“Rev it!” screams a man in the crowd.

He gets his wish: a McLaren MP4-12C, covered from nose to tail in fluorescent livery, blips its throttle to the delight of a few hundred people gathered in New York City’s historic South Street Seaport.

I came here to get a glimpse of the Gumball 3000, an annual celebration of wealth, exotic machinery, and a casual disrespect for traffic laws whose ragtag list of sponsors includes Uber, YouTube, MTV, Krispy Kreme, and Grenco Science, makers of the G Pen marijuana vaporizer. It’s a rally on public roads — think Cannonball Run, but real — and this year, participants are driving from Miami to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, stopping briefly in New York to hop a plane across the Atlantic (yes, cars too).

The Gumball, which raises money for charitable youth organizations, has a reputation for attracting celebrities. Hip hop artist Xzibit lost his license driving it in 2007. This year, Eve is involved. So is David Hasselhoff.

Every few minutes, a participating car would arrive, each more ridiculous than the one before it: I saw a completely chromed Aston Martin, Porsches of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé covered in what appeared to be velvet. Each arrival was met with cheers and jeers (onlookers were quick to punish workaday sedans and SUVs). Occasionally, Water Street would fill with the billowing smoke of a satisfying burnout. Sanitation workers in a garbage truck stopped to signal their approval; a fire engine swung by and gave us some siren. Shirtless teenagers in a late-model Honda Accord, champagne in color, managed to get their tires to chirp as they tore by. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of an ultra-rare McLaren P1 or Batman’s Tumbler — yes, some rich guy entered the Tumbler in a rally race — but both were no-shows. Rumors spread in the crowd that the movie prop had broken down before reaching the city. (Shocker.)