To some, the Gumball 3000 is the epitome of luxury, sport and social exclusivity. What is it, you ask? A car rally, of course. Eight days, three continents and 3000 miles of speeding at treble the limit on European back roads in some of the most exotic cars in the world; enough vodka, strippers and celebrities to make for a half-dozen larger-than-life parties; and, the interpersonal bonding that only $55,000 of good old American buy-in can get you. It's the best, is all.
It all started with Maximillion Cooper, founder of the Gumball 3000. Born in Staffordshire, England in 1972 with a silver spoon up his ass and a head full of ambition, Maximillion developed tastes in fashion and music very early in life (his father was a Rock 'n Roll drummer, his mother a fashion model). He was also exposed to auto racing and exotic cars from a young age -- his parents lived the Rock 'n Roll lifestyle, you see. By the time he had graduated Central St. Martin's College for Art and Design, he had a law degree, a Bachelor's degree and Maximillion Cooper Racing. After dumping his job modeling for Giorgio Armani to manage his company, he decided to drive a European rally circuit with his team as a sort of vacation -- this was the first Gumball 3000, held in 1999.
So, the first thing that one needs to keep in mind about the Gumball 3000 is that it's not a race; it's a rally. The thing is this: Almost every day of driving ends with a huge party at a designated checkpoint. While there are no prizes or rewards for reaching the checkpoints first, some Gumballers opt to make their best time from stop to stop, even skipping rest breaks at the checkpoints to finish the rally quickly. This motivation within the non-competative event is what many Gumballers consider to be the crux of it -- driving at dangerously high speeds, maneuvering surgically enough to weave in and out of traffic without crashing, all to beat Tony Hawk, who's been tailgating you for the last three days in his 500 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee.
What the Hell am I writing? "In summation"? I hardly scratched on the surface of the Gumball 3000 with this write-up. There's too much to say. If I list the name of one driver, I have to list them all, and if I give one Gumball itinerary, I have to list all of them since 1999! I'd recommend going to www.gumball3000.com, and to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumball_3000 for more information; I'm rescuing an empty nodeshell with this little blurb, but there's no way I can type out anything as informative as either of these sites. Check them out!