This Race Takes Gumballs – And A $41,000 Entry Fee

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

If there ever was an antithesis to the 24 hours of LeMons, then it’s the annual Gumball 3000 rally, 3000 miles across Europe, from London to Istanbul, in the most outrageous and disgracefully expensive cars you can think of.

It started last Thursday, at the Covent Garden in London, with most of the over 100 participants still hung over from the pre-race-party at the Playboy Club. As you read this, the race has arrived in Monte Carlo, leaving untold amounts of speeding tickets in its wake. Speaking of tickets (and tons of pictures and videos) …

The price of entry alone is $41,000 (or the price of 80 LeMons cars.) That pays for two people. Your entourage of crew chiefs, grease monkeys and buxom blondes will be extra.

The first Gumball 3000 took place in April 1999, when British creator Maximillion Cooper invited 50 of his friends to take part in a 3000 mile party around Europe.

In 2007, the Rally was intercepted by Dutch police and a phalanx of 21 police cars. Seven drivers lost their licenses for speeding 50 km/h over the legal limit. Two cars were confiscated.

The next day, German police escorted all vehicles to the Frankfurt Hahn airport, from where huge Antonov (no relation) transports were supposed to fly the cars to Turkey. The participants were flown to Istanbul, but the Antonov planes were diverted to Athens. Ever since the Dutch intercept, drivers were known to take anti-measures.

Police in other countries were more helpful, on occasion.

This year, the rally goes from London to Istanbul, via Paris, Barcelona, Monaco, Venice, and Belgrade.

The Gumball has always been a race of the stars, attracting (not necessarily driving-) talent such as Daryl Hannah, David Hasselhoff, Kate Moss, Snoop Dog, and the rapper Xzibit.

“For your information, we are getting information” that the 2010 event traveled between London and New York via Toronto.

Last year’s rally was won by Saudi Team Pavo in a 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and a 2009 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.

We asked our Canadian overlords for the travel money to cover the race. For some odd reason, the check did not arrive in time. Instead, follow the Gumball on Twitter!

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