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The supercar carnival that is the Gumball 3000 rally (pictures)

We got up close and personal with the supercars and celebs that drive them in the London stage of the bizarre Gumball 3000 rally.

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Andrew Hoyle
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1 of 94 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Gumball 3000 rally sees some of the world's most famous and wealthy people get together with the best cars money can buy and drive them all over the planet, stopping off at some of the most luxurious spots along the way.

Why? Well, what else is there to spend that money on?

Big names such as skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, Jackasses Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera, DJ David Guetta and The Hoff are all among the Gumball fraternity.

It's not just about the cars though -- the Gumball foundation aims to put the money raised (it costs £40,000 per car to enter) to charitable efforts including bringing opportunities to underprivileged children the world over.

First up, this Dodge Challenger.

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The 2014 Gumball rally stops off at locations including Miami, New York, Edinburgh, Barcelona and Ibiza.

The London leg of the journey required the majestic Regent Street to be completely closed off.

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The Gumball cars drove down a parade route through the crowds. Shown here is an Audi RS 6, complete with happy people poking out of the top.

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Get Hoff that car! David Hasselhoff arrived sitting astride a Nissan GT-R -- complete with "KITT" lights.

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No car party would be complete without a Bugatti Veyron.

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Even from the back this thing looks incredible.

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A McLaren P1 made an entrance too.

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It also looks brilliant from behind -- though it's so fast you won't have long to look.

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All the cars were of course plastered with livery from all the various sponsors. This Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was given a shiny coat too. Fancy.

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The sponsors, VIPs, racers and CNET were housed in this London bus-style champagne bar. Wasn't a bad spot to watch the events unfold.

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Those who weren't in the bus were lining the streets.

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For many, it wasn't their first Gumball experience.

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It's a Gumpert Apollo!

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The street was decked out with a massive amount of Gumball advertising.

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This Ultimate Thrust Aero SSC used to be the fastest car in the world.

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A Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG arriving, flapping its wings.

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It wasn't just about the cars. The road played host to extreme sports events and live music. The Apple store was oddly ignored while BMXers took to the air outside.

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Hamleys toy store had its staff on the street, delighting young and old with toys and bubble guns.

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I want this Lamborghini Gallardo and its Tron-ish paint job.

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Gumball staff were handing out this branded energy drink. It was foul.

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This odd blob was among the more unusual cars to drive down the street.

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This Dodge Challenger, however, was fairly typical.

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It was a time of plenty for the mimes.

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A live music stage had been set up on Regent Street too.

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The Cuban Brothers did their best to keep the crowd entertained during the hours before the cars showed up.

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When not helping keep the crowds under control, this guy couldn't help but bust a move.

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A classic Lamborghini Countach. Lovely stuff.

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"Yo Dawg, I heard you like eyeware..." Xzibit himself showed up, delighting meme fans with his multiple sets of glasses.

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Older cars were given some love too. This is an Aston Martin DB5.

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We have no idea what this bizarre vehicle is.

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Get that man a beer!

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He seems quite pleased.

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This guy seems fairly chuffed, but then I would be too if I was hanging out of the roof of a Ferrari F430.

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I'd be pretty chuffed if I had this Rebellion R2K too.

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This Ferrari 458 Italia has been given an interesting wrap.

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Various special guests and performers made their way down the track -- some were less keen to see me than others.

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The circus performers thoroughly enjoyed themselves though.

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I shouldn't need to tell you that this is the Batmobile.

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And this is a boat. I don't know what it's doing here. Maybe it thinks it's a car? Poor thing.

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This Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray is definitely a car. I counted the wheels -- there were four. Dead giveaway.

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Ferraris were a popular choice. A  458 Speciale is shown here.

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Those are some pretty bright colours on that Chevrolet Corvette.

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These guys brought a Range Rover Sport to tackle the tough terrain around central London.

