SWOONING AT THE GUMBALL 3000 RALLY

15/05/2007

PALL MALL
Just past the Institute of Directors in front of a giant screen was a Group 20 display of fantastic ‘SuperCars' and, among them was the powerful Pagani Zonda F Roadster over which many were swooning. Well, the Zonda does have such a sensual sweep with the promise of a thrilling drive. All one has to do to experience driving these supercharged cars is join The SuperCar Club - after all, isn't the other woman in a man's life his trophy mistress...a show-stopping car!

Carrying only a modest camera but loaded with confidence I strolled into the Gumball Rally V.I.P. Enclosure. What a splendid spectacle and sense of occasion and celebration as I weaved my way excitedly through a superb collection of cars where the Rally drivers were passionately preparing for a ‘Fun' start on their way to Istanbul and beyond.

Cars within the Gumball enclosure were lined up on both sides and like a child left to wander in Hamleys, I didn't know which way to turn and clicked away left and right taking photos of the cars and some of the Rally drivers amidst febrile activity.

Oh, I was so fortunate to be at the hub of all the buzz and excitement while members of the public on either side of the Gumball enclosure were struggling (as I normally do) to take snaps of the spectacular cars.
Body-work of the cars gleamed in primary colours - hot red & sunflower yellow Ferraris, a bright orange and black Mercedes, a Range Rover with flames painted on its bonnet and, a raven-black rapscallion Rolls Royce carrying with it the decadent spirit of ecstasy were just some of the cars in the Rally. Yes, the stars of the day were all the sleek, shiny and fiercely fast cars.

It was reassuring to see hawk-eyed police officers pacing the Gumball enclosure and that's when I noticed a ruby red Chevrolet Impala, one of my father's favoured cars - he, in fact, many years ago drove alone from London to Delhi in a Chevrolet and, were he alive would have loved to have participated in the Gumball Rally.

Chatting to some of the Rally drivers I discovered that two of them who owned a black Mercedes were actually from Istanbul and had come to London especially to participate in the Rally as did some Rally drivers all the way from Rio, S. America and Florida. Didn't see any South Asian participants at the Rally.

Another Rally driver I spoke to driving a magnificent white Bentley that resembled a gliding phantom, told me he was last year's winner - the one, his friend said "had driven like a bat from hell!" The two friends looked dapper in fancy dress like crusaders on a mission. Fait accompli and finally, I had a delightful photo taken standing between the two laughing cavaliers or, were we the three musketeers!

The aim of the Gumball Rally is to complete the course and I wished all the Rally drivers I'd spoken to much success. It gave me much pleasure and a thrill simply being there at the start of the Rally and my collection of photos is just a humble attempt at capturing the moment...enjoy.

By Amita Chatterji. ©

Click link to view photos in gallery: http://www.pukkapr.com/gallery/view.aspx?cat=Gumball%20Rally%20Pics

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