Holy cow am I late on posting this! The goldRush Rally 2014 has been over for a couple of months now but I have just now gotten the chance to get this article going. Why so late? Because I was on vacation at the time of the event, other things came up, and summer moves way too fast. This story is pretty cool for Short Shift, though, and the goldRush Rally cannot go by unmentioned!
Steve called me up early this summer and said “Hey, I’m volunteering at the goldRush Rally in Chicago this summer. We should go and represent Short Shift!” Well heck yeah that was a great idea! I had never been to Chicago and I was looking for a good summer vacation anyways so everything lined up perfectly. I was going to go to a gorgeous city on the more gorgeous time of the year and see the most gorgeous cars in existence. What could be better?
When I got to Chicago the weather was fantastic but on the day the cars were supposed to be arriving from the Colorado leg of the Rally, it got a bit cloudy. Steve rang me up the day before and said he wasn’t going to make the trek from Minneapolis in order to avoid the storms so I was going to the event solo. Great.
[pull_quote_center]”Welcome to heaven.”[/pull_quote_center]
It was a bit rainy when I pulled up to the Swissotel (the location of the event) and the first thing I noticed was there were no cars. The second thing I noticed was that the entire road in front of the venue had been completely torn up. Well that wasn’t a good sign for me because even if the cars were going to show up, the definitely weren’t driving through that! But, I made the venture out so I pulled into the valet, grabbed my gear, and went inside.
When I got through the rotating door there were two suits standing there directing traffic. I said “I’m looking for the goldRush Rally”.
“The what?” they responded, almost in unison.
“The thing with the fancy cars,” I sighed.
“Oh that. All the cars are in the basement parking ramp and they’re not letting anyone down there.”
“Are you serious?” I said, “I’m supposed to be here to take photos and the website says the event is today.”
Even though I had gotten to shoot a McLaren the day before, I felt oddly defeated. I let out a heavy sigh when they pointed to a lady on her phone. They said she was with the “car show” and maybe she would know if I could gain access or not. It was worth a shot so I moseyed over as professional-looking as I could.
When she hung up her phone she looked up at me, still annoyed by whoever was on the other line, and let out a sharp, “What do you want?”
“I came to shoot photos of the Rally,” I said, trying to sound like I knew exactly how this went.
“We’re not letting anyone down there,” she finished but then paused, “… unless you’re press?”
“Well I’m with a website,” I stumbled, realizing that was the dumbest thing I could have said. I might as well have said “blog”.
“What site?” she said back.
I regained my confidence, “Short Shift” (as if there was any other website!)
“Cool, well give this guy your card and he’ll take you down there,” she said as she directed me to another Rally employee who clearly had no idea what was going on. He took my card and started leading me to the stairway.
The stairway seemed to go on forever so this is a good time to tell you about the goldRush Rally. This was the 6th year, or GR6, of the rally and Chicago was the middle leg of the race. The rally starts in Las Vegas and ends in New York. Chicago is the split in the race where the cars get transported/flown in from Denver, they party over night, and then bring the cars out for the second stretch the following day. That explained why there were no cars outside yet. And, as for the cars, if you have a desktop wallpaper of something you can’t afford, it’s here.
As we reached the bottom of the stairs my chauffeur explained that they weren’t letting the public down here while they were preparing the cars so it was pretty much me and the Chicago Tribune. That’s right, a pokey little car website has made it to the big(ish) leagues. In my mind, it was still a pretty big milestone for us. [tweet_quote hashtags=”goldRush” ]We reached the door and he turned to me and said, “Welcome to heaven.”[/tweet_quote]
There were tons of exotic supercars filling up every slot in the garage. I didn’t even know where to start. I stood there for a while just taking it all in. Over to my right there were some professionals putting the vinyls on a Nissan GT-R and a Maserati GranTurismo and over to my left there was a chrome Audi R8 and a bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo. I decided to go start with the left and work my way around.
The vinyl work on all of these cars was incredible. Most had awesome logos of their sponsors and the goldRush symbol but some even went above and beyond. There was a c7 Corvette with a vinyl wrap that had pictures of a ton of other cars on it and on the other side there was a chrome-blue wrapped Maserati. As if just being an Italian exotic wasn’t enough, they turned all of these cars into unique works of art as well!
After about an hour of shooting I was worn out. Partly because I did about 1000 squats and partly because the humidity level in there was around 100%. I got to experience what goes on behind the scenes at a goldRush Rally and it’s just as cool as seeing the cars on the road. There is a ton of time and work that goes into putting this event together and there is nowhere else you’ll see cars like this being driven this much. I was a little disappointed that the Lamborghini Aventadors and the famous “Panda” Bugatti Veyron hadn’t shown up yet, but I still feel like I got to experience a part of the event that most people don’t get to see.
Enjoy all the photos on the next page and we’ll see you again next year!