5 Gumball 3000 Veterans and Their Cars

Xzibit and David Hasselhoff are two of the Gumball 3000 veterans 9 photos
Dolph Lundgren will participate at this year's Gumball 3000Eve will once again participate at this year's Gumball 3000Lewis Hamilton will participate on the American Leg of the Gumball 3000Jon Olsson is a Gumball 3000 veteranDavid Hasselhoff is a Gumball 3000 veteranTony Hawk is a Gumball 3000 veteranXzibit is a Gumball 3000 veteranJon Olsson will drive this customized Audi RS6 this year
He won the Formula One World Championship twice and is currently one of the most esteemed professional racers alive, yet Lewis Hamilton considered that joining the American leg of this year’s Gumball 3000 is appropriate. Alpine ski racer Jon Olsson, David Hasselhoff, Deadmau5, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Hawk and many others will also participate. Since we're going to be there too, we decided it was time to build up a list of veteran racers and of the cars they drove in previous editions.
16 years ago Maximillion Cooper invited 50 friends to take part in a 3000-mile drive around Europe. Spread over six days, through six countries, with dinners and parties each night, in stunning locations, it became a big thing almost immediately. The media covered it; participants had a blast, and the vehicles were making heads turn.

It all kicked off with a party in London where a bunch of A-list VIPs such as Kate Moss, Billy Zane, Guy Ritchie, Chris Eubank, Danii Minogue and even Monica Lewinski were invited. 55 cars were at the start line when Sir Terence Conran dropped the flag, and they all set-off. The public’s response was rather unexpected, as the premises of what later turned into an international event were quickly setting into place.

As the competition would grow larger and years between the events pass faster, criticism and controversies would also appear. The rallies did not pass without incidents. Participants have been stopped for speeding on numerous occasions; some had their driving licenses taken by police and even had their cars confiscated.

Things took an awful turn in 2007 when two pensioners died in an accident in Macedonia after their vehicle was hit by a Gumball rally car.

Gumball 3000, a magnet for wealthy celebrities

Yet, as we said, the participants quickly grew fond of the event, and the crowd of famed, well-heeled people grew bigger and bigger by the year. Some of them saw it as a one-time experience; others became what Cooper names the “Gumball family”. We’ll only call these people Gumball 3000 veterans, for they are probably those who have the most editions on record. Feel free to complete this list if you consider we missed somebody.

1. Tony Hawk

“The Birdman” is widely considered as one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding. When he’s not busy breaking records or shooting new commercials (including those for carmakers), he collects money of his licensed video game titles he then spends on events like the eccentric 3000-mile rally. Up to 2010, he drove his A-Team van for five editions. Then, after a three-year absence, he was back on the grid for the 2013 Gumball 3000. This time, the skateboarder drove a Twisted Defender (Land Rover Defender) from Copenhagen to Monaco.

We’re not sure if he’s going to race this year, but we know that he’s part of the two-day festival lineup set for May 29 and 30. The party celebrates the finale of the supercar rally from Stockholm to Las Vegas and will take place at the MGM Resorts Village. Deadmau5, Diplo, EVE, Bun B, The Alchemist, Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs and Hawk will all be there.

2. David Hasselhoff

We have already told you guys the TV favorite is returning this year for the race. The Knight Rider star will be driving the same vehicle he did last year, a Nissan GT-R that was wrapped to pay homage to his legendary KITT car. This Baywatch buff has been part of the Gumball 3000 competition since 2008 when he drove the 1982 Trans AM car better known as KITT.

David Hasselhoff then came back in 2009 and 2011 to wave the flag and set the racers off on their journey. In 2012, he was back on the grid, driving his Maserati Gran Turismo all the way to Los Angeles. He also raced the 15th Anniversary Rally, in 2013. This year, the 62-year-old actor has announced he’ll be auctioning his Can-Am KITT for charity.

3. Xzibit

Pimp My Ride is what you probably know him for; that is if you’re not a rap fan, in which case you know him for his music. The famous artist is also a Gumball 3000 veteran; a much-loved member might I add. In 2007, Xzibit was driving a Lamborghini Gallardo when the Dutch police seized his driver’s license for doing 160 km/h (99.5 mph) in a 100 km/h (62 mph) limit. His co-driver took over, and they finished the competition. The rapper later admitted he mistook the kilometers for miles.

In 2010, Xzibit drove a customized Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Three years later he came back and took the stage again, performing in Riga. Last year, he was driving a Bentley Continental GTC when French police pulled him over for speeding. This time he was doing 198 km/h (123.7 mph), a felony that left him with a 750 euro fine. They also suspended his license for a month. The funny part was that the French cops still asked for a selfie with the artist after charging him.

4. Jon Olsson

The Swedish professional freeskier is also one of the people that have been participating on several occasions. In 2010, Jon drove a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SV with a ski box strapped on top. The next year he joined his fellow American alpine skier Bode Miller racing the rally in a Nissan R35 GT-R. Olsson returned to the grid for the 15th Anniversary Rally, when he drove a specially custom built car, alongside his Betsafe teammates, the Rebellion TK.

There are a couple of things that need to be said about this particular breed. First, you should know that Olsson’s 2011 Rebellion R1k became the Rebellion R2k the year after. It was an utterly customized Ultima GT-R vehicle that craved for speed. The chassis, doors, and windshield are the only parts that haven’t been touched.

In fact, the world class professional Swedish free skier is renown on the Gumball grid for his great taste in cars. Every time he went for it, he came up with a crazy tuning project of some sort.

This year, the sportsman asked his team of designers and mechanics to enhance an Audi RS6. They used similar features like those from an RS5 car that is racing in the DTM. High-end amenities such as gold anodized turbochargers were added, turning the car into a 950 horsepower beast.

5. Eve

Since we are talking about an international event that was created by Maximillion Cooper, we figured it’s fair to include Grammy Award winner, hip hop artist, and actress Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper. And we wrote her entire name for a reason. You see, Eve is not just a gorgeous, talented singer who has been present in the rally for years, but she is also the founder’s wife.

In 2013, the “First Lady of Gumball” was already celebrating her fourth rally. That year she drove a Morgan Aero Supersports with Cooper. It was quite a far-reaching year for the artist since it was also when she released her “Lip Lock” album.

She didn't miss last year's edition either, but the vehicle Eve drove is not that important as is the fact that she got married at the end of the race. She and Maximillion Cooper met years ago when she first participated in the race for the clothing brand Puma and started dating in 2010. But it was only last year, after the Gumball 3000 came to an end in Ibiza, that they married.

We will stop this list here. Even though we might have missed one or two veterans, we’re sure these are the most active Gumball 3000 racers.

Editor's Note: since we’re going to be present at the event for the European Leg, we’ll make sure to keep you guys up to date with the latest cars and stars.
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