Gumball 3000 in the United States


I just returned from Las Vegas. Yeah, I went after Gumball 3000 again. It’s official: Gumball is different in the United States. There aren’t crowds of 20,000 people and there isn’t Jon Olsson’s DTM-inspired Audi RS6 (yeah, I’m a bit bitter about that). Like Germany, America has rules, and also strict punishments to those who don’t abide. I don’t even know why Gumball bothers coming back. But before you read my rant, just know there’s a silver lining to every story.

I’m going to preface this story by telling you a little about myself: I’m what I’d call an amateur automotive photographer. This isn’t my job, even though I’ve sold some shots over the years. This is simply a passion, and Gumball is a great opportunity to shoot many different cars from all over the world. This isn’t my first Gumball experience; I saw Gumball in Dallas in 2009 and Kansas City in 2012. This year’s Gumball is very reminiscent of my past experiences.

This is the paragraph of negatives so feel free to skip around. In 2009, the cars were supposed to arrive around 3PM. By sunset only three support vehicles were present. Fast forward to 2012. I pulled up to the Intercontinental in Kansas City and there was a line up of seven Gumball cars. The wanna-be car spotters (myself included) finally disregarded security and raided the valet parking garage, where all of the others were nicely tucked away. Here I am today, in Vegas for the finale of the 2015 Gumball 3000. I have tickets to the Gumball Festival, a two day event featuring Deadmau5, Jack Ü (Skrillex and Diplo), Tony Hawk, and others. “Doors open at 3PM.” I get there at 4PM and am told I can’t bring my camera, even though there’s a sign that says it’s okay. After an argument that went nowhere, I finally convinced a worker to let me see their schedule. Oh cool, the cars arrive at 8PM. Then why the hell am I here now? I walk a mile back to my car to put my camera away and go find some food. Shortly after at 6:56PM, I get an email from Ticketmaster: “Your event has been canceled.” What the actual fuck. Turns out it was the second day that was cancelled but holy shit. I felt so bad for Deadmau5, having to DJ for twenty people.

Despite these MANY shortcomings, I had a great time. Mainly doing other Vegas things, but I saw some cool cars at Gumball. Pagani, Koenigsegg, 918s, P1, etc. Here are some terrible iPhone pictures.

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But wait, there’s more! After seeing some pictures on social media of the cars in a parking garage, I went searching. I thought for sure they were at the MGM Grand but nope. Next, the Bellagio. WELP, I got distracted.

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Yup, a LaFerrari, my first one in the wild. Knowing I was in a restricted area, I walked with a purpose, telling myself I wasn’t going to look back for anyone. Unfortunately, the valets were coming from my front and told me to leave. I was dead set on trying again until I noticed the chain link fences in the background. I found the other side and settled on those pictures, despite how idiotic I looked taking a picture of a fence.

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At that point my friends wanted to leave but I convinced them to take the elevator up a few floors. Here’s what was up there:
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Aaaaaaand another:IMG_5640

Aaaaaaand of course I had to go back in the morning:IMG_5689

See? There’s a silver lining to every story. I’m glad I went to Vegas and there will be more content coming soon. Gumball was just a bonus, although they suck at America and should not come back until they fix themselves.

– Zach

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