Squares and spoilsports may scoff at the Tesla Cybertruck, but there are more than a few car guys and gals who find its unique design fascinating and have been itching to drive one since the 2019 unveiling. If you’re one of those folks, we feel for you—the launch has been delayed again and again, and now it appears deliveries won’t begin until sometime in 2022.
No, there’s no way to get one early, but one do-it-yourselfer has found a way to have some fun (and get some media coverage) with a wooden Cybertruck mockup. A Tesla fan named CJ Cromwell created a wooden contraption he calls the Plybertruck (alternate names suggested by online wags include Cedartruck, Cyberchuck and Model Tree) to compete in a wacky racing event called the Gambler 500 rally.
Gambler 500 was started in Oregon in 2014 by Tate Morgan and the OG Gamblers, “a small group embracing cheap fun in all forms.” It’s a 500-mile off-road rally featuring homemade vehicles that are theoretically supposed to cost no more than $500. This fun run also has a worthy mission—along the route, participants are encouraged to pick up trash and remove abandoned vehicles.
Gambler 500 has evolved into a movement that encourages people around the world to go out and have automotive adventures. The founders allow anyone to use the Gambler brand for events, as long as they are free and “participants embrace the ideals of stewardship while having cheap fun in the outdoors.”
Cromwell’s Plybertruck is a Tesla Cybertruck replica made with wooden panels. The vehicle underneath the wooden exterior is a first-generation Acura MDX, which probably complied with the $500 purchase-cost limit, but (ahem) lacks some of the features and performance of a real Cybertruck.
The next official Gambler 500 race will take place next June in Oregon, so Cromwell has plenty of time to perfect his design. Hopefully, that old Acura will keep running until then.