->''Ladies, gentlemen, you have been selected because you have the necessary skills. You are here because you have the determination to succeed. Now, it won't be as easy as last year. There are some who will use any means to try and stop us. Some of you won't make it. For those of you who do, there'll be no glory, no headlines...but just a few magic hours flat out against the red line with no catalytic converter and no fifty-five mile an hour speed limit. Ladies and gentlemen, the Gumball Rally has begun!''
-->'''Michael Bannon''', commencement speech.

A 1976 action-comedy film about an illegal cross-country road race.

Wealthy but bored businessman Michael Bannon issues the code word "Gumball" to his fellow automobile enthusiasts, who gather in a garage in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity to embark on a coast-to-coast race "with no catalytic converter and no 55-mile-per-hour speed limit." Their nemesis, LAPD lieutenant Roscoe, also learns of the race and most of the film is devoted to the adventures of the various driving teams and Roscoe's ineffectual attempts to apprehend them. HilarityEnsues.

The race ends at the ''Queen Mary'' in Long Beach, California, where the finishers celebrate their adventures and the defeated Roscoe skulks off to one side--until a fleet of police cars and tow trucks arrive to impound the vehicles; as it proves, Roscoe had contrived in advance to see to it that all of them were illegally parked. Bannon congratulates Roscoe on his final victory, and again utters the code word "Gumball" to initiate a race back to New York.

Compare ''Film/TheCannonballRun''; both films were inspired by the same [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannonball_Baker_Sea-To-Shining-Sea_Memorial_Trophy_Dash real-life outlaw race]] (but this one did it first, and some would say better).

!!''The Gumball Rally'' provides examples of:

* BadassDriver: Franco is hired for his reputation as one.
* TheBigRace
* BikerBabe: Joann Nail and Susan Flannery play a pair in a Porsche 911.
* ButtMonkey: Lapchick spends the whole film bug-eyed over his various crashes.
* CandidCameraPrank: Inverted. The Dodge police cruiser team gets an Arizona state trooper to believe that they are filming a movie from a camera hidden on a far-away peak, and ask him to hold still for a face shot, as they make their getaway.
* CarSkiing: The Camaro pulls this stunt to try to get past an L.A. traffic jam. It doesn't work; the driver loses control and rolls the car.
* CoolCar: Several.
* DistractedByTheSexy: "Emergency Plan Alpha" is a very sexy blonde who distracts Franco into pulling over and letting Bannon win the race.
* DontLookBack: Played for laughs.
--> '''Franco:''' And now, my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving: [breaks off the rear-view mirror and throws it away] whats-a behind me is not important!
* DownLADrain: The end included [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnl4Y-nYdJE a race down the LA river]].
* DressingAsTheEnemy: One entry disguises their car as a police cruiser, complete with magnetic door decals for every state they'll be passing through.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Lapchick The Mad Hungarian. ''Literally''. Franco, to a lesser extent. Also Ace "Mr. Guts" Preston in the Camaro Z-28, toward the end, as he tries to get through a traffic jam by [[CarSkiing going up on two wheels]] (while giving a rebel yell).
* DrivingIntoATruck: One team uses this ploy to evade a police roadblock and make a pit stop.
* DudleyDoRightStopsToHelp: The car disguised as a police cruiser (driven by police officers) loses the race when it stops to help a pregnant lady giving birth while stuck on an L.A. freeway.
--> '''Kandinsky:''' Oh, no. Avila, no way. I don't wanna hear it, Avila.
--> '''Avila:''' "[[StandardPoliceMotto To serve and to protect]]", huh?
* EpicRace
* FunnyForeigner: Lapchick, Franco. And the British Benz team.
* [[GoodOlBoy Good Ol' Boys]]: The Camaro Z28 team. Also the Arizona state trooper.
* HelloAgainOfficer: The main racers are literally on a first name basis with their dogged pursuer.
* HereWeGoAgain: At the very end of the film, Bannon once more says "Gumball" to trigger a new race back to New York.
* HotBlooded: Franco's entire motivation.
* JurisdictionFriction: Largely averted. Roscoe pursues the racers from coast to coast with the help of local law enforcement, despite not having any jurisdiction.
* LargeHam: Creator/RaulJulia's character, Italian race driver Franco Bertollini.
* LatinLover: Franco.
* MetallicarSyndrome: Pretty much every car.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: The crew of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
--> '''Andy [=McAllister=]:''' Sedately Barney, as befits our years and station in life.
--> [Barney squeals tires as they leave the parking lot]
* RecycledTheSeries: ''Gumball 3000'' (only not played for laughs, it was a serious rally).
** Except for the ''Series/{{Jackass}}'' entry, perhaps.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: One of the teams evades a roadblock by driving into a truck.
* RunningGag: Several. Lapchick's craziness, Franco's womanizing, the Rolls-Royce...
* ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful: The Porsche 911 team relies on their feminine wiles to evade speeding tickets (or to get whatever else they need during the race). It also works quite well - repeatedly - on the [[GoodOlBoy Good Ol' Boys]] team in the Camaro Z28.
* ShowSomeLeg: See "Distracted By The Sexy" above.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Film/TheCannonballRun'' and its sequels.
* StandardPoliceMotto: Avila quotes it as the reason they (in the disguised police cruiser) had had to stop and help a stranded pregnant motorist. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that they were real police officers in Los Angeles (and within their jurisdiction) at the time.
* TakeThat: The production company approached Jaguar to provide a car for the film, but the company refused. So, the makers bought their own Jaguar to use in the film. The car fails to start.
* TollBoothAntics: Two cars attempt to get through a toll lane ahead of one another. This results in both cars getting wedged between the toll booths.
* ToyotaTripwire: Lapchick gets doored.
* VaporTrail: Happens accidentally to one team of racers (the van entirely filled with fuel so they wouldn't have to stop to refuel).
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory
* WackyRacing
* WatchThePaintJob: One person enters the race by getting a job delivering a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow to Los Angeles. [[HilarityEnsues It doesn't end well]]. Especially after the sandstorm.
* WeaponForIntimidation: Hot-blooded Franco pulls a gun from a paper bag and threatens another driver with it. It turns out it's a squirt gun, and the whole thing was a gag.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: At the beginning of the film, it's made very clear that this is a standard rally race with staggered start times. In other words, they're technically racing against the clock, not against each other. At the end of the race this is conveniently forgotten as the Ferrari and Cobra race to get to the finish line first.