Growing up, many of us have only dreamt of going on the Gumball 3000 rally. We've seen videos over the years of exotic and modified cars running from the police and going balls out freeways across Europe and the United States. Last year, we finally got a taste of what it was like as we popped our cherry taking a 700hp 2JZ-powered Lexus IS from Miami to New York. We were unable to partake in the entire rally all the way to Ibiza, Spain, but thankfully this year, our dreams came true.
We received a call from another team on the rally via AnastasiaDate.com and AsianDate.com. They invited a handful of journalists for the entire adventure to ride and drive in a pair of '69 Chevy Camaros. While not our usual cup of tea when it comes to cars, these were far from stock; and since we would be driving them from Stockholm to Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam—hop on a private plane to Reno—then continue through San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, there was no doubt some American muscle would create a stir in a rally filled with Ferraris, Lambos, and more.
But since the final leg of the 17th annual Gumball rally would be coming through our hometown, we had to roll in style and show the other teams what Super Street was about. So we had Gordon Ting come to our aid with his Lexus RC F—the same one we took on our road trip to Las Vegas—and created yet again our own Team Super Street on the rally. Arriving in Reno with the rest of the Gumballers, we left the AnastasiaDate and AsianDate teams and got behind the wheel of something that would make you guys proud and also keep up with the supercars on the twisty coastal and canyon roads of the West Coast.
As I'm trying to put together this story, there's literally too much involved in Gumball week that it's impossible to squeeze into a few pages. I could write a novel and show you an entire memory card of photos for each day of the rally, whether it's about the crazy driving that took place, the person who went to jail that day, the wild parties that ended at 5 a.m. every day, the unspeakable pranks, but hopefully the following moments captured on film will help paint a picture and explain why the Gumball 3000 is quite possibly the most amazing experience we'll ever have as journalists.
The crowds ranged into the tens of thousands as fans in Stockholm, Sweden, wished the 100+ rally cars a safe and police-free journey! Here's a look at one of the AnastasiaDate/AsianDate '69 Camaros!
The starting grid featured a full-on stage and free concert for the people right in the heart of Stockholm. McLaren P1s aren't very common to see on the street, so you can imagine the amount of people excited to see the cars on the rally.
The first checkpoint at Örebro Castle on day one. The castle is located in a small town called Närke in Sweden. What was one of the biggest takeaways from driving in Europe is that thousands of people come to see the rally, even if it means standing on the freeway offramp with signs and flags to wave us a safe journey. This happened at every freeway exit!
One of the oldest cars on the rally was this Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. It's worth $16 mil if it's legit, but either way, it was badass to see. We even saw the driver go hard with the top down as it began to rain through Sweden!
Gotta give it up to one of the few Japanese cars on the entire rally, this NISMO GT-R.
Guess Jeans did it big this year by campaigning 3 Dodge SRT Vipers. One of the drivers was our very own Formula D champ and SS friend Dai Yoshihara. We didn't mind the passengers, either—Simone Holtznagel, Danielle Knudson, and Natalie Pack—world-famous Guess models.
The livery on the Vipers was done by L.A.-based artist Tristan Eaton. Here he is having some fun and taggin' a wall during the first party in downtown Sweden.
While not on this year's rally, Jens Byggmark's turbocharged Z4 GT3 carbon widebody has done previous Gumballs. It was parked outside the venue of the kick-off party for everyone to drool at.
Half of the spirit of Gumball is the partying. For six straight nights, we partied until 5 a.m.—sometimes later, and had to be ready to drive every morning by 9 a.m. We're still recovering!
Stumbling into McDonalds at 7 a.m. for breakfast in Stockholm—we found Ronald!
One of the checkpoints in Europe took place at Keonigsegg Headquarters, where we received a private tour of the assembly line. Some Gumballers got a chance to drive on their private runway!
Day two, the morning we left Oslo for Copenhagen, hundreds of people woke up bright and early to see the cars off. This is perhaps one of the coolest cars on the rally, a V-12-powered Lamborghini LM002 SUV. Talk about rare!
Our AnastasiaDate/AsianDate Camaros couldn't even get more than 200 miles without refueling. Guess straight pipes and American V-8s aren't the best for cross-country road trips!
Leaving Oslo in the tunnel. This was the first time I had the chance to drive something this old and American, and holy shit was it loud with an open exhaust. We had to wear headphones and a microphone just so we could talk to the passenger. Didn't get a chance to test its top speed, but the Europeans sure love its loud and burly sound.
Before driving into Germany, we had to board a ferry. While waiting, we ran into this RS6 driven by Jon Olsson. The carbon widebody wagon was built with the help of the ex-chief engineer for Koenigsegg and is said to have near 1,000 hp!
On board the Fähre to Germany. Not every day you hop on a ferry with 100 supercars and a couple badass Camaros.
Just to show what it feels like behind the wheel of one of the Camaros through Sweden. The yellow coupe features a small-block V-8 (LT1 383) that makes 554 hp while the red beauty rocks a different transplant (ZZ383) putting down 425 hp.
Crossing the bridge from Sweden to Denmark—one of many major gorgeous views in Europe.
Germany was one the longest parts of the journey as a police escort was required to accompany with the entire convoy. No speeding was allowed! The pack reached its final destination at Amsterdam stadium before many of the cars were loaded onto a plane for the U.S. leg.
We were greeted by thousands in Amsterdam arena. Each car was introduced individually and with loud cheers.
Friend of the Gumball rally, DJ Afrojack played for the arena's sold-out crowd.
After the concert in Amsterdam arena, Afrojack played for the private Gumball party at The Conservatorium Hotel. Let's just say we barely made it to the airport the next morning!
Finally behind the wheel of our own RC F in Nevada and California! It's been upgraded with a GReddy exhaust and intake, Brembo brakes, TEIN coils, Advan wheels, and a custom lip kit by Evasive Motorsports.
One of the checkpoints on the U.S. leg was Buttonwillow Raceway. We had an open track, so Dai Yoshihara took it for a spin and showed us how to get it sideways.
Some of the cars that made the journey from Europe posted up at the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco. F50, mmmm...
When it came to driving, the most thrilling part of the Gumball rally was on Big Sur Highway 1 where top speed counts for nothing and evened the playing field for our RC F.
Posted up by the Pacific Ocean with a McLaren P1 owned by Deadmau5, Tommy Lee's McLaren 650S and Max of Gumball's Pagani Huayra.
One thing about Gumball is that everyone wears Gumball swag!
Dai with his co-pilot and Guess model Danielle Knudson. Please give us her phone number, Dai!
Max of Gumball's Huayra as we finish the SF to L.A. leg just outside of Staples Center.
Rapper Bun B, a Gumball veteran taking a selfie with our homie Adnan Ebrahim from Car Throttle.
Deadmau5 puts on a show at our stop in San Francisco at a private party at The Battery. Can you play Ghosts N Stuff again?
Another celebrity driver on Gumball, Dolph Lundren. "I will break you."
Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton was perhaps the most famous participant in Gumball and drove the LA to Vegas leg in a 1,030hp Koenigsegg Agera HH—top speed of 272 mph in case you're wondering. Rumor has it, he picked up a speeding ticket in the middle of the desert—we would have let him go...
The finish line in Las Vegas with one of AnastasiaDate/AsianDate Camaros, five days and 3,000 miles later!
Best friends forever. Thank you, Max!
We're not sure if whatever happened on this flight was legal, but it was quite possibly the wildest party we've seen thousands of feet in the air. Open bar, possible drug use, streaking, pranking, and more. This flight was simply eight hours of crazy debauchery.