We rode behind David Hasselhoff and a Batmobile on a leg of 3,000-mile supercar rally Gumball 3000

caption
We rode in a Nissan GTR that had been covered in emojis.
source
Car Throttle

Every year since 1999, hundreds of supercar owners have gathered together to drive around the world in convoy for the Gumball 3000 rally – a 3,000-mile cross-country rally that takes place on public roads.

In between long drives, participants stay at luxury hotels and pop champagne at decadent nightclubs. Entry to the week-long rally costs around $50,000. And you need to provide your own supercar, obviously.

Business Insider was invited to take part in one leg of this year’s 3000-mile rally from Dublin to Bucharest by Car Throttle – an app-based online car community dubbed “Buzzfeed for Cars”- which had entered Gumball 3000 with a Nissan GTR that was inexplicably wrapped in emojis.

We were only with the team for one day – from London to Kent on day three – but it gave us a flavor of the event. Inside the “EmojiTR,” Car Throttle CEO Adnan Ebrahim filled us in on what we had missed.


We joined the Gumball 3000 on Tuesday morning (day three) at Golden Square in Soho, London.

source
Will Heilpern

It looked like one of the most expensive gridlocks the city has ever seen.


The plan for the day was to drive to Folkestone and then onto mainland Europe by Eurostar. Initial progress was slow, as not everyone had yet woken up from the party the night before.


After eventually being let through security, we found the car we would be riding in: a Nissan GTR which had been covered in custom emoji artwork.

source
Car Throttle


We were in the “loudest” car at Gumball 3000. “It sounds like crackling gun fire, which is fairly ridiculous,” Ebrahim said as he revved the engine for the crowds as we left.


Sometimes this causes fire to be released from the exhaust pipes. Ebrahim admitted that earlier in the rally he had “made a small girl cry” with the flames (she wasn’t hurt.)

London, you just got EmojiTR’d! ???????????? #CarThrottle #Gumball3000 ????: @asimcs_london

A post shared by Car Throttle (@carthrottle) on


The day before I joined the race, Regent Street in central London was closed for the rally. It was a national holiday and more than half a million spectators came to witness the parade of supercars.


“I think that’s what the non-celebs pay for to be honest,” Ebrahim said. “To be a celebrity for a week. To be on the inside, hanging around all these people that they’ll never be mates with. They’ll see [the celebrities] at a service station and then have a couple of stories to share with them.”

Thank you London for SUCH an INCREDIBLE @gumball3000 welcome! #RegentStreet #gumball3000 #gumballlife #DublintoBucharest

A post shared by Maximillion Cooper (@mrgumball3000) on


We managed to get out of London by around 10.30 AM. Ebrahim admitted he was tired from the night before, after a big party at Tape nightclub.

source
Will Heilpern

“I’ve seen drinks receipts for like £50,000 (about $70,000.) They’ll spend that on tables and non-stop bottles,” Ebrahim said, describing some of the richest entrants.”They’ll spend double what the entry fee is on fuel and partying combined.”


David Hasslehoff is a Gumball regular. The 63-year-old Hoff is driving a red Audi R8 this year.


Rapper Eve married the founder and CEO of Gumball 3000, Maximillion Cooper, after meeting at the annual rally in 2010. The Grammy-winning hip hop artist gave an exclusive performance at Tape nightclub on Monday night to mark the occasion.

source
Car Throttle


Inside the GTR, we trailed some of the other cars, until they sped off. Ebrahim explained that the rally is “not a race” and that organizers encourage teams to cruise together and enjoy the trip.


And because of his job, which involves testing and reviewing cars, Ebrahim made clear that speeding was not an option. However, we did manage to overtake this car.

source
Will Heilpern

And then this Ferrari.

source
Will Heilpern

Police in all countries are quite wary of Gumball 3000 and often pull the drivers over to check their details. Tensions have been high since two people were killed in a traffic accident in Macedonia during the 2007 event.


This year there has already been one crash. It involved a $1 million Gumpert Apollo, which flew off the road just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. The supercar slid across a farm track and into a ditch. Fortunately, no one was injured.


We stopped at a service station in order to let another car from the Car Throttle team catch up with us.

source
Will Heilpern

Ebrahim said that earlier in the race, he had ridden with with Team Galag. Led by two Princes from Saudi Arabia, Team Galag created a replica of the “Batmobile.”

source
Car Throttle

No expense was spared on the monster creation, which is powered by a Lamborghini engine.

source
Car Throttle

The Batmobile sped past us as we arrived in Folkestone, where we linked up with a few of the other teams. Here we chatted to YouTube stars Seb Delanney and Mr JWW.

source
Will Heilpern

The rally was heading by Eurostar into France, through Luxembourg and then into Germany later that day. The rally finishes in Bucharest, where the cars will arrive on Friday.

source
Will Heilpern