It’s officially billed as the “Most Glamorous Rally in the World”. Dennis Rodman called it “the best week of my life.” And if you have a spare $20,000, an invitation to participate, and a sick car like this Aston Martin DBS, well maybe next year you’ll find yourself in the middle of the greatest road trip you’ve ever taken. Until then, enjoy this glance into the incredible world of Bullrun.
By Elliot Darvick
Photo credit: Eric Cotter
What is Bullrun?
Bullrun brings together 200 people driving 100 of the world’s most exotic and outrageous rides (like this Lamborghini Gallardo) for a seven-day, seven-city rally covering over 3,000 miles of pavement (or track, depending on how you look at it). Every night of the rally concludes with a massive party in a new city, and every morning starts with a hangover and the revelation of that next destination point. On its way from Alberta to Phoenix, the 2008 Bullrun stopped in Los Angeles, which is where MyRide caught up with participants and took the opportunity to check out their rides.
Forget an address – one glimpse of the long line of high end and unique cars, and you’ll you’ll know you’ve arrived. Participants bring everything from customized Ford Mustangs to kitted-out Porsches (like Claus Ettensberger’s white 630-horsepower TechArt GTstreet 911 Turbo, right).
The Cars – decals, decals, decals
As if these cars aren’t eye-catching enough, they’re covered in more decals than Jeff Gordon’s Sunday racer. These stickers pretty much guarantee you aren’t getting any sympathy from the police when they pull you over. And you will get pulled over (last year’s Bullrun produced 37 arrests, not tickets, arrests).
The Cars - Spyker C8 Spyder
The very first car that caught my eye was this Spyker C8 Spyder. Seeing one on the street is like spotting an Arakan Forest Turtle in the hills of western Myanmar. I was told by a representative that there are only 76 of these beautiful creatures in the United States (two of which were participating in this year’s Bullrun).
The Cars - Spyker C8 Spyder
Built by hand in Holland, this car pretty much puts to sleep anything in your local valet, even if you call Beverly Hills home. The attention to detail on the interior is phenomenal, with hand-stitched leather even in places that never see the light of day. It also has a top speed of 187 mph. Random fact: Wyclef Jean is a well-known Spyker enthusiast.
The Cars – Audi R8
This particular Audi R8, owned by a man that goes by the name Mr. Angry (he’s actually a really nice guy), may look stock from this angle, but it actually differs quite a bit from the R8 your local dealer is offering. Mr. Angry’s R8 has been upgraded with about $60,000 worth of electronics, including everything from police scanners to broadband internet to brake-light kill switches. I’m still trying to figure out why you’d want to switch off the brake lights. Mr. Angry has also opted for a Capristo exhaust system that makes a stock R8 sound like a whimpering dog.
The Cars - SSC Ultimate Aero
Why is everyone going all paparazzi on this vehicle, the SSC Ultimate Aero? I don’t know, maybe it has to do with it being the fastest production car in the world! I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know the 1,183-horsepower SSC Ultimate Aero existed before seeing this one at the Bullrun party. Oh, in case you were wondering, the SSC was certified at 257.44 mph (a Boeing 747 takes off at about 180 mph).
The Cars – More than just exotics
Not every car on the Bullrun is a rarified exotic. Take this pink Lincoln Continental brought in from Australia (bull horns, Bullrun, get it?) I also had a conversation with a participant who was running the rally in a 1975 Chevrolet Impala on 22-inch rims. Not too crazy, right? Except for the fact that he dropped the Impala body onto a 2008 Cadillac Escalade drivetrain and claims to have hit 170 mph during testing. If true, that would probably make it the world’s fastest donk.
The Party – Location
The Los Angeles office of 944 Magazine opened their doors and threw down for the night’s party. Driving all day and partying all night for seven days straight makes the Bullrun a test of endurance, quite similar to the 24-hours of Le Mans or the Baja 1000 (okay, that’s a stretch).
The Party - Scenery
One thing about Bullrun parties is that you’re visually overwhelmed everywhere you look. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Porsches…I got neck strain just trying to take it all in. The girls were alright, too.
And of course, celebrities
The Bullrun always attracts a couple of celebrity participants. Paris Hilton drove in last year’s rally, and I saw Will.i.am outside the party checking out some of the cars (he had his eye on the Spyker). I spotted Rob Dyrdek’s dope Camaro (right) chilling in the parking lot so you know he was close by.
I think my favorite part of Bullrun has to be the fact that people are out driving these cars as opposed to babying them in a temperature-controlled garage/museum. And drive they do. As of this writing, only one person has spent time in jail during the course of this year’s Bullrun. The rumor is that it was for an outstanding traffic ticket…from a previous Bullrun.