The Gumball 3000 is fast approaching and this years rally is going to be nothing short of epic. Starting in London with stops in Paris, Barcelona, Monaco, Venice, Belgrade, Sofia, and with the final stop in Istanbul, participants can expect full VIP treatment, a seat at the Monaco Grand Prix and the adventure of a lifetime. I had one of the most memorable experiences in 2009 when I joined the rally while it was taking place here in the United States from Santa Monica, CA to Miami, FL. This eight day, eight country, 3000 mile adventure is a mixture of pure adrenaline and one hundred percent exhaustion. It’s also something I would recommend to any car enthusiast to add to their bucket list.
The opportunity to go to the Monaco Grand Prix is an experience in itself, but pulling up in style with 120 wrapped exotic cars is nothing short of spectacular. This year the Gumballer’s not only get to spend the weekend taking part in the Grand Prix, but they’ll also have the greatest view point from the famous hairpin bend!
The entry fee is a steep 25,000 Euro which amounts to a little under $35,000 U.S. dollars. That includes two people, all parties, food, hotels, events and what ever you can get your hands on at the gift suite. Just the swag alone is worth a few grand. Sponsors include Betsafe, Nixon, Top Trumps and Incipio, with collaborations from the past and present including: Puma, Rogue Status, Alpine Stars, Adidas, Playboy, Technomarine, Flip skateboards, DC, Birdhouse and Armani. Drivers can always expect a new pair of limited edition Puma driving shoes, a Nixon watch, as well as tons of Gumball gear.
Celebrity attendance is always in abundance. Stars that have made the 3000 mile journey include rock stars, to pro-athletes and reality TV celebrities. Tony Hawk, Ryan Dunn, Eve, Dennis Rodman, Buttsy Butler and Xzibit are all regulars at this point. Cypress Hill, Bucky Lasek, Carey Hart, Snoop Dogg, David Hasselhoff, Caprice, Bam Margera, Travis Barker, Adrien Brody and Big Black have all received at least one Gumball medal of honor as well.
In rallies like the Gumball 3000, the real stars are the cars. Past cars have included everything from a Bugatti Veyron and Pagani Zonda, to a rare 1993 Jaguar XJ220S and Charles Morgan in his Morgan 3 wheeler. Of course there are also Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Aston Martin’s and Porsche’s, which, let’s face it, look like common cars when surrounded by the cream of the crop. Tony Hawk brought his modified Jeep the year I attended and Dennis Rodman showed up in a semi truck. It’s more about style and personality than anything else. Muscle cars, one-offs, vintage, exotics, and even regular automobiles all find their place on the Gumball 3000. A tip to those of you who expect to drive 3000 miles in such a short period of time: bring a comfortable car or you’ll be sorry.
As of yet there’s no word on who is attending the rally and or what cars to expect at this years starting line. My advice is to check out any stops that the Gumballer’s will be at if you can – you won’t be disappointed! The eight day adventure starts May 26-June 1.