2012 Gumball 3000 Starting Grid
Throughout the year, there are several important events for car nuts, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the various European auto shows, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and the Monaco Grand Prix, but NOTHING is a fun and as crazy at the Gumball 3000 Rally. Yesterday, on Broadway, in Times Square was the start of the 2012 Gumball 3000.
The Gumball 3000 Rally was started in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper when he and a few of his car enthusiast friends thought it would be fun to drive 3000 miles in spectacular cars. I guess they were right, because this year, for the 14 edition of Gumball, 120 cars lined up in New York for the 3000 mile drive to Los Angeles.
The Gumball always attracts celebrities with affinities for cars. In the past, Adrien Brody, Daryl Hannah, Dennis Rodman, Kate Moss, Jason Statham, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk, Bam Margera, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, Jamiroquai and the infamous Kim Dotcom of Mega Upload, among others, have all driven in the Rally. This year the Finnish stunt crew the Dudesons, in a lifeguard themed Nissan Navara complete with bikinied bombshells, David Hasselhoff, in a Maserati Grantourismo, and Eve, co-driving a 1965 Shelby Cobra with Maximillion Cooper, joined the field.
While not officially the inspiration for the Gumball 3000 Rally, anyone who saw the classic movie Cannonball Run dreams of taking part in this kind of event in some dream car or another, me included. Unfortunately, while I was about £24,999 and one supercar short of the £25,000 entry fee for this year’s Rally (although I would have been more that happy to drive the rally in my Evo 10), I was able to check out the cars and watch the start in Times Square. And, as someone who has followed the Gumball for years, I went with high expectations. I was definitely not disappointed.
|Tuned ’57 Bel Air|
No surpise that the 14th Edition of the Gumball 3000 had some pretty spectacular cars, but some were truly incredible. A little farther down, I’ll post pics from the rally, but these are my top ten favorites. At the top of the list of coolest cars, not only from Gumball but in general, sits the Rally Fighter. This one sported a simple vinyl wrap and huge all-terrain tires. I love this car. Next up is a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air driven by the gorgeous Mai Ikuzawa and Sofia Barattieri with enough power to blow pretty much any other car in the field out of the water.
|Morgan 3 Wheeler|
The next two amazing rides couldn’t be more opposite, a Morgan 3 Wheeler and a Bugatti Veyron. These two cars hold the titles of smallest and biggest engines in this year’s rally. That’s what’s awesome about the Gumball 3000. Something tells the the Bugatti will be slightly more comfortable for the next 3000 miles. There isn’t even a cupholder in the Morgan.
|1965 Shelby Cobra|
Any list of the most amazing cars must include the Shelby Cobra. This is no exception. Max Cooper and Eve are driving this beastly 1965. When Max turned the key one this car, every other car in the field sounded downright quiet. What an incredible noise.
|E46 BMW 3 Series|
|Chrome Lambo Aventador|
Rounding out my list are a heavily modified E46 BMW 3 Series with a full body kit, a Lamborghini Aventador with a chrome wrap and “Winning” license plate, a Mercedes SLS AMG in Lightning McQueen “Rust-Eze” garb, a “Who’s Your Baba?” themed Lingenfelter Corvette Convertible and a firetruck Lamborghini Murcielago.
|Lingelfelter Corvette, Rust-Eze SLS AMG, Lambo Murcielago Firetruck|
Being at the start of the 2012 Gumball 3000 Rally was a blast. The cars, the sounds and the spectacle of the entire event made me even more convinced that someday soon, I have to drive in an edition of the Gumball 3000. Below are pics from this year’s starting grid.
|The Hoff’s Maserati GT|
|Maximillion Cooper and Eve’s ’65 Shelby Cobra|
|Jon Olsson’s Audi R8 with Custom Ski Rack|
|Maximillion Cooper and Eve|
|Gumball Media Craziness|
|Max Cooper, the Dudesons and Bikinied Girls|