Fast cars, brand new releases, creative and insane designs, even the Batmobile, and so much more. The Gumball 3000 is an event for all petrolheads who want to spend their summer smelling gasoline, burning rubber and losing their hearing for the next days to come.
I have had replicas of cars that I found the most beautiful and started playing with matchboxes since I can remember. As soon as I was able to use a computer, I was playing the Need for Speed videogames that are all about going fast and looking good. Those who attend the Gumball 3000 share the same love for combustion engines and gasoline. I have been lucky enough the attend the last two years’ event when these cars made a stop in Budapest, and have experienced it in all its glory, even though I did not drive in it.
I can remember clear as day, standing for hours in one place, screaming from the top of my lungs to my friends who attended with me. Being teenagers standing behind the fencing while cars that cost more than the houses we live in roar past us is an experience that is hard to describe. And of course, Gumball is not only about cars; it is also about celebrities and legends as well. I remember vividly when Afrojack and David Coulthard drove past me, or when I first saw the replica of the Batmobile, modelled after a Lamborghini Aventador, probably one of the most expensive, fastest and most exotic cars at the time.
Being at the Gumball is an experience, and a party. With music blasting, engines roaring and the participants throwing their merchandise into the crowd, it is quite a unique experience. I could only describe it as being at a musical festival in the summer, but instead of being excited for songs, you are excited to hear a 1000 horsepower engine rip a void into the silence that is created by anticipation.
The Gumball 3000 last had a stop in Budapest in 2017, however, the city has been on and off their calendar since 2005. And this year, the wacky races are coming to the Hungarian capital again in 15 June. Let us see what this event is all about.
The Gumball 3000
The Gumball 3000 is an annual 3,000-mile international motor rally that attracts participants from around the world. It started in 1999, and since then, it has become one of the most famous and unique car rallies in the world. The event is not a race, but it is an adventure that involves driving fast cars, partying, and making new friends.
The Gumball 3000 rally was founded by Maximillion Cooper, a British entrepreneur, in 1999. Cooper, who is also a former racing driver, wanted to create a rally that combined his two passions, cars, and adventure. He invited his friends to join him on a 3,000-mile road trip across Europe, starting from London and ending in Rimini, Italy. The event attracted a lot of media attention, and it was a huge success. The following year, the event expanded to include more participants and more countries, and it has continued to grow ever since.
Today, the Gumball 3000 rally attracts participants from all over the world, including celebrities, fabulously well-to-do people, and car enthusiasts. The event takes place over seven days, and participants drive across different continents, experiencing different cultures and customs along the way. The route changes every year, and it usually includes some of the most spectacular and scenic roads in the world. Some of the most famous landmarks that the participants have driven past include the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Participants are expected to obey traffic rules and regulations, and they can be disqualified if they break any laws. Safety is also a top priority. Each car is equipped with a GPS tracking device, and the organisers have a team of mechanics and medics who follow the rally to provide support.
It’s Not Just About Showing Off
The impact of the Gumball 3000 rally on the world is significant. The event has become a symbol of wealth and extravagance, and it has attracted a lot of attention from the media and the public. Gumball might be controversial, however, the rally has also raised millions of dollars for various charities, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Tony Hawk Foundation. The event has also helped to promote tourism in the cities and countries that the participants visit, and it has created a global community of car enthusiasts who share a passion for adventure and speed.
In addition, Gumball 3000 generates income for the host countries in several ways. One has to consider that the people driving these cars are massively wealthy, and they will act accordingly when visiting the stops. It is well known that Budapest has always been a city where foreigners like to party. People at the Gumball also love to do so, and they spare no expense while at it. They also have to stay at hotels and they will choose the most upmarket ones they can find. The event also brings a huge amount of tourism to the host cities, as many enthusiasts follow the Gumball around the world.
The iconic event also has other than business-generating ramifications. In 2013, the Gumball 3000 Foundation was established with the aim of providing support for disadvantaged young people worldwide by funding educational, recreational, and infrastructure-based initiatives. The foundation strives to create more opportunities for young people, ensuring that upcoming generations have access to resources that help them reach their full potential.
Through its connections and expertise in the worlds of sports and creative industries, the foundation collaborates with selected charity partners on projects that centre on sports, music, fashion, and art.
Since its inception, the Gumball 3000 Foundation has raised over £5 million, including a record-breaking £1,3 million during the 2022 Toronto to Miami Rally, to support various charity partners and philanthropic initiatives.