The first car I’ve ever driven is this 2003 GMC Envoy XL. It’s been in my family since 2008 and it’s near the very end of its life. And should I not find another smart in time for the Gambler 500, I may give it one last wild ride.

I’ll be honest, I’ve completely forgotten this thing even exists. It’s been sitting parked and rotting away for months, only occasionally being started and driven by my brother.

(Pic was taken in 2008, ignore the timestamp)

We got it with 114k on the clock. Since then its had an engine grenade (replaced with the slightly more powerful unit from the newer Envoys), its air suspension fail (replaced with springs), countless electronic bits die, been involved in a number of crashes, and has been taken over by catastrophic underbody rust that slowly been working its way to the surface. The tailgate has lost some weight, the third brake light and the plastic at the top of the tailgate have taken flight, and the spare tyre has nowhere to be mounted anymore.

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In recent months - and well into the 200ks - the “new” engine has developed a death-sounding noise and the fuel tank is leaking. Getting this thing in good shape would require way more money than it’s worth...and it’s not worth much. As many memories as I have with this thing, I think its life is coming to an end and I think it should go out having a blast. The parts that are most important (4x4 High and Low, the transmission, radio, and sunroof) all still work, so this is a trademark Gambler 500 ready vehicle. It’s only slightly better than a vehicle David Tracy would drive to Moab.

I’m thinking I’ll take it off my brother since he doesn’t want it (it’s already mine anyway since I’m the only name on the title), remove the third row seats, then give it one last ride for the Gambler 500. It’ll see offroading, maybe some water fording, and who knows, maybe even some airtime. ;) If it survives IL in decent enough condition, we could even take it to the OG Gambler 500 up in the PNW. That sounds like a more comfortable road trip than a smart without doors and without power (huge wheels).

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And now for the second portion of this update. Thank you so much to ImmoralMinority, his friend, and Madame DeLorean for helping me through the nightmare that’s been hanging over my head since November. You all have definitely shown me what it means to have real friends and people who care about you. ♥ ♥