Albania top ger

James and Richard push Jeremy's "Bentley" when it doesn't start during a drag race

The Albanian Road Trip (or 'Mafia Road Test') was a road trip conducted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May and was televised on the 4th episode of the 16th season of Top Gear. The trip was conducted for the purposes of finding the best car for a "leading light in the Albanian Mafia". James chose a new Rolls-Royce Ghost, Richard a new Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG and Jeremy a new Bentley Mulsanne - only Bentley backed out of the test at the last minute, leading Jeremy to choose a 1990 Zastava Yugo 101 Skala 55 as a replacement on the basis that it had the same drivetrain and a similar weight distribution (if not as much power or responsiveness.)

Trip OverviewEdit

High Speed Albanian Police Chase - Top Gear Series 16 Episode 3 - BBC Two

High Speed Albanian Police Chase - Top Gear Series 16 Episode 3 - BBC Two

Right away, as the trip began after the presenters, the S65 AMG and the Ghost had come from a ferry from Corfu, Greece to an Albanian harbor, not only Jeremy but also Richard and James referred to the Yugo as if it were the scheduled Mulsanne. The trip initally wound through small villages, over rough roads where they use rocks instead of white lines - which caused problems for the "Bentley" as Jeremy got a cat's eye under the front bumper - and hills until they reached a river crossing. To negotiate it, they used an old ferry which Jeremy referred to as HMS Driftwood because it didn't look sturdy enough to support the heavy Ghost and S65. They then continued driving until, on a steep hill, the Yugo died. Jeremy attempted a reverse bump start, but failed and damaged the car further and breaking off the door mirror as he screamed that the mirror had come off. After the car was fixed by a mechanic, they kept driving and eventually wound up at an abandoned submarine base. Jeremy proceeded to climb onto one of the submarines and almost fell off as he mentioned that if he were drafted into the British armed forces, he would want to be part of a submarine crew because he enjoys sneaky warfare.

They kept driving, and once night fell, they came up with a challenge. They reasoned that a leading light in the Albanian Mafia would need a car that could properly conceal a dead body - which, for the test, was a plump passerby that they had "murdered" (Richard quipped that the man had taken a lot of murdering because of his size.) James went first, but was unable to lift the man, much less get him into the boot of the Rolls-Royce, as he was too overweight and heavy. Eventually the "dead" man climbed into the boot; however, the boot lid wouldn't shut. Richard was next, but the 'dead' man didn't fit again because the S65 has a fridge in its boot. Jeremy was last, and although the man did fit in the boot of the Yugo, there was still a problem - you could clearly see him through its large back window.

The next day, the presenters decided to have a drag race on an abandoned airfield. As they lined up however, the "Bentley" wouldn't start. Richard and James pushed Jeremy's car, and once it started, Jeremy took off without them. They did however, catch up with him and blow past him. Richard won the race thanks to the faster Mercedes, with Jeremy's Yugo barely able to hit 70 by the time it crossed the line. They then decided to take a small detour through a field of old fighter planes from the Cold War - mainly MiGs - which annoyed Richard but piqued the interests of Jeremy and especially James. Jeremy's "Bentley" died again, but the trio was able to make it to their hotel.

Jeremy and James felt they hadn't yet found the best car for a leading light in the Albanian Mafia, so they came up with one final test that astounded Richard: the three of them would rob a bank and use the Rolls-Royce, the Mercedes and the "Bentley" as the getaway cars. As Jeremy said, "The ones that get away from the police and onto the ferry and back to Corfu are good cars. If you're caught by the police and you spend the next 40 years in jail..." Richard understood and finished, "Then you brought the wrong car and you know what to blame."

The next morning, the presenters carried out the heist wearing tights over their heads as masks, wielding pistols and carrying bags of cash in the opposite hands. Jeremy escaped the bank first, and doing his best to look normal so as to not attract police, chose Richard's Mercedes since it had proved the quickest (and had a small problem as Richard is only 5'7"). Richard then exited the bank and cursed at Clarkson for stealing his Mercedes - but then stole James' Rolls-Royce (and did 'seatbelt safety'). James was the last to exit the bank, cursed at them both and with no other option, took the much slower "Bentley" as the bank alarms went off. Clarkson had to ask someone for directions to Saranda (as he said, the first time in human history that someone escaping from a bank job had to ask for directions) - and soon, the police were onto them and gave chase in Chevrolet Aveos and on motorcycles. As James exclaimed, "Oh, crikey, it's the Albanian rozzers!"

Richard and Jeremy wove in and out of traffic, with Jeremy nearly running someone over and almost crashing into a car backing out of a driveway. All three and especially James had hairy moments on damp switchback roads outside of town that the police negotiated well, but Richard and Jeremy were able to succesfully lose the cops as the road straightened out and gave the Rolls and the Mercedes the chance they needed to outrun the police Aveos and got back to the ferry. However, James was in big trouble - after having had to make a "very stressy" getaway in the less powerful and less agile "Bentley", the cops chasing Richard and Jeremy had stopped and formed a roadblock to stop him. Upon sight of the roadblock, James declared, "You'll never take me alive, copper!" and subsequently yelled to Jeremy and Richard, "I'll see you (Jeremy and Richard) in Spain, lads!" and then swerved around the road block, flipped the car and plummeted off of the side of the cliff, apparently being thrown from the car and being killed as a results. Jeremy and Richard bid farewell to their 'dead' friend as they left on the ferry, but did so in Top Gear style - when Jeremy said, "So James May is dead...", Richard said, "Anyway...".

Back in the studio, Jeremy and Richard agreed that the Mercedes was the best choice - and Richard quipped that that overruled the "late" James, who would have chosen the Rolls-Royce.


Albanian Road Trip/Quotes