As I type, 150 brightly colored, wrapped and logo’ed cars, SUVs and anything in between are arriving in Toronto on the first day of the Gumball 3000 cross-country rally. The festive exotic-heavy field of participants lined up Thursday night in New York City’s Times Square in spite of fog, rain and and huge crowds. Tightly packed, the cars filled up two New York City blocks. [Read more…]
Long time readers know that Alex Roy, he of the Gumball 144 BMW, has been a friend of The Garage for some time now. Alex has been a little bit quieter than he was a couple of years ago, now that he has gone legit and is fielding his own Grand Am series Porsche.
Team Polizei144 is at Daytona this weekend with their TRG Porsche 911 in the familiar blue Polizei144 livery. Long time video shooter & producer JF Musial is along for the ride and put together this great video from practice earlier this week.
If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in a Gumball style road rally but can’t find your way into the scene, now may be your chance. The folks at Thunderball Rally are planning what looks like a classic event in September 2008. Fantastic cars. A fantastic route. Costumes! That’s right, for a whopping 50 pounds, one can dress up like Dom Delouise and cruise from London through the French Alps, down the Stelvio pass and in to Monaco! That’s a darn sight cheaper than some of the other, more infamous events.
For more info or to register visit the Thunderball Rally home page
One might think so as he amasses an ever growing fleet of E39 M5’s. This latest squad car comes complete with a roll cage and what looks to be a track suspension set up. Even more interesting is the suggestion that 144R may be used in combat some time soon.
So much for Roy’s retirement!
Those of you who have read your copy of The Driver already know that Herr Roy suffered more than a little embarrassment when he planted a brand spanking new Lamborghini into a wall. I’m sure that the sting has subsided a little in the past 3 years, but this video I just came across must cause Alex’s eyes to burn.
Last weekend, in Earls Court, the folks from Top Gear hosted the incredible MPH 07 show and what a show it looks to have been. With stage events being hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, a car show, vip hospitality stuff and more, it sounds like this may have been the car show of the year.
As a pimply faced preteen, I sought out any and every shred of automotive knowledge I could get my hands on. With “childhood” memories of cruising the Tyrol in a Dino and having a best friend that lived in an air cooled mecca, I had to get more knowledge. I had to know everything about cars and the people who built and drove them. I would scour the local library for anything automotive that I could get my hands on. One day, I picked up a plain white book that changed my life. It was called Sunday Driver.
With all the hype regarding his upcoming book, The Driver, Alex Roy has chosen now to release details of his secret transcontinental record attempt that happened over a year ago. Just one thing. This wasn’t an attempt, it was an all out assault, planned with the military precision one might expect from Herr Roy and Team Polizei. The Result? The largely contested Rawlings/Collins record of 31 Hours, 59 minutes was obliterated by almost an hour! Roy and codriver Dave Maher made the trip from New York City to Redondo Beach, California in 31 hours, 4 minutes. That is no less than 2795 miles and 13 states in the Team Polizei BMW M5 interceptor.
As with other records, this one will be subject to all manner of doubters. I can say this though. Either Roy is a great actor or I’m a very poor judge of character, because I find the guy to be completely genuine. If Alex and the others involved say they accomplished this, I believe them. Besides, some of the stories told in the book could potentially get them in very hot water with the po po, so why would they make this stuff up?
While things here in The Garage are heating up as Gary Faules prepares to do battle at La Carrera Panamerica, friend of The Garage Alex Roy has some stuff heating up in New York City. First off, Alex has launched a series of new wallpapers of the infamous number 144. Now the obvious reason is to build hype for the launch of Alex’s new book, The Driver, which launches on October 16.
Perhaps of more covert interest is news of a new Interceptor. That’s right, Roy’s mystical, magical M5 is being retired. The big question is, what is the replacement? Hmmm… Let’s take stock of things here. We have an international playboy with access to what may be one of the world’s most impressive fleet of exotic cars. What are the options? Bugatti? Naw, no back seat for extra passengers to share the escapades. Audi RS4? Nope, VW electronics are way too finicky. CTS-V? Too common.
I’m betting that Interceptor 144B will be something offbeat, like a Cayenne S that’s paid a visit to our friends at Ruf or some such super fast, super reliable shaggin’ waggon so AR can keep up with that playboy image!
After the break, see the original Interceptor in action as Team Polizei gets a police escort through Florence.
Yesterday we received a comment from the family of Nick Morley. In it, a good chunk of the haze surrounding the crash that occurred in Macedonia during the Gumball event has been cleared up. I thought it was worth posting on it’s own, as it’s too valuable to be lost in the comments section.
As we’ve said before, this case is an important landmark for the rally community. I can’t recall if there has ever been such a high profile situation where a competitor has been involved with a non competitors vehicle. It’s a shame that someone somewhere seems bent on setting a false example of a member of our community.
Letter after the break.