History of the Gumball 3000 Rally:
Drawing inspiration from the 1970s race, the movies and Smokey and the Bandit, Maximillion Cooper started the modern edition of the game in the summer of 1999. Gumball 3000 has since gained the reputation as road race for the modern era and has captured the attention. With celebrity participation the public have been bought closer to the race by witnessing it on everything from MTV to reading about it in Vanity Fair.
The original race featured 50 among Cooper's friends, and went from London, to Rimini, Italy and back, passing through Paris, to the beautiful Chateau d'Esclimont, before lapping the Le Mans race circuit, followed by a checkpoint at the Mas du Clos Ferrari Museum, then Monaco Grand Prix circuit in Monaco, the Ferrari Factory in Modena, the Ambras Palace in Austria and the Hockenheim Grand Prix Circuit in Germany before returning to London to cross the finish line on Park Lane. The winner drove a 1963 Jaguar E-Type. Other drivers included actors Billy Zane in a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, Jason Priestley in a Lotus Esprit V8 and Dannii Minogue in a Porsche Boxster.
The second race was held in May 2000. The race started at Marble Arch in London and went to Stansted Airport, where all cars and people were airlifted to a private airport in Spain. The race then continued through Bilbao, Cannes, Milan, Hotel Bühlerhöhe Castle near Baden-Baden (Germany), the Nürburgring GP circuit and Hamburg before
returning to London. Notable entrants included Drum and bass legend and James Bond baddie Goldie in an Aston Martin V8, it-girl Tara Palmer Tomkinson in a Jaguar XK8, Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds in a Bentley, the indie band Placebo in a Lagonda, the Happy Mondays all crammed into a 2+2 Jaguar, and Maximillion in the famous Bentley Arnage 1WO.
The third race, held in April 2001, featured 106 cars, including Johnny Knoxville, Steve O and the rest of the cast of Jackass driving an 80s rusted out Jag, as well as F1 World champion Damon Hill driving a Lamborghini, comedian Vic Reeves in a AMG, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in a Blower Bentley and Maximillion in an original AC Cobra. The race went from Hyde Park Corner in London to Berlin, Vilnius, Saint Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen before returning to London. Kim Schmitz finishes first in his Brabus EV12 Megacar. The race was made into an hour long Jackass Gumball 3000 Special on MTV and received the highest viewing figures of the year. Ruby Wax also ran in the event covering it for terrestrial TV in the UK on BBC1.
The fourth race was held in April 2002, the first to be run outside Europe. The race goes from New York to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, passing through a checkpoint at the Whitehouse in Washington DC, onto Nashville, Tennessee for lunch in Elvis Presley's Mansion, Graceland, before getting a Dallas Cowboys welcome in Texas, onwards to Cadillac Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Nevada]] before reaching the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills where Hugh Hefner and playmates awarded trophies. 175 cars entered the contest, including a 60s Corvette painted in the Stars and Stripes that won best car award, the 1959 Ferrari California Spider from the movie Ferris Buellers day off that was bought at a cost of over $1m just to take part in the Gumball, as well as old American muscle cars taking to the road with modern day supercars. Fashion designer Donna Karan, models Amy Wesson and Rachel Hunter, and actor Matthew McConaughey were amongst the stars.
The fifth race was held in May 2003, with 175 cars from San Francisco, California to Miami, Florida, passing through Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Tucson, Arizona, White Sands, New Mexico, San Antonio, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. This one was made into 'Gumball 3000' The Movie and starred Jackass' Ryan Dunn racing a rental car alongside skateboard legends Tony Hawk in a Dodge Viper and Bucky Lasek, Motocross World champions Travis Pastrana and Carey Hart, supermodel Jodie Kidd all driving the most amazing mix of Ferrari F50s, Lambo's, the 242mph Swedish Koenigsegg Supercar and other exotica, to West Coast Choppers Jesse James in a custom VW Campervan.
