Every year, nearly 100 well-to-do drivers take off in a 3,000-mile rally/rolling party that doesn't officially condone hitting 100 mph in your chrome-vinyl coated Lamborghini. This year's event across the United States ends Thursday, yet the web already strains like a two-sizes-too-small halter top with videos from the trip -- including some cases where Johnny Law caught the rally runners touching triple-digit speeds on public roads.
Held in the spirit of the venerated Cannonball Run, the Gumball 3000 rallies through Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas typically feature exotic cars covered in sponsorship decals and teams in themed costumes ready to compete some of the time and party all of the time. This year's run started with a kickoff in New York's Times Square last week, and the lineup of cars includes an impressive array of Ferraris, Lamborginis and Aston Martins, with even a couple of Local Motors Rally Fighters thrown in. (I award the Motoramic Keeping It Real trophy to Charles Morgan, who's making the 3,000-mile trip in his Morgan Motors open-air 3-wheeler.)
While previous Gumballs have drawn celebrity participants such as Tony Hawk, Reggie Bush and Dennis Rodman, this year's Gumball's star quotient runs to David Hasselhoff, rapper Bun B and some tattoo-covered guys from Europe. The scene above come from Team Salamone, headed by Long Island divorce attorney Brian Salamone in his aforementioned Lamborghini Aventador, co-piloted by his companion known only as Concubine. All this fun's available to participants for only a $39,000 team entry fee.
While it's not officially a race, someone keeping track of who covers the distances and how quickly. Swedish alpine ski racer Jon Olsson claimed he's running at the front of the pack with his modified Audi R8, saying while other teams dawdle for fun, he's focused on first: "We usually pass a bunch of guys when they are on the side of the road with police. The key to Gumball is really more about navigation, focus and strategy than high speed!"
And how have America's speed enforcers reacted to the ride? Here's one sample where a plains-state trooper gives the Gumballers something more than a verbal warning:
Here's a better look at what it like from the spectators point of view on an Indiana interstate:
Given how tight budgets are in California, I'd be surprised if the California Highway Patrol didn't cover the final stage of the Gumball 3000 on Thursday with more lasers than a Rush concert.