafu, there’s rallying in hot hatchbacks. This sees the trio taking on a proper racing driver and two office staff. Oh, the trio are driving normal family cars up a mountain, by the way. Then, they manage to drop a car from 100 feet in the air to test its suspension. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Oh, and Hammond crashes a helicar, but you probably guessed that. Overall, it’s a terrific edition with so many memorable moments. And that’s why Carnage A Trois is the best Grand Tour Special.

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So, those are our thoughts on the best Grand Tour Specials of all time! But what do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below!