The first part of the Namibia Special from “The Grand Tour” has been completed. Technically carrying the title of “The Beach [Buggy] Boys”, it follows the boys – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – as they travel to the country of Namibia on the southwest Africa coast and attempt to traverse the gigantic dunes of said country in – what else? – dune buggies.
May arrives with a classic – but underpowered – 1960’s version of the dune buggy that encases a Volkswagen engine. Clarkson goes up a decade and brings the 1970s version, that he has fitted with a V8 engine lifted from a Range Rover and that, does not -technically – even reside within the vehicle properly. Hammond brings a zebra-painted hybrid of the two that does not have the power of Clarkson’s V8 buggy but does have more power than May’s VW buggy and has the extra added advantage of having better, grippier tires than both.
The first part of the special mostly showcases Clarkson’s vehicle – showing that it can be used for fishing and that it also is most prone to breakdowns due to his modifications – while May’s vehicle can traverse most of the terrain, albeit slowly due to the lack of power. Hammond’s vehicle emerges unscathed in the first segment.
While all the scenes depicted in the special were solid and what we have come to expect from the boys on a special, perhaps the best bit of the first part of the Namibia Special was the surf music outro – if they could involve more of this music for the entire segment, it would be an easy winner across the board. As it stands, ASN still awards the first part of the Namibia Special with a solid but not spectacular 86 score [out of 100].