9 May
Charlie Meadows unleashes the LIAS Caddy CTS-V on the Greatest Rally on Earth...


Today concludes the 11th annual Gumball 3000, an epic rally raging from Los Angeles to Miami via stops in Vegas, Sedona, Santa Fe, Dallas, New Orleans, and Orlando. And what a rally it was! We loaded up the Lost In a Supermarket Special Edition Cadillac CTS-V and hit the road, racing and celebrating in massive fashion. Oh what a week! It’s hard to put the adventure into words, so I guess the best way to tell the story is to let the photographs do the talking.

So a quick perusal of the galleries below will tell a grand tale of Glorious Victory and Ignominious Defeat, of logic-defying speeds and stomach-churning speeding tickets, of windshield cleaning Sheiks and party-friendly Japanese. Cause that’s how Gumball likes to rock it, quite frankly. So here’s the highlights from the galleries below:

1. The starting gate outta Santa Monica Pier was madness. Thousands cheering your takeoff, augmented by the fact that one of the most martial police forces in the USA (SMPD baby) blocked off the streets so we could charge down the PCH and onto the 10 and its sweet, sweet freedom.

2. It’s not all caviar and 4-Star hotels. Sometimes lunch means chilli cheese fries at Tommy’s.

3. The CTS-V is quite possibly the perfect Gumball car. It fit 3 adults (me, photographer and trusty PR henchman) in total comfort, while not only keeping up with cars like Mercedes McLaren SLRs, Lamborghini Murcielagos and Porsche GT3s, but actually leading the pack at many times. The car is madness — 566 HPs of madness, to be precise. It’s got the Corvette’s massive 6.2 liter supercharged V8 stuffed into the slightly beefed-up body of a regular Caddy, meaning the results are like transplanting the Hulk’s heart into the ascotted-suit of Higgins (Magnum PI, anyone?)

4. The kid from Estate has a sweet Audi RS4, and rolling with him made my car almost invisible. The Rogue Status guys’ Scion drift cars are no joke either.

5. That’s 155 mphs — we eventually got it to 160. Read it and weep. No, seriously, I wept.

6. Yes, that’s me signing off on a speeding ticket, caught by a damn bear as we got off a highway. The Good News: it wasn’t while going 16o. The Bad News: the speed limit dropped to 45, so they got me going 75. Dude threatened to arrest me and impound the Caddy. Would not have been fun in the backwoods of Arizona.

7. There are few greater thrills than flooring it across an open swath of American highway embroiled in a serious cat n mouse chase with a Lambo Gallardo, Viper SRT, Corvette ZR6, Dodge Challenger SRT-8 and Bentley GT. The chills are serotonin dumpers. Ironically, it was DJ Muggs and Estevan Oriol‘s Land Rover LR3 that they decided to pull over. “Why, with all these cars, did you decide to pull over the soccer mom car?” Oriol asked the cop who pulled him over. Logical question, considering he was the only latino in a sea of uber-rich whiteboys. “Cause you were the only guy I could catch,” answered the cop. Logical answer too, I guess.

Because if the Gumball stands for anything, it isn’t about widescreen, 1080 dp hi-def LCD thrills. It’s about real flesh and bone experience, the visceral meaty tingles of grabbing your steering wheel white-knuckled and dropping the accelerator. It’s about being as scared of smashing your vehicle into smithereens across a Texas landscape as coming over a hill and being tagged by some cop’s laser gun, about the sort of backcountry legal anal rape that could ensue when some hot-blooded pig catches your city slicker ass burning his roads at 150 mph. “What in hell were you thinking boy? Get out your car with your hands above your head! Squeal piggy, squeeeeeeaaaaal!!!” Cause when you’re driving a state of the art, 566 horsepower Cadillac, going 150 mph doesn’t scare you much — thrill you, yes, scare you, no. The car feels as solid at that speed as it does going 80. In fact, it doesn’t feel much different. No, what scares the everliving shit out of you when you’re coming up and over a hill as the speedometer is vibrating anywhere over 130 mph isn’t the fear of losing control, it’s the fear that some silver-Ray Baned Smokey will be sitting there with a radar gun resting on his door window, the readout on his gun causing his toothpick to fall out of his corpulent, drooling lips and your velocity triggering his heart to flitter flat with utter fear and loathing. It’s enough to make you consider running, because there ain’t no way that anything positive is going to come from you pulling over at that point.

All photos by Peter Bohler

The Lost In A Supermarket edition Cadillac CTS-V in all its road-eating glory…


The Gumballers unite atop the Hoover Dam…


6 Responses to “Gumball 3000”

  1. James Marino says:

    Wow! Great job, Peter.

  2. […] in Detroit), so I’m gonna give it a pass this time. We had the Sedan version of the CTS-V last year for the Gumball Rally, and it was the most bad ass 4-door of 2009 — and yes, we’ve driven the BMW M5 and Benz E63 […]

  3. Wow, thanks a bunch m8

  4. […] magical Cadillac CTS-V with their new V700 upgrade package. If you recall, we drove the regular Cadillac CTS-V at the Gumball Rally last spring and it was worldwide bonkers, so adding more juice can only be a good thing. Adding a […]

  5. […] seem to be hitting on all cylinders at the moment — from the knockout punch of their CTS-V (which we drove in the Gumball Rally), to the new ATS to now entering the Extended Range/EV market. Based on the powertrain of its lower […]

  6. […] cars for years. Specifically, the fire-breathing Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (read our tales of the CTS-V on the Gumball Rally from a couple years back). But so far, with the latest gen CTS, the Coupe has yet to be announced. […]

Leave a Reply