Monday, July 31, 2017

The Small Cars of the Gambler 500

Subaru at Gambler 500

Andy and I just attended Oregon’s Gambler 500. With approximately 500 miles of pavement pounding, dirt trail tackling, and rocky road wrestling—this navigational non-race two-day event was just plain crazy and awesome.

Imagine $500 cars of all sorts, often driven by people in costume; off-the-used-car-lot bought compact cars chopped up in every manner running ragged; and long-timed owned tiny trucks decked out in duct tape and Harbor Freight accessories tooling up and over trails. The event started and ended at the Portland Meadows horse race track. Check points were littered around Portland, Bend, and surrounding on- and off-pavement tracks. Attendees had the choice of navigating easy, medium, or difficult trails. Run what you brung, and own your awesomeness. Subcompact Subarus to mammoth machines (like the articulated bus we saw!), everything eccentric showed up. Recovery vehicles and tow trucks were abundant if anyone lost a wheel, dropped an axle, or experienced a plethora of other auto naughtiness. Everyone camped overnight at Hoodoo ski area near Bend. A super party was had! Those lucky enough to drive their darling back to the end check-point (Portland Meadows) attended the Gambler car and vendor show, give-away session, and post-rally beverages.

If you want to experience a crazy, creative, and all-around awesome navigational vehicle event, plan to attend or enter the Gambler 500! Buy a $500 crap-can cruiser to run (or at least sit by the roadside) and watch everyone else doing it. #alwaysbegambling

Anyhow, here are some of the small cars from the 2017 Gambler 500. For even more photos, check out our sister site, Crankshaft Culture.

Baja Bug


Toyota Corolla

Matching Corollas
These matching Toyota Corollas bumped their way through the Gambler 500! Just a little bump, however. 

Ford Aerostar

Honda Civic Wagon

Suzuki Samurai

Journey Nissan

Ebola Corolla

Ebola Corolla

Mitsubishi Expo
Yes, that's a Mitsubishi Expo, Andy's first car.

Canadian Ford Festiva
This Festiva had Alberta plates. When asked if they drove it all the way from Alberta, they calmly replied, "Oh no. We
flat towed it behind a Mazda Protege." Oh, that's much better!

Ford Focus

Ford Fiesta
Yet another Ford Festiva

Ford Ranger
Bonus points for side-exit exhaust

Geo Metro



Fighting Siouxbaru


Hoodoo Camp

Long travel Miata
Long-travel Mazda MX-5 Miata

Gambler cars

Toyota van

Civic sedan


Mercedes sedan

Miata gokart

Miata gokart - front

Every time you think you'd see a unique, one-off vehicle, you'd turn around and find another. This was one of two chopped
Pontiac Fieros. 

Subaru wagon




Shaggin Wagon

VW Quantum

Daihatsu Rocky

Chevy Sprint

Subaru Imperza broken
Just a little trail carnage. We helped pull this guy's A arm straight using a winch. 

Lifted Subaru coupe
This is just too cool.

Subaru Impreza Wagon

Subaru Brat

Suzuki Samurai

Suzuki Swift
One of several Suzuki Swifts. However, this one looked the most rally ready.

Ford Fiesta pinata
No word on whether the pinata had candy in it or not. 

Subaru hatchback

Toyota truck

Chevy Tracker

Ford Ranger

Subaru Legacy

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great report. Thanks for posting a photo of our Focus Rally car. Please follow me on Twitter at @Bug_OutKustoms for features on our Focus as we transform it into an SCCA rally x car. Thanks again. Cheers.