Just Above Sunset
May 21, 2006 - The Green Gumball













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Ferrari F430 intake system -

This will easily get you from a dead stop to sixty in under four seconds, if you have at least 178,906 dollars (before taxes, registration and licensing fees, any options you choose and a chat with your insurance company). You're looking at the intake system of a mid-engine Ferrari F430, their hottest production model now that the Enzo is no more (they built only four hundred of those and they go for a million now, so you rarely see one of them, save for when some fool crashes one in Malibu or you catch a glimpse of Nicholas Cage driving his on the Beverly Hills part of Sunset, a few miles west).

This Ferrari F430 was just sitting in the street just off Melrose Avenue, on Fuller, Thursday May 11th, by the open-air auto repair shop, Ted's Imported Car Service, where there seemed to be a new yellow Lamborghini disassembled for some reason. This is Los Angeles, after all.

But this poison-green Ferrari on the street obviously needed Ted's help. It had been beat to hell and various bits of trim and some body parts had been taped in place with yellow duct tape, and the windshield and forward parts were pitted. It looked tired.

What happened? The racing number on the side - 45 - tells the tale. The Portuguese owner, Uno Gomes Cerqueira, had just driven it three thousand hard miles in six days in the latest version of "Cannonball Run," the rally, of sorts, that is run on public roads and is know as Gumball 3000.

That would be this –

 

In 1933 legendary motorcycle racer Mister Baker, had crossed the United States coast-to-coast in 54 hours, earning him the nickname Cannonball. He had had an annual race ever since 1914 (when he needed 11 days), and bettered his time ever since. In the 1970s motor journalist Brock Yates of Car and Driver magazine had started the "Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash" in honor of Cannonball. The first race was held on April 1, 1971, and first prize was a Gumball dispenser. The first race was won by Yates and Dan Gurney, former race driver for Formula One and Le Mans, who drove a Ferrari. They needed about 35 hours from New York to L.A. These events inspired the 1976 movies "Gumball Rally" and "Cannonball," as well as sequels such as "Cannonball Run," "Cannonball Run 2," etc. The original Gumball race was finally canceled in 1979.

Drawing inspiration from the 1970s race, the movies and "Smokey and the Bandit," Maximillion Cooper started the modern edition of the game in the summer of 1999 as the Gumball 3000 road rally. Gumball 3000 has since gained the reputation as road race for the modern era and has captured attention. With celebrity participation the public have been bought closer to the race by witnessing it on everything from MTV to reading about it in Vanity Fair.

 

So where had this F430 been this time to get so beat up? That information would be here - April 30 start in London and get to Belgium, then May 1 to Vienna, then Budapest the next day, and Belgrade the day after, then the cars are all flown of Southeast Asia and on May 5 race from Phuket to Bangkok, ending up at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel there, and then the cars are flown to Utah, to Salt Lake City, where everyone attends "the red carpet Premiere of Mission Impossible III" and the next morning revs up drives like hell to Las Vegas for a private "Snoop Dog" concert, then off to Death Valley and finally, May 7, the dash to the finish line, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. All that was followed by a dinner at the Beverly Hilton and a party at the Playboy Mansion up the hill, where one of the DJ's was the famous porn star Ron Jeremy.

This adds a whole new dimension, or many, to the "idle rich" thing. The "Spirit Trophy" was won by Team 15 - they crashed their Rolls Royce Phantom in Serbia and rode in cabs for the rest of the rally. Others just dodge the police and drive like hell. A few years ago some of us saw the drivers the police had actually caught on the 10 freeway in Covina - they didn't look very worried, and the cars were cool. We all slowed down and checked it out.

This Ferrari F430 on Melrose, after this year's three thousand miles on three continents, finished in the middle of the pack, but ahead of the guys in the cab. Now it needs work.

Gumball rally Ferrari F430 on Melrose -

Gumball rally Ferrari F430 on Melrose -

Gumball rally Ferrari F430 on Melrose -

Gumball rally Ferrari F430 on Melrose -
















If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.  

There is a copyright notice at the bottom of this page, of course.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - lens AF-5 Nikor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED or AF Nikor 70-300 mm telephoto.

They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0
The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

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Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
 
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