Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Gumball 3000 Rally Comes to Mykonos


The “What?” you say.  Yes The G-U-M-B-A-L-L 3000 Rally, billed on its website as a “display of the world’s most expensive, impressive and rare automobiles,” on “an annual luxury automotive road trip taking place every year and travelling a different 3000 mile route. Drive through capital cities in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and photographers as Gumball shuts down famous landmarks in each city where spectacular static car displays are hosted and documented by the world’s press. Check into the most exclusive hotels before you're whisked off to one of the infamous Gumball parties.

As reported in The Sun, “The whole event is geared towards raising cash for the Gumball 3000 Foundation – which The Sun is partnered with.  The foundation focuses on projects for young people, aiming to improve life for children and teens growing up in deprived areas.  Among the beneficiaries are When You Wish Upon A Star, The Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, The Tony Hawk Foundation, The Sir Simon Milton Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK and the The Westway Trust.  And this year’s rally has already raised over £500,000 to support the foundation started by Brit entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper in 1999.”

I’m not sure if there’s an official title for this year’s run is, but from the itinerary, “A Baltic Blitz” comes to mind.  

It started off in Riga (Latvia) on July 1st, getting to Mykonos yesterday, July 7th, having motored south along the way to events in Warsaw (Poland), Budapest (Hungary), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Porto Montenegro (Montenegro), Tirana (Albania), Volos (Greece), and Athens.  The Athens to Mykonos leg required a boat, though from the feverish last minute road paving on Mykonos, I’m guessing the island’s city fathers would have built a bridge if necessary to get the event here.

As to why it’s here, well, that’s another story.  Simply put, it’s heralded as a high-end glitzy big spenders’ event, which is consistent with the direction the city fathers seem determined on taking the island.  Yet, from what I can tell, most locals (and virtually every tourist) had no idea until the last minute that GB3000R was coming, what it is, or how many public areas and roadways would be affected.

I’m a big car nut (though I stick to a tiny 4-wheeler to survive the island’s narrow, uneven, roads), so the thought of all these exotics on the island for a couple of days doesn’t bother me in the least (including the two-legged kind who drive the cars and their wildly partying entourages), but it does make me wonder why all this public money (remember the high-season paving) and municipal attention is being lavished on such a barely publicized event. 

Reality imitates art as this fictional car rally scene for two vehicles in "The Kings of Mykonos" goes live today for 150.

For sure the GB3000R has admirable charitable purposes, and its presence on Mykonos will be good business for some on the island, but as for how the overall polity will benefit—short or long term—is a wide open question.  Then again, that’s just another of the many questions of that sort bouncing around the island these days in search of answers. 

Nevertheless, this is a weekend to celebrate these beautiful cars…ones that I doubt would ever dare venture off their freshly paved roads onto the island’s far too many neglected ones. In other words, on Mykonos, my Jimny rules!

All of the following photographs are by Zavadskis and appeared in The Sun:

And as a special bonus, after writing this post and purely by chance, I came across the Gumball Rally processional in full force--thankfully heading the opposite way--and was able to film this minute or so of it.



  1. I never knew you were a "big car nut," all this time I just thought you were a wing nut.

  2. Let's leave Jeff's nuts out of this!

  3. I thought this was the Gumball Rally. It's turned into the Screwball Rally.

    1. I didn't know EvKa was entered.

    2. I was in the clown car, Jeff, but with all the other clowns in there, it's no surprise we didn't bump into each other...

  4. Oh please suggest they continue the tour in The Mani -- our roads are still destroyed from last September's storm and no sight of repairs or funds to make the repairs. But you've given me hope - if we could get the Gumball 3000 Rally we might actually see some paving!

    1. That point bad been made here as an upside to the event, but the follow up question quickly turns to how long the paving will hold up. These last minute jobs generate cynicism.

  5. I can't think about this right now. On tonight's news was the report that nine men in Greece were charged with homicide after beating a 22-year-old African-American man to death.

    His crime? He asked to take a selfie with a waitress.

    Racism and violence are so wrong. There are no words for this.

  6. Bakari Henderson, from Austin, Texas and a recent University of Arizona graduate, was beaten to death outside a bar on the Ionian Greek island of Zakynthos. Nine men have been charged with intentional homicide--7 Serbs, 1 Brit of Serb origins, and 1 Greek. There is no suggestion that the victim, a black man, committed any "crime," but it is still unclear what triggered the incident leading this tragedy. I've been following it since it first was reported. Here is a link to an LA Times background article.