I was here again. Years have elapsed since the last time I sat in the backseat of my parents’ car en route somewhere while my brothers played ‘I spy the flash automobile.’ Actually, I lie, the automobiles didn’t have to be flash – it was the identifying of them that was key. Whenever I spotted one and called out the name, I was generally ignored.
Fast forward to now: Regent Street on May 2 and the arrival of the Gumball 3000. To the uninitiated that’s a kind of race where, to quote a stranger I met on the day, ‘Rich guys drive from one place in the world to another showing off their souped-up motors’. The reason I’m aware of it is that one of my favourite entertainment acts of all time quite often compere the arrival of these gas guzzling beasts to whatever destination may be on the agenda. I’m talking about Los Hermanos Cubanos of course.
‘Oh yeah, they’re on at about 7pm’ an official told me early on in the morning. I texted to get some insider info. ‘No, we’re actually in bonnie Scotland’ came the reply. Never mind. Given I’d yet to experience these cars roll into town in all their revved up glory, I decided I’d go along, see what all the fuss was about.
Wedged in the crush between various fans hours later, one of them let me in front to take photos. ‘Oh, I think that’s a Hummer coming – that gold one, is it?’ I asked of my new friends. No answer.
‘Ohhhhhh mate, can you hear that – what is it?’
‘I think it’s a Lambo, mate.’
I forget sometimes, I am a mere girl.
‘Oh, mate, I think this is Mr Gumball comin’.’
‘Yeah, sounds like an Aston.’
‘Who’s Mr Gumball?’ I asked tentatively.
‘Maximillion Cooper’ came the reply. ‘He’s the founder of this whole thing. Downgraded himself this year a bit to the Aston in my personal opinion.’
I don’t know. With it’s gold framed grill in front, it looked quite pretty to me.
A vintage Mercedes – just like one my Dad had in the 50’s – jumped and throatily arrived at the stewarding point. Lurching to a stop Mr Passenger seat popped streamers from the window. I exploded with laughter and whooped. This was fun! The bonnet raised as she, literally, took off again.
‘Wait a minute mate…. WHAT is that noise?!’ From a distance could be heard a series of claps of thunder and lightening. ‘Whoooooooaa mate, I think it’s the Nissan GTR.’
Ear splittingly fabulous, the Emoji wrapped Nissan arrived next to us like our own personal storm. ‘Good job he hasn’t got a flame kit on that, a pair of legs would be gone! You know mate, I’m surprised he hasn’t blown a turbo!’
‘Oh look! What’s that camouflage looking car coming?’ I asked.
My ‘mates’ turned to each other. ‘Wanna go and see if they’ve parked up yet?’ one said to other.
‘Yeah, may as well.’
Turns out some things never change.