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Posted on December 15 2015

Escape and Evasion — Grand Theft Auto

by Evan Hafer

Does a real man know how to steal a car? I wouldn’t go that far. But I can probably think of half-a-dozen scenarios where it’d be mission critical. At very least, in the CIA, we were expected to know how to do it. But we were sly bastards.

In a post-collapse world, being able to take a car without keys could easily save your family.

In the unlikely scenario where you’re taken hostage, you might need a car to escape. And that’s the scenario we threw at the six ReadyMen in Episode Two of ReadyMan Challenge Six, Escape and Evasion.

After the ReadyMan challengers had blown through their zip ties, tape and rope constraints, we put them in front of a couple of functional cars — beater cars, to be sure. They were both early 1990 models without proximity keys. 

When “borrowing” a car, choose easy. I’m sure there’s a way to hack electronic, proximity keys, but that’s probably beyond both of us. Rather, find an older car — pre or early 1990s — with a regular key. Avoid luxury cars like Benz, BMW or the like. You want something WITHOUT a fancy key. There’s no school like old school, after all.

Once you bust into the car (see ReadyMan Challenge 6.1 for how to break in without shattering glass,) you’re going to have to tear off the cover around the steering column. 

IMPORTANT: DO NOT START BANGING AWAY ON THE STEERING COLUMN WITHOUT DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY FIRST! While getting an explosive airbag in the face is indeed pleasant, it could kill you or knock you cold. Disconnect the battery, wait several minutes, THEN go to work on busting off the plastic around the steering column.

Don’t be gentle. Rip that thing off and get to the guts.

Next, remove the key cylinder. 

Then, re-connect the battery. From here on out, refrain from any beating on the steering column — anything that would set the airbag off.

Stop and take a good look at how the key cylinder mates with the connecting pieces of the ignition. Reach in with pliers or a screwdriver and turn over the engine, releasing the steering lock.

As you’ll see on the video, this is NOT a whiz-bang process. Give yourself some time to get it done, and definitely set security before you dig into the innards of your ignition system.

Once the car purred, the ReadyMan boys’ next challenge was to light out of town. But, it wouldn’t be so simple. Up ahead, a road block loomed, begging the question, “What the hell do you do when confronted with a roadblock?”

Well, there’s a right answer and a wrong answer. As fate would have it, one ReadyMan team does the right thing and the other team does the wrong thing — and they pay the price. 

What would you do if you came up to a roadblock during civil unrest?

Watch the video to get the goods on dealing with road blocks.

One thing you should remember: cars provide very limited cover to incoming fire. Plus, the car is a veritable bullet magnet. Getting in a gunfight from a passenger vehicle must be executed just so for any chance of survival.

During one of our earliest Land Warfare Trainings, Chad Wade sent crews of guys down a road to confront a roadblock. Just three men manned the road block and nine trainees approached in a pickup truck. Three times they ran the scenario with IR Tactical simulation gear and three times all nine of the guys in the truck died. Road blocks must be taken very seriously.

Stay tuned as the ReadyMan 6 contenders tear into their vehicles, making all sorts of survival goods, weapons and fire out of the husks of their car.




1 comment

  • James Chance: December 15, 2015

    Dear Sirs,
    I do have a few questions for a ‘Readyman’ representative as so far, I have not received some items in question. If possible, please contact me via either email or phone call.
    Thank you,
    Sincerely, James Chance

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