Pop Culture

Gumball: Kidnap, Fire, Explosions and Pillow Fights

It's been nearly 20 years since Maximillion Cooper and a small group of wealthy, yet somewhat unhinged friends organized their first rally that saw a pack of supercars and celebrities party their way from England to Italy. In the interim, the Gumball 3000 Rally has become a rare example of corporate-sponsored debauchery, with routes and exploits growing more elaborate with each iteration of the event.

This past spring I had the opportunity to participate in the 2015 running of the Rally, which spanned from Stockholm, Sweden, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to Las Vegas, Nevada. My chariots of choice? A pair of 1969 Chevrolet Camaros campaigned by Team AnastasiaDate.com and Team AsianDate.com, two major supporters of the event itself who had entered one of the largest groups of journalists, drivers, and support staff to ever have Gumballed.

The end result? Six days, 3,000 miles, 21 hours of sleep, and some of the most unusual experiences I have ever had on a road trip. Arrests, kidnappings, pillow fights at 30,000 feet, passport seizures, private helicopter interventions, Lamborghinis on fire, and the 45 degree heat of Death Valley: welcome to Gumball.