Ten of The Most Brilliant Gumball Cars
The Gumball 3000 is an annual British 3,000-mile (4,800 km) international motor rally which takes place on public roads. It was started in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper and his wife and business partner, Julie Brangstrup.
The Gumball 3000 has received criticism. 2 pensioners died in an accident in Macedonia in 2007 after their car was hit by a Gumball rally car. Participants have been stopped for speeding, have had their driving licences taken by police, and had their cars confiscated.
McLaren Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss
Priced at £750,000 and with production limited to just 75 cars, the SLR was a privileged sight at the 2013 rally. The car was inspired by Stirling Moss’ unbeaten 1955 Mille Miglia record of 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds in a 300 SLR.
The McLaren Mercedes has a supercharged V8 that takes it to 62mph in 3.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 217mph. References to the original SLR can be found throughout the car, including side pipes, red leather interior and open cockpit. Despite enduring sun, rain and snow in the very open (though waterproofed) cabin, the drivers completed the 3000-mile journey in Monaco still smiling.
Team Galag Tumbler
If the McMerc was a little tame for your tastes, regular Gumballers Team Galag presented the Tumbler in 2014. Better known as Christian Bale’s Batmobile, the custom car features a 6.2-litre V8 with 400bhp.
It certainly needed the power, tipping the scales at over two tonnes thanks to the tubular exoskeleton. Sadly the vehicle was beset with mechanical issues and had to retire from the race.
Mercedes CLK GTR
The star of the show at the inaugural 1999 Gumball, the Mercedes CLK GTR managed to successfully complete the 3000-mile trip without attempting to nest in any nearby trees.
Jon Olsson Rebellion R2K
The adventure skier and all-round excellent chap Jon Olsson may be taking a 1000bhp DTM inspired Audi RS6 on this year’s rally, but it’s his previous motor, the R2K, that we’re interested in.
Designed by Olsson himself, the Rebellion has completed the Gumball twice and was even drifted up a Swedish ski slope. Weighing in at just under a tonne, the R2K has a 600bhp Lamborghini Gallardo engine spinning all four wheels.
Glow in the dark Aston Martin DBS
Garish wraps abound at the Gumball, but this Aston DBS has to be one of the best. Forget your velvet wrapped Roller, a full glow-in-the-dark coating is the skin to be seen in.
Nevana Designs has slathered the DBS in a UV coating that glows electric blue at night for ten hours. A world first, the DBS will certainly bring fresh excitement to Gumball’s (in)famous nightlife.
David Hasselhoff’s KITT
The Hoff’s a Gumball veteran, making his eighth appearance this year in a Knight Rider-inspired Nissan GT-R. Most memorable however, was 2008, when he showed up in the original Pontiac Firebird-based KITT from the show.
It’s a gold Lamborghini military-spec off-roader. No more need be said.
Charles Morgan kept it decidely British when he entered the Gumball in 2012. “We really experienced every bit of the stunning geography and dramatic skies of America,” he remarked at the time. “To us it would seem entirely pointless to go to Death Valley in an air conditioned car or to drive through New York with no way of looking up at the skyscrapers above…”
Team Galag gets a second entry thanks to their coachbuilt TG1, which sees a custom carbonfibre bodykit has been bolted onto the underpinnings of a Nissan GT-R.
And of course, being a Galag car, they weren’t content with just tweaking the bodywork. Their GT-R produces 750bhp and 700lb ft of torque, huge rises over standard. The result? 0-62mph takes 2.7 seconds, and flat out it will top 211mph.
Built by the Parker Brothers for wrestler John Cena, the InCENArator (geddit?) started life as a Corvette C7 R. As is evident, very little Corvette has remained as Cena’s only instruction to the brothers was to ‘make it look like it’s from the year 3000′.
It undeniably fulfils the brief; there’s a glass clamshell opening roof and jet-turbine inspired 24-inch rims. Oh, and did we mention Cena specced it with a flamethrower? Eight to be exact, one per cylinder. Mechanically it’s unchanged from the stock Corvette, with a 5.5-litre V8 producing 491bhp.