You read that right! My long term Gambler only ended up being a single run Gambler.
I originally bought this Ranger to be both a daily and a Gambler. It fulfilled the daily request just fine. It turned heads everywhere it went and I enjoyed the utility a truck offers. Buuuuut, the Gambler part wasn’t so hot.
The decision came during the October Illinois Gambler 500. With the truck only averaging 13 or less to the gallon it was sucking me dry and I wasn’t even leaving Illinois. Per my calculations, the money I’d have to spend to get the Ranger to something like the OG would be astronomical, let alone getting it back home. It cost me $200 in fuel to do what the smart could do with just $50. I can see why most Gambler vehicles aren’t trucks..
I want to do as many Gamblers as possible, but such isn’t financially responsible with a rig like this.
Okay, fine, so make it a rig just for midwest gamblers? Well, I made the truck too OP for offroading Illinois’ terrain. 99% of the time I left the truck in 2WD and put it into first gear. This allowed me to just point and click the truck around everything and honestly that really wasn’t all that fun. I like being forced to choose a line, I like having to yeet my way out of trouble. My Ranger teammates were right, with good rubber, 4.0 4x4 Rangers are practically unstoppable on this terrain.
Offroading this truck in Tennessee’s Redemption run would be absolutely insane...but so would the fuel getting it to there and back. Oof.
So, I sold it to a fellow Gambler for $500. I could have sold it for more with those new tires but I love to adhere to the original “500 miles in a $500 car” spirit of the Gambler.
If it weren’t for the $350 I spent in tires, I would have only lost $200 on this $700 truck. Still, a $550 loss after I spray painted it, bound it on dry ground, drilled holes in the roof, and beat it up on two offroad trips isn’t too bad. The idea was that I was going to drive this truck until I would ultimately have to scrap it, so any money back is more than I expected out of it. lol
My Ranger story isn’t over yet. I DO want another Ranger, however my criteria has changed. I want the new truck to be:
- 2nd gen that’s no newer than 1994 (exempt from emissions testing).
- 4 cylinder
- Purple or sky blue
That new truck would also NOT be a Gambler, so I would presumably look for one that’s less crusty and with fewer miles. It’ll probably make appearances like the smart, but I wouldn’t consider it my Gambler car.
In the meantime, I need a new long term Gambler. Buying vehicles that only last for a single event is also financially irresponsible, so I want the next one to be right.
I’m taking suggestions on what to build! The next Gambler is in three weeks!
Currently, I want to get a manual Ford Festiva (the one I have in mind can be had for less than I sold the Ranger for), rip off the doors, remove the hatch, remove the rear seats, strip down the interior, remove all windows but the windscreen, then send it as an offroad street legal go kart. I drove one like this during the weekend and it was an absolute holler. Decently capable offroad (no worse than the smart) and lost enough weight to rip awesome burnouts on the skidpad. Oh...in fact, here’s my drunk butt (on Malort) driving it!
Speaking of Malort...