The sixth race was held in May 2004, back again in Europe. The race went from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Biarritz, Madrid, Marbella, then crossed over to Africa, to Marrakech in Morrocco as guests of the King, before returning to Spain for the Barcelona Grand Prix, finishing in Cannes at the famous film festival. 192 amazing cars took part, but the car
that stole the show was a little old Citroen 2CV painted like the General Lee. Ex Boxing world champion Chris Eubank drove a truck, whilst The Pianist Academy winning actor Adrien Brody favoured a Porsche and the 'Ai Ya' Boys just rented a Winnebago. On Gumball its seems just about anything goes.
The seventh race started at Trafalgar Square on May 14, 2005. It will go 3000 miles from London to Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and then to Dubrovnik in Croatia. The cars will then be transported by ferry to Bari, in Italy, then lap the old Targa Florio circuit in Sicily, before heading north to Rome, and finally cross the finish line in the Monaco's Casino Square prior to the F1 Grand Prix. Participants include Gumball veterans, skater Rob Dydrek, rock stars and supermodels driving everything from the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee to Carrera GTs.
The 2006 rally was the most ambitious of any rally so far, starting London and finishing in Los Angeles just 8 days later, with the organisers flying all 120 cars from Europe to Asia and again from Asia to Europe in 3 of the largest aeroplanes in the world Antonov An-124, and an Iceland Air passenger Boeing 757. The rally started on April 29, 2006 in Pall Mall, London. It continued on to Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. The drivers then boarded a plane in Serbia to be taken to Thailand for the race's second leg between Phuket and Bangkok. The final leg took place in the United States and ran from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, via Las Vegas, where the legendary Snoop Dogg performed live at the Gumball party.
Entrants included Jackass stars Ryan Dunn and Bam Margera, driving Bams 'Billy Idol' customised Lamborghini Gallardo, Tony Hawk, Mike Vallely, and Rooftop Escamilla in a Jeep SRT8, Blink 182's Travis Barker drove his Rolls Royce Phantom with DJ Swiss Beats, Dirty Sanchez' Dan Joyce, Matthew Pitchard, and Love Actually star Martine McCutcheon drove a pink Range Rover and American television host Matt Johnston drove his custom 2006 Dodge Charger, amongst Gumball's regular assortment of eccentrics and billionaires from all over the world.
Team Polizei's Alex Roy & Michael Ross dominated Gumball 2006, arriving in 1st place in Belgium, Vienna, Budapest, Furnace Creek and Beverly Hills, even beating the Gumballers that skipped the intermediate checkpoints. Team Polizei, suffering from both sabotage and accident damage in Thailand, sat out the Thailand leg and made a surprise visit to the Burmese border, where pictures were taken with border guards who thought the Polizei were UN inspectors.
Meanwhile Torquenstein returned from the extraordinary events of the 2004 rally no longer in a Dodge Viper, but now in a fully prepared & rally ready Ford GT A few modifications included a smoke screen, three GPS units and a radar drone system. Torquenstein and navigator Dr. E. Gruene placed 2nd in Belgrade, 8th in Thailand and tied for 1st place on the final stage with the Team Polizei Bentley driven by Alex Roy and Michael Ross.
The Spirit Trophy was won by Damian Williams, Richard Blackburn & Ezra Chapman of Team 15, who spun and crashed their camouflage Rolls Royce Phantom at around 160mph just north of Belgrade. Despite this setback they made it to the Serbian airport where the Gumball-chartered Iceland Air 757 nearly left without them. They allegedly rode 500+ miles in a cab across Thailand, then picked up a brand new Rolls Royce Phantom in Salt Lake City which they drove to the Beverly Hills Finish Line. They arrived at the Playboy Mansion with the twisted grille from the first Phantom, and Hugh Hefner presented them with a fitting trophy, a Gumball machine!
From the offical site:
28th April 2007 Registration Launch Party 29th April 2007 Car display & Start in Pall Mall, London Cars drive to Amsterdam checkpoint
30th April 2007 Cars drive through the night to the Frankfurt Checkpoint. Cars and drivers loaded onto planes and flown to Istanbul Arrive in Istanbul
1st May 2007 Istanbul to Athens via Thessaloniki checkpoint
2nd May 2007 Athens to Dubrovnik
3rd May 2007 Dubrovnik to Vienna
4th May 2007 Vienna to Berlin via Prague checkpoint
5th May 2007 Berlin to London Final Party, music concert in London