The morning after the Copenhagen party was rough for most people. We were heading to Amsterdam, and we had a ferry crossing scheduled, so this was the earliest morning of the trip so far. With a meet-up time of 7a.m. and a scheduled departure of approximately 7:15, we were getting into our cars closer to 8 a.m. Things are going great this morning. It was the first small problem in what would turn into a day full of delays, problems, small explosions and a tale of kidnapping for Team AnastasiaDate.com and Team AsianDate.com.

Continue reading to learn more about Gumball 3000 2015: Day 3

As we sat in the lobby, our large group was rapidly breaking into smaller single-car groups as various journalists and PR personnel stumbled out of the hotel elevators. I was in one of the Camaro follow cars, so I left earlier than most to head to the drivers’ hotel.

But when we got to Germany, we learned very quickly that our country-wide escort was nothing but a farce, and we would be subjected to the longest arm of the law at each and every corner of this trip.

As we make our way to our Camaros and the girls from AnastasiaDate.com and AsianDate.com, I get a slightly panicked group message asking about one of the writers. He was the lone wolf last night, and nobody can find him. He isn’t in his room, his phone tracking is turned off, and nobody has seen him since the night before. Most of us assumed he just got a bit too tossed and ended up in the wrong room.
My group had to catch the ferry to Germany, so we didn’t wait up. We loaded up behind the Camaros and blasted down the motorways of Denmark as we raced for the ferry. If we missed the first ferry it would put us way behind schedule, so we pushed hard to make up time. We pushed hard enough that when we stopped, the red AsianDate.com Camaro began to overheat. Steve, knowing we were under a pretty strict time crunch made the decision to release pressure on the system manually so we could load it into the ferry. That meant pulling the cap off the boiling radiator.

I was eager to assist where I could to get the Camaro back into motion, and I came around the corner at the exact wrong time. Boiling, rusty water gushed forth from the radiator as Steve pulled the cap. Thankfully I was quick enough to turn and cover my face, although I did get hit with water across the shoulders and neck. Any burning was minor, and a few hours later, a soft red hue to my skin and rusty stains on my white T-shirt were all that remained of the incident.

Gumball 3000 Day 3: Copenhagen to Amsterdam High Resolution Exterior
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Gumball 3000 Day 3: Copenhagen to Amsterdam High Resolution Exterior
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Gumball 3000 Day 3: Copenhagen to Amsterdam High Resolution Exterior
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With the car depressurized, we began the process of dumping in every water bottle we could find stashed in the follow cars. Thankfully we were stopped right next to a service station, so we were able to buy several gallons of bottled water. Things didn’t look good for the red Camaro as we loaded it onto the ferry for the 40-minute crossing to Germany, but there was little we could do until we got back to the States. As we boarded, I began discussing the Camaro with the mechanic. He and I both feared the same issue, a head gasket, and the car would need to be babied to make it to Amsterdam. The problem with that is we were supposed to be following a police convoy through the heart of Germany, and our speed would be dictated by the lovely officer up front. Our fate depended on them.

But when we got to Germany, we learned very quickly that our country-wide escort was nothing but a farce, and we would be subjected to the longest arm of the law at each and every corner of this trip. By the time we disembarked, the plans constructed by the German police for our convoy had changed dramatically. Rather than get our country-wide escort, the German Police just funneled everyone into a checkpoint 5 miles down the road so that they could harass Gumballers, search cars and do passport checks. If you will remember, we are in the European Union and there is no need to check passports at border crossings as long as you stay in the EU. This really was more of a hassle than anything else.

Gumball 3000 Day 3: Copenhagen to Amsterdam High Resolution Exterior
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From that point they let everyone run free through Germany, and laid in wait to snag them for speeding. We don’t have a solid total for tickets, but rumor has it at more than 50, and apparently one car was even seized, but it’s been hard to track hard information on that.

It was like the universe was handing me the pen to scratch items off my bucket list. An American icon with a thumping V8 was all mine to tear down an unrestricted section of Autobahn.

Without the law enforcement dictating our speed, we hoped we could nurse the ailing AsianDate.com Camaro to Amsterdam for the flight to America, but just a few miles after we left the police check stop, the car lost oil pressure, developed a massive knock, and Steve killed the engine and coasted to a stop. The car was done for, and it would need to be towed to Amsterdam.

This forced us to repack the cars and readjust seating, and then magically it also meant that I somehow ended up inside the yellow AnastasiaDate.com Camaro again. On a day I wasn’t scheduled to even sit in the car, I wound up driving for a few hundred miles on the German Autobahn. It was like the universe was handing me the pen to scratch items off my bucket list. An American icon with a thumping V8 was all mine to tear down an unrestricted section of Autobahn. Our lead car is a Volvo XC60 crossover, limited to a speed of about 137 mph (220 kph), and they had the needle buried. Still, with more than 500 horsepower growling just inches in front of me, I gripped the large wooden steering wheel and buried the throttle. The speedometer had long since ceased to function, but the rpm climbed and the Volvo got larger in the windshield. It’s hard to tell just how fast I was going, but speeds of 150 mph are easily feasible. It was around this point that the front end started to go light, and I backed out for fear of stuffing someone else’s $75k Camaro. Still, it was quite a thrill to dominate the German countryside with a force of American Muscle at speeds that would have me immediately incarcerated in the same country that created this chunk of iron and burning gasoline.

Gumball 3000 Day 3: Copenhagen to Amsterdam High Resolution Exterior
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A few short hours later we rolled into Amsterdam. I dropped off luggage and passengers and took the chance to deliver the yellow Camaro to the airport for the transport to America myself. For the first time since the trip started, I found myself alone in the Camaro. I took off my headset and just enjoyed the car for a few moments as I waited for my escort to the airport. The car was slowly becoming alive in my eyes. It was growing on me in a way only the special cars do. It was more than paint metal and rivets, it was alive, and I loved it. After the airport I called it an early night. I was told the flight the next day on “Gumball Air” was one of the wildest parties in the world, and I would likely not get any sleep, so I wanted to be as well rested as I could be.

Stick around for more coverage of the Gumball 3000 Rally on TopSpeed.com later.

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