Article by Rick Jensen. Video from Super Street.
Assume you’re the kind of car guy with a few million lying around. Would you enter a rally that promises very little sleep, less food and a 3,000-mile trip with 10 to 20 hours of driving a day, and a stiff 70 grand entry fee?
You’re reading a performance car site, so I already know you’d ignore a week in a posh Gulfstream for a speeding vehicle smelling of old socks. Of course, in the Gumball 3000 you’re not paying 70 large to drive from checkpoint to checkpoint. You’re paying it to drive a hot car over multiple continents, through numerous countries and with the most desirable and glamorous people in the most desirable places. Gumball hit Miami, Atlanta, New York, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Barcelona and Ibiza this year. But to me, seeing a private deadmau5 show, then "racing” against deadmau5’s 458 Spider "Purrari” the next day is a clincher. Sounds pretty sweet, right?
A little history: the Gumball 3000 rally started in 1999, when ex-racer, designer and entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper put together a fun European road trip for 50 of his famous buddies. Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and Johnny Knoxville were among the first Gumball entrants, and that star power, along with Cooper’s business sense, combined to transform the initial Gumball rally into a lifestyle brand that is among one of the largest and most prestigious on the earth today.
The 2014 Gumball, which ran June 4-11 from Miami to Ibiza, Spain, attracted the usual suspects: the uber-rich, celebs, athletes and musicians alike. But it also attracted the hardcore Super Street magazine guys, who documented the controlled madness in this great video. Super Street drove on the American segment, which left Miami’s South Beach for Atlanta and New York. Their ride, a 2014 Lexus IS with a swapped-in, 700 hp 2JZ hoped to hang with some of the fastest supercars on the planet.
And as this entertaining vid shows, right off the bat they exhibited a carefree, screw-it attitude, which manifested with burnouts and donuts galore. And although the Gumball, like other rallies, isn’t a "race” per se, they had plenty of WOT fun with enabling supercars, and made a few "unplanned” stops courtesy of local law enforcement. Nice work, boys.
In addition to the interesting narrative and great video work, Super Street does a great job of imparting the joys and the challenges of such a demanding route. An on-off switch of a clutch couldn’t have been fun in traffic, and they were also fighting the kind of electrical gremlin that pops up after an engine swap. Nevertheless they were high-speed cruising with millions of dollars of performance rides, so they forged on to NYC. They arrived at 1 a.m. with no intent to sleep, and plenty of time left until last call.
And though New York was the last stop for the Super Street warriors, they documented the Europe-bound cars being loaded onto two 747 cargo planes at JFK for delivery to Edinburgh, Scotland. Once the long haulers cruised through Europe to meet up in Ibiza, they witnessed Cooper’s wedding to rapper Eve. Clearly, this isn’t your average rally for your average people. But if you’ve got that $70,000 handy—man, does this look like fun.