What’s the only thing more enjoyable than watching the cable-cars on the streets of San Francisco…121 supercars racing up and down the hills with familiar faces behind the wheels! Yes, the Gumballers are back in town with some of the rarest supercars to traverse the planet. Not since 2003 (the last Gumball in San Francisco, ending in Miami) has the town been so car crazy! This 10th Anniversary Tour will not disappoint.
The festivities began with a kickoff celebration at Temple SF. To call it a party would be an understatement. Drivers rocked out to a performance by the Cuban Brothers, enjoyed cocktails, and mingled with celebrities on the red carpet. Not before long, it was time to retire and try to salvage a few hours sleep before the epic journey began.
Saturday’s start of the Rally brought flocks of fans to the top of Nob Hill. The sounds of revving V-12s echoed off the buildings, and brought excitement to the air. The final destination is Beijing, with half of the cars going the full distance. The caravan takes a slight detour to Pyongyang, North Korea, a first for an event of this kind. The cars will be flown direct via massive cargo planes to China, whereas drivers will enjoy an All First Class Boeing 767 across the Pacific, and spend a day as spectators at the Mass Games.
The field of cars contained the standard fare; Lambos, Porsches, and Ferarris. This is to be expected. This years’ Rally included a greater number of classic cars, cars that you can’t walk into the dealership, throw down your Amex Black, and roll. These are vehicles of passion, and you could see the attention to detail put into preparing the cars for the race. The decal application alone went deep into the night on Friday, thanks to the dedication of the Rally’s production staff.
The Drivers Meeting put everyone in the right frame of mind; all that was left to do was load the luggage and get rolling to Los Angeles. A quick lap through the City of San Francisco was in order, which would not be complete without including Lombard St., the most crooked street in the world. The field returned once again to the Fairmont Hotel to receive the green flag, and off they went.
The Gumball is off and running. As sad as we are to see it leave the City by the Bay, we take comfort knowing the 11th installment will have it back again in the USA for 2009. Los Angeles to Miami, with all the fun spots in between. Something tells me they will outdo themselves again, as they do every year.