When we hear the name “Gumball 3000” the first image that comes to the mind is of a gigantic confectionary dispensing machine. Confectionary of all sizes, colours and flavours. What it is in reality, isn’t very different, only that the machine is replaced by an event that is spread over two or more continents and the confectionary comprises of some of the fastest most exquisite and of course, expensive cars in the world.
Started in 1999, by British entrepreneur, skateboarder and race car driver, Maximillion “Max” Cooper, the Gumball 3000, is an annual 3000 mile, international motor rally that takes place on public roads.
$67000 as entry fee!
With some of the sponsors including brands like Uber, Christie’s, MTV, Youtube, Twisted, Momo, raccoon, Abarth, etc. the Gumball 3000 is an event for the super-rich or super-enthusiastic, game enough to shell out over $67000 as entry fee alone. One can see supercars of every make and model, and some very rare – limited edition production pieces adorn the long and endless rally over the course of a week.
What the event is equally popular for, are the raving end of the day’s parties thrown at the last checkpoint for the day. With millionaire guests, celebrities, along with anyone who has a few hundred thousand dollars to toss away, there are lavish arrangements, great food and drink at people’s disposal, and some of the greatest DJ’s from across the world, coming to this event both, as performers and participants in the rally.
Some of the participants include celebrities like David Hasselhoff, Tamer Hassan, Caprice Bourrett, Danny Dyer and the world famous DJ Joel Zimmerman, better known by his stage name – Deadmau5.
In 2006, the participants traveled from London, to Beverly Hills via Europe and Asia. The European part of the course, saw the participants checking in at Belgium, Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. The cars were then loaded onto the gigantic Antonov An-124 aircraft and flown to the second part of the course in Thailand, Asia. They were driven from Phuket to Bangkok, and once again loaded in order to be flown to Salt Lake city for the final drive to Beverly Hills, via Las Vegas.
Confiscated for overspeeding
The event is also known for the notoriety that takes place during the rally. Overspeeding, illegal road racing, and in some cases, accidents are a few of the things that the participants are fined and sometimes detained for.
2007 saw the participants travel from London to Istanbul, via Amsterdam, Munich, Tirana, Dubrovnik and Athens. The entry fee back then was $47000. The cars arrived in Netherlands and just after, two of them were confiscated by the Dutch police, for driving at 50km/h over the speed limit. Quite a few drivers including the celebrity rapper Xzibit lost their drivers’ licenses. The Dutch government forbids street races by law, aware of the troubles that they bring along. And on the 2nd of May, the Porsche 911 Turbo, driven by Nick Morley and Matthew McConville crashed into a Volkswagen Golf at an alleged speed of 200km/h, fatally injuring an elderly couple who both lost their lives post this accident. The driver and companion were then arrested at a nearby border post, trying to escape in a BMW M6 with Russian plates.
The rally was then dropped for the next couple of years considering the negative image that the mishaps occurring during the event had portrayed of it. It was held again in 2010 and the organizers saw more than 100 cars take part in it. This one began in London and ended in New York, passing through Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Boston, Quebec city and Toronto.
Gumball 2015 will start in Stockholm
After running for 3 more years successfully and with no reported incident or mishap, and the cost for participants raised to $67000 based on two sharing a vehicle, the 2014 rally, held in June saw the course run from Miami, through Atlanta, and conclude in New York City. From there, the participants and cars, loaded into planes were dropped in Edinburgh where the second leg of the rally commenced, continuing through London, Paris and Barcelona and finally coming to an end on the island of Ibiza.
The Gumball 3000 in 2015 will see the participants follow the same transatlantic route in the opposite direction, starting in Stockholm, through Oslo, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam and then continuing from San Francisco, through Los Angeles, finally coming to an end in Las Vegas.
The rally has also had a feature film based on it – a 98 minute run, called “Gumball 3000 : The movie” and a Sony Playstation 2 video game developed by Sci.