Have you ever regretted a car purchase while driving it home from the very place you bought it? Earlier this year I acquired a “fragrant” Subaru for a Gambler 500 build and was hanging my head in shame within 15 minutes. Here’s how it went down.

Everyone here has heard of the Gambler 500 right? A rally full of $500 beaters driving 500 miles, all off road? My brother and I said “hell yes” and started to look for a cheap vehicle to take part in the SoCal Gambler event (aka “Fool’s Gamble”) earlier this year.

Buying an all-wheel-drive vehicle may have been a somewhat safe choice for an event called the Gambler, but I had never owned a Subaru before and was really looking forward to seeing what one is capable of. I came across a dark blue 1998 Legacy L wagon with 236,000 miles—it wasn’t quite $500 but close enough.

After a half-assed inspection and a brief test drive I forked over $800 and drove the thing home. The A/C worked, the power windows worked, heck even the radio worked. Good enough for me.

The ride home was a different story. No catastrophic engine explosions, no disastrous wheel bearing failures. Though as the miles passed, I started to notice an ever so slight smell of urine wafting through the Legacy’s cabin. At the half way point, I started to wonder what was causing my eyes to water. And as I neared my house, it was an all out war on my olfactory system. Somehow I managed to buy a car that reeked of piss.

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The seller did a pretty good job of covering up the smell with air freshener, but the drive home undoubtedly uncovered why the car was so cheap. Whoever owned this car must have had some sort of incontinence problem. And I totally missed it because of six Little Tree air fresheners hidden under the seats.

So what does one do with a pee-soaked Subaru to prepare for an off road hooptie rally? Remove every last bit of the interior and install the cheapest ever-so-slightly taller struts you can find. And add a cheap light bar, well, because light bar.

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If you’d like to see how our Legacy build went down, check out the vid below!

Prepping the Poobaru for the Gambler 500 Offroad Rally!

What is the biggest car purchase mistake you have ever made?

If you’d like to join me on my journey of trying to not suck at making videos, feel free to follow me here: youtube.com/helloroad. :D