Over the next few weeks, we are going to take you from the genesis of the endurance road trip to the modern international road rally. Each day we will share a bite sized history lesson about the development of this motorsport. We hope that you’ll join us for this absolutely fascinating ride.
Our last #RallyPulse post discussed the 2000 Gumball 3000, which included 80+ vehicles boarding massive cargo planes, $30,000 fines, and a stolen Lamborghini Diablo. These antics, among many untold, led to the growth in Gumball notoriety.
The 3rd route took entrants from London to Berlin, Malbork, Vilnius, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and back to London again. 106 cars participated.
In 2000, Maximillion Cooper – founder of the Gumball 3000- drove a Bentley Arnage 1WO until the car had to be replaced mid-rally. Hoping to avoid bespoke breakdowns in 2001, he chose an original Shelby Cobra to take for the ride. The Cobra was sure to go up against some traditionally fierce Ferrari competition in addition to F1 World champion Damon Hill driving a Lamborghini; comedian Vic Reeves in a Mercedes-AMG; entrepreneurs Justin Etzin and Lord Edward Spencer Churchill in a Police Range Rover, and the oldest car ever (still today!) in a Gumball 3000 was driven Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in a 1929 Blower Bentley.
Arguably the most influential team of the rally was the 1989 Jaguar XJ6 car with famous Jackass hosts Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and Chris Pontius. The trio went on the rally to record a “Gumball 3000 Jackass” for MTV. The special earned MTV their highest ratings for the year. Thankfully it can now be watched in high-quality full length streaming format on Amazon.com!
The show followed around each character as they Gumballed to excess. As you can imagine, this generated tremendous publicity for the rally.
2001 represented a rally in which the drivers began to grow significant followings. This Gumball began what some refer to as the “Golden Age of Gumball”. A time when drivers were hell bent on coming in first, couldn’t care less about the authorities, and redlined for sole the purpose of beating fellow Gumballers to the checkpoint.
Prior to his global notoriety, Kim Dotcom, or Kim Schmitz as he was known back then, finished first in his Mercedes Brabus SV12 Megacar. This would be the first of Kimble’s many Gumball escapades, of which we will detail at length in a future post. In the 2001 rally his friends crashed his E50 AMG service car and totaled a second just before a checkpoint. To add to Kimble’s excess, it was reported that when he destroyed his Brabus wheel, he had his Citation Jet fly him a replacement from Munich to England. Why would he go to this great expense? The answer is simple, really. The wheel needed replacing because his back-up AMG wheel looked unaesthetic! He was a driver hell bent on making it a race; ask the Swedish Saab 9-5 Aero he evaded and the Ferrari that was pulled over in his place.
MTV was not the only channel along for the ride. The event was also covered by terrestrial British television for the first time in 2001, with BBC 1 broadcasting Ruby Wax’s regular updates of the rally.
Next at #RallyPulse: the Gumball 3000 leaves Europe for the first time and goes from sea to shining sea!
- Wikipedia – 2001 Gumball 3000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumball_3000#2001
- Gumball3000.com – 2001: http://www.gumball3000.com/history/2001
- YouTube – Gumball 2001 1/3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e7fpF7MLpk&feature=channel&list=UL
- Wired – Kim Dotcom: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/kim-dotcom/
- PeachParts.com - Crazy Billioaire inner of Euro Cannonball, Gumball 3000 wins with a Brabus S 5,8:http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/performance-paddock/20348-crazy-billioaire-inner-euro-cannonball-gumball-3000-wins-brabus-s-5-8-a.html
- Spotte.rs – Kimble.org http://spotte.rs/myphotos.php?n=Kimble.org
- Gumball3000.com – Jackass Blog: http://www.gumball3000.com/blog/jackass
- Ruby Wax 2001 Gumball 3000: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-670646680456039379