The annual Gumball 3000 Rally has just wrapped up for another year, and with it – as always – came a slew of insane and exciting events. For anyone in auto careers, the name Gumball 3000 should ring a bell. What began in 1999 as a sort of excuse for rich, car loving folks to tour around and compete with each other has launched into a full blown cultural phenomenon.
The rally started in 1999 with the basic premise that whoever would like to enter, at a fee of over 40,000 British pounds these days, can enter into a worldwide, week-long race with several different checkpoints. The route changes every year, but the distance of approximately 3,000 miles has remained consistent. The race was started by Maximillian Cooper, a British skateboarder, entrepreneur and race car driver. Immediately since inception, the worldwide event has drawn criticism from all over the globe, from people calling it nothing more than illegal racing done by spoiled millionaires to people objecting to the danger that it presents to the public – and to the automotive technician. In fact, in 2007 two people were killed after being struck by a Gumball 3000 participant, and drivers frequently are stopped by the police for massive speeding and dangerous driving, many end up losing their licenses. Several participants including rapper Xzibit have lost licenses due to the rally, and in 2007 two cars were confiscated by Dutch police and over 70 cars were stopped in Germany. Check out this footage of the insane crowds the rally drew in London:
This year, participants raced from Miami to Ibiza in Spain, culminating in a massive party, as per usual. The participants raced from Miami to New York City, before loading their cars into planes and beginning again in Edinburgh, eventually arriving in Spain. Not only did Canadian electronic musician Deadmau5 participate in the rally for the first time, with Tory Belleci of Mythbusters fame, and get presented with the Spirit of the Gumball award by Maximillian Cooper, but he then decided to auction off his car afterwards. Toronto’s Craigslist pulled the ad shortly after, however, presumably because they thought it was a hoax or a scam. Deadmau5’s car, nicknamed the “Purarri,” was a Ferrari 458 Spider decked out in paint and graphics paying homage to the Nyan Cat meme, a popular internet meme.
The crowning event of the rally this year, however, was the gathering of participants at a giant party in Ibiza, one that your average auto mechanic would probably kill to be at. At this party, founder Maximillian Cooper married longtime girlfriend and prominent rap artist Eve. Who knows, she might get bitten by the racing bug and have a future in auto careers! All in all it was a successful and highly publicized outing for the Gumball 3000 in 2014, further cementing the fact that the often dangerous and divisive event is here to stay whether the public loves it or hates it.