Every year, a cavalcade of car-loving celebrities and big name motorists descend on London for the annual Gumball 3000 rally.
First started by Maximillion Cooper back in 1999, the 3,000-mile race really has to be seen to be believed.
Ahead of the latest addition, loaded caught up with Ferrari Club President and businessman Josh Cartu, who has competed in the event since, to get the lowdown on what goes on.
Here are his 15 crazy things you probably never knew about Gumball 3000.
Over 5,500 people from over 40 countries have taken part since the first rally in 1999, making it one of the most exclusive, powerful and influential Members Clubs in the world.
The Founders of PayPal, Facebook and Tesla participated in the Gumball before they had launched their now world dominating companies.
Hugh Hefner presented the Gumball Awards with Gumball 3000 Founder Maximillion Cooper at the end of the 2002 Rally (from New York to Los Angeles) at The Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.
In 2003 Sony PlayStation released a ‘Gumball 3000’ PS2 video game that stayed in the PlayStation top 50 charts for 5 years!
In 2001 MTV made a 1 hour special on Gumball 3000 following Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass guy’s on the rally from London to Russia and back. It was the highest viewed TV show in North America on MTV in 2001!
In 2006 Hasbro Toys sold over 15 million packs of the ‘Gumball 3000’ Top Trumps children’s card game!
78 members of the Forbes 500 have participated in the Gumball 3000 Rally.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hosted Gumballers for one night on the rally 2008 in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. Gumballer’s had flown to Pyongyang from Las Vegas mid-rally as part of the San Francisco to the Beijing Olympic Games route. The North Korean leader organised a ‘Friendship’ music concert for the Gumball participants in the worlds largest sports stadium called the May Day Stadium. 150,000 North Koreans performed inside the stadium for the 300 Gumball participants! The event was organised by Maximillion Cooper to promote peace and friendship in the Korean Peninsular – and guests included members of the Beijing Olympic Committee, South Korean Government Officials, CNN and members of the United Nations.
Actor Adrien Brody celebrated winning an Oscar for his role in ‘The Pianist’ by signing up to participate in the 2004 Gumball from Paris – Marrakech – Cannes!
In 2014, Gumball 3000 sold the rights for a scripted acted feature film version of the rally for an undisclosed sum to Warner Brothers. The movie is still in pre-production!
Three Formula 1 World Champions have participated in the rally – Damon Hill (2001), Jenson Button (2005) and Lewis Hamilton (2015);
US Grammy winning Rapper EVE participated in the rally in 2010 from London to New York representing Team Puma (the official footwear sponsors of the rally). She met Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper on the red carpet launch party that year…. and 4 years later they got married at the end of the 2014 rally from Miami to Ibiza!
Award winning Hollywood film director Ruben Fleischer, director of Gangster Squad and Zombieland made his first ever docufilm, filming the Gumball 3000 Rally from Paris – Marrakech – Cannes in 2004 called ‘6 Days in May’.
Maximillion Cooper’s co-driver on the first Gumball 3000 Rally in 1999 was Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley!
Maximillion Cooper and The Gumball 3000 Group set up The Gumball 3000 Foundation in 2013, a registered charity to support youth projects in low-income communities around the world. The Foundation and has since raised over $2.5 million and supported multiple projects working together with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, When You Wish Upon A Star, The Tony Hawk Foundation and Laureus Sport For Good.