If you've ever shopped for a used car on Craigslist, you'll know it can be tricky to find a clean and reliable vehicle for under $5,000. Now consider consider how much more difficult that gets if you drop a zero off that budget and go shopping with just $500. And to top it off, it turns out you need to drive said beater over 500 miles of rough dirt roads in the backwoods. This insane task is known as the Gambler 500.
RECOIL's Iain Harrison has participated in the Gambler 500 for several years now — check out our video from last year featuring his modified Toyota minivan. This year, rather than taking on the adventure alone, RECOIL supported three other teams led by friends from the gun industry. Crews from SIG, Salient Arms, and Noveske showed up to try their luck on the rally course, and our film crew documented the journey.
SIG's team piloted a very heavily-used Ford Crown Victoria, while Salient built a literal land yacht. As for Noveske, they showed up with three cars — a '90s Mustang, a '70s Mustang, and an AMC Javelin that looked the part for a Mad Max film.
Unsurprisingly, there were many breakdowns and struggles along the way. But other Gambler 500 participants lent a hand (and some beers) to ensure a great time was had by all. You can watch the full 30-minute video below, or click here to go watch more videos from RECOILtv.