Wednesday, April 18, 2007

GUMBALL 3000: the 9th annual mother of all ROCKIN' car rallies


















On Sunday, April 29th the 9th Annual Gumball 3000 Rally will kick off in London. As many as 120 exotic cars will "race" through Asia and back to London, finishing up on May 5th.
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This has been described as "the most rock 'n' roll car rally ever staged," and is reminiscent of the legendary Cannonball Run celebrated in pop culture lore and on film.
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The 9th Rally's news release pulls no punches:
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"Picture 120 supercars, a crowd of over a quarter of a million people lining the streets, the start in Central London will be the place to be. [Expect to see] rockstars, supermodels, billionaires, and eccentrics, along with Tony Hawk on the vert ramp and DJ Yoda on the decks, with the event being televised live so everyone will get to see the cars head off to their first checkpoint in Amsterdam.
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"Upon reaching Amsterdam, to celebrate the Queen's birthday (crowds expected of over 1 million), cars will drive thru' the night to reach a secret airport in Germany where all 120 will be airlifted by Gumball's own Antonov cargo planes to Asia. Gumballers will then make their way 3000 miles to the finish line back in London, navigating the route with CoPilot satellite navigation via F1 circuits, casinos, crossing cold war borders, and taking in the most glamorous 'James Bond-style' parties possible in Istanbul, Athens, Dubrovnik, Bratislava, and Berlin."
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It goes on.
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The first Gumball 3000 took place in April, 1999 when British creator Maximillion Cooper (shown in top photo here) invited 50 of his friends to take part in a 3000 mile party around Europe to bring together celebrities from the music, film, fashion, and sports worlds. To say the least, hype is the order of the day, so naturally Hugh Hefner and his coterie, Paris Hilton, Travis Barker, Snoop Dogg, and so many others comfortable basking in this sort of limelight do just that--happily shake their moneymakers for the videographers and paparazzi.
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So far, three movies have been made: Six Days in May covered the '04 rally; Driving Me Crazy
reflected some of the jucier bits of the '05; but some maintain Gumball 3000: The Movie was the best of 'em all, portraying all the hijinks of '03.
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Maximillion Cooper's own bio is stone glitz paved with a healthy topping of hubris. "Inspired by Richard Branson on one level," it reads, "and Frederico Fellini and Stanley Kubrick on another, Maximillion's unique passion for exploring life and constantly creating and combining the conventional with the obscure can be seen through his diverse exploits in everything from racing cars to film making, and designing clothes to skateboarding. His teenage years were spent pushing the boundaries of both traditional sports and underground street cultures, and by age 18, four skateboard wheels had turned into the wheels of a motorcar, giving rise to a semi professional career racing sportscars and his first glimpse of the jet-set lifestyle, rubbing shoulders with the world's millionaires."
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It goes on.
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Nevertheless, in a world obsessed with "rock and roll lifestyle," the Gumball 3000 has reached a major pinnacle of notoriety: it is noticed. And, likely a gas to drive an exotic sportscar in, surrounded by hot babes and dudes with plenty Euros . Reminds me of what Commander Cody had to say on that subject: "Whole lotta things I ain't never done, and I ain't never had too much fun."
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