Jim Smart
September 1, 2005

If you watch the television show Overhaulin' on The Learning Channel, you've probably seen this car before. This is the '70 Gambler 514 Mustang SportsRoof that was built at the 2004 SEMA show. Chip Foose, custom car designer and builder, transformed this fastback from a plain-Jane, ugly duckling to a striking Mustang in just a few days of television taping at the SEMA show.

We caught up with owners Barry and Brent Gardner, father and son, in their native Las Vegas where Chip Foose constructed the Gambler 514. With a name like the Gambler 514, you might expect this car to have a rough and tumble background. It does. It has been stolen and recovered by the police . . . twice.

It had long been Brent's dream to build his father a nice Mustang, and that is where the popular series Overhaulin' became involved last year. Because Brent wanted the Gambler 514 to be a surprise for his father, it wasn't going to be easy to pull off. Brent would have to make it appear as though he had lost the Mustang SportsRoof to a gambling debt. He would also have to string his father along for nearly a week while Chip and his talented crew transformed the car.

Chip wanted to make the car outrageous and fast, yet tasteful. The color would have to be as outrageous as the rest of the car-'05 Jaguar British Racing Green blended with Red Rust Pearl. Chip shaved the door handles and other exterior appointments. He installed new glass and trim, and laid down custom Gambler 514 graphics. Those are PIAA back-up lights, a clever twist. Atop the hood is a Boss 429-style scoop for a bitchin' ram effect.

Chip opted for Cobra seats of Eleanor fame. Stitchcraft of California took care of the rest of the custom interior, including the custom console. Special 40th anniversary insignias were installed to commemorate the Mustang's 40th anniversary. That's a JME custom instrument panel with Auto Meter white-face luminescent gauges. Flaming River provided the steering column. We like the Clarion sound system with satellite radio and Kicker extras that include 6x9s, 4x10s, and 1-inch directional tweeters. There is also a Kicker SX four-channel, 32-bit, 1,000-watt digital amplifier to shake things up when the engine is silent.

Speaking of power, Ford Racing Performance Parts provided the 514 crate big-block stroker package sporting aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads, 1.73 roller rockers, Holley carburetion, MSD ignition, March serpentine beltdrive, PowerMaster high-torque starter, and more. This engine is expected to make 625 hp at 6,200 rpm with 600 lb-ft of torque. A C6 transmission handles shifting duties to a healthy 9-inch Traction-Lok out back.

Down under are Baer disc brakes sporting PBR calipers: 13 inch in front and 11 inch in back. A shock tower strengthening kit from Mustang Depot in Las Vegas stiffens the towers along with Total Control supports. A Unique Performance coilover setup with QA1 shocks and 12-way adjustable valving provides handling. Those are Chip Foose-designed 19- and 20-inch rims wrapped in BFGoodrich custom carved flame footprint tires. The wheels are one of just two sets like them in the world. As you might imagine, they present huge steering challenges for the Gardners and are pretty much for show only. Magnaflow 3-inch mufflers provide the stereo sound the Gambler 514 is famous for.

When Brent cracks the throttle on this fat-block beast, it gets plenty of attention on the Vegas Strip. We asked Brent to take it for a spin down the Strip for our cameras. When he did, the Gambler 514 turned heads in all directions. When Brent was ready to load the Gambler 514 onto the trailer, it drew quite a crowd from interested onlookers, some who weren't even interested in cars, but who liked the style and the sound. That speaks plenty for the ride that knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

The Details
1970 Mustang SportsRoof
Owner: Barry and Brent GardnerLas Vegas, NV