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It's a Ferrari FF. Shown here in "I couldn't find a more interesting colour" grey.

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This McLaren 650S Spider has a bit more "zing" to it.

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All cars had to weave their way down a track. Some, like this Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG did it with more style than others.

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This is a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. It's from 1969.

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Does your dog simply adore highly-sponsored luxury motoring events? Bring it along!

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"High five, bro!"

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If I was a better photographer, I could have caught this high-five attempt much better.

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The only reason to have a convertible, like this Ferrari 458 Italia, is to stand up in it while driving around.

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This Lamborghini Aventador enjoyed a steady cruise down the road.

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It looked good doing it, too.

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I'm told this is a Weissmann MF5. Hooray, and so forth.

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The Metropolitan police's finest were sent out for crowd-control purposes.

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Some cars, like this Arash AF8, were simply on show for the motoring enthusiasts to gather round, open-mouthed.

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Audi R8s were ten a penny at Gumball.

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So were Ferraris.

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Actually, so were Lamborghinis, but who's counting?

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Bentley Continental GTs usually look a little more classy than this.

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Taking photos on iPads isn't cool, even at a supercar party.

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"Woooooooh!" his face seems to say, as he drives through town in a Porsche Cayenne GTS.

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It's not an R8 or a Ferrari! I don't know what it actually is though.

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Back to Ferraris then. It's a 458. In red.

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When the crowds got out of hand, this man was sent in to terrify them with stories of a future where we only wear feathers and Oakley shades.

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Want the best view of the cars? Climb on top of a bus stop.

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An Aston Martin DBS.

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Struggling to fit in at work or school? Why not dye your hair the colour of this Porsche 911 Turbo? You'll blend in seamlessly.

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A Dodge Viper. Or "Beast GTS" if your primary source of car references is the rip-off versions from Grand Theft Auto.

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Spiderman took some time off from web-slinging to join in the fun. Presumably he asked Iron Man to fill in for him rescuing people falling from buildings.

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Another Lamborghini Aventador. With so many around, I figured they wouldn't notice if one went missing. I was wrong.

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Xzibit and associates insinuating absolutely nothing about other drivers here.

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A Ferrari FF.

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Matthew Pritchard from TV show Dirty Sanchez making a proud and noble entrance.

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Ooh, a lovely glossy Ferrari 458 Italia.

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A motorbike came through as well, although I'm not sure it counts as part of the rally. The tire smoke was pretty cool though.

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Johnathan Ross showed up in his yellow Lambo.

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Can't afford a Lambo? Why not go for a Fiat 500? Even this souped-up Abarth version is way more affordable.

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Or go for a Union Jack-coated Jaguar F-Type. Because Britain.

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A much more elegant Bentley Continental GT.

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Oh and another Ferrari FF. Shocking.

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An elegant Rolls-Royce Ghost made "Gumball" by the liberal application of stickers and rich men hanging out of it.

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And another Ferrari FF. I'm tempted to enter my old Peugeot 206 just to add a bit of originality to the mix.

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Same goes for this Audi R8.

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At least this Aston Martin DB9 has been made a bit more unusual with this mirrored finish.

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It's a Porsche 911 Turbo, ready for take off.

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VROOOOM! That tire smoke was from the Porsche's skid start.

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This Ferrari 458 Spider had blue LED lights glowing inside the wheel arches.

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It's another Audi R8, but this one has lost its hat.

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The Ferrari California is actually really comfortable. I remember cruising around South London in one with the Car Tech guys -- we had to pick up a TV from Currys and thought it might fit. It didn't.

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I'd like an Aston Martin DB9, but probably in a more regular forest green, rather than blue.

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Car tuner Brabus has had its way with this Mercedes. It has six wheels and costs £400,000.

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A Ferrari 458. In Tron-style wrappings.

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And finally, as the light started to dwindle away completely, a Spyker C8, flapping its wings to cool down after its long trip from Edinburgh.

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