The Gambler 500 is an off-road adventure that meets the 24 Hours of LeMons. There’s a dash of Mad Max thrown in. And the result is what looks like an amazing event and one hell of a good time. Right now, there’s an event planned for June of 2021. I hope they can make it happen and the world is in a good enough place to pull it off. Let’s pretend that’s the case and imagine what you might build/bring to the Gambler 500 in 2021.

I’m not familiar enough with the event to know some of the better platforms on which to build for this. I’d imagine old boxy, tough SUVs are probably the right place to start. But is that like when teams bring 3-Series BMWs or Miatas to LeMons? Is that cheating?

Regardless, you’re going to want something with a tough-as-hell engine that’s also easy to repair. Cheap, helps too. Maybe a first-generation Ford Explorer makes sense here. Anything Toyota is probably a good bet as well. From there, start hacking at the bodywork, beefing up the suspension, and making space for larger tires. That seems like the basic recipe to get you into the game. A winch and other extraction gear items are probably smart as well.

What would you build if you were going to run in the Gambler 500 this June?