Tag Archives: LeMons

LeMons New Jersey Day 1: Toyota MR2, Volvo 245, Geo Metro Leading Classes

-Here at the fifth annual Real Hoopties of New Jersey race, held at lovely New Jersey Motorsports Park, we inspected the cars on Friday and they put in a long, parts-shattering day of racing on Saturday. Here’s how the first couple of days went.

Hornet with Airplanes
-The inspections were livened up by the US Air Force Thunderbirds, whose pilots did plenty of stuntin’ over the race track and made the supercharged AMC Hornet of Morrow’s Rally Baby Racing look especially patriotic in its Kenosha racing livery.

-Fortunately, the Thunderbirds’ F-16s proved to be far more reliable than most LeMons cars.

Springtime For Hitler
-The car inspections were made much more colorful by Three Pedal Mafia’s rendition of “Springtime For Hitler” from The Producers.

Class A Leader - 626
-On the subject of reliability, Toyota has proven to be one of the least reliable marques in the 24 Hours of LeMons, and the MR2 has been even more fragile than the Supras and Celicas. In fact, in our series, the Alfa Romeo Milano has been far more reliable than has Toyota’s mid-engined sports car. Only once in the past has an MR2 pulled off an overall LeMons win, so we’re sure the members of the MR 2 Old To Care team aren’t feeling overconfident right now. This team started on Sunday with a commanding 6-lap lead over NYC’s Fastest Taxi, a relatively new team in a four-door BMW E36 3-series.

Class B Pursuer - 626
-The B-class race has been pretty interesting. Team One Tire Fire led all day in their utterly stock, squishy-suspension, skinny-tire 280ZX 2+2 by running clean and consistent laps. With about ten minutes until the checkered flag, they added an inspection port to their motor about the size of a golf ball. That dropped them from 4th overall to 10th.

Class B Leader - 626
-Inheriting the B-class lead is the ’91 Volvo wagon of Swedish Mafia Racing. 3 laps back is Bazinga Racing with their ’85 Nissan 300ZX. Astonishingly, 3rd in class and 8th (!!!) overall is the pretty stock, boring, googly-eye festooned ’90 Toyota Corolla of LOL NSA Racing.

Class C Leader - 626
-Class C has been a rout for Team Sputnik and their “big-block” 1.3-liter 4-cylinder Metro, in 38th overall. They’ve been clean and consistent, but not fast. 13 laps behind them and in P47 is the Futility Motorsports’ Daytona, which has— miraculously— not blown up yet. Hot on their heels is the ’96 Subaru Outback of the Carroll County Gangstas.

Paddock Tricycle
-Will an MR2 get the first 24 Hours of LeMons win on laps since a team full of Toyota engineers pulled off the feat in 2011? We’ll find out!

Photos by Stef Schrader and Matt Adair.

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LeMons Southern Discomfort Day 1: VW Golf-vs-Volvo 262C Bertone Drama, Duratec-Powered Geo Metro Leads Class B

Saturday Leaders - Top
-We inspected the entrants at the sixth annual Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons on Friday, and today they raced. We saw a lot of lead changes in each of three classes, but— unusually for LeMons— Class A turned out to be the most exciting. Here’s what went down in Kershaw today.

Saturday Leaders - SOB VW
-Team S.O.B. (Sick of Breaking) and their 1986 Volkswagen Golf are competing in their 15th LeMons race, and they have yet to take an overall win in our series. They’ve come close many times and contended just about every time, but the maddening fragility of the Volkswagen Golf has undercut their considerable driving skills and tight team organization every single time. Today, the car didn’t scatter its transmission on the pavement, nor did its electrical system let out all the Bosch smoke, and the S.O.B.s finished the session with a three-lap edge over the P2 car.

Saturday Leaders - BertOne
-That P2 team is another outfit that has been chasing an overall LeMons win for many years: Vermont Bert One and their Volvo 262C Bertone coupe. This car has a 244 Turbo engine instead of the original PRV V6, and the Bert Ones have come agonizingly close to a win in nearly as many LeMons events as has the S.O.B. team. They’ve roamed the country with their chopped-top Swedo-Italian coupe, racing in California, New Hampshire, Texas, South Carolina, and just about everywhere else that LeMons goes, and they’ve missed that elusive win by a couple laps here and a few laps there. Longtime LeMons fans will have a hard time choosing which of these teams to root for, since each is equally deserving.

Saturday Leaders - Hard Parkers
-The team that led the field for most of the day ended up in P4 and six laps back of the leader, after a power-steering-line failure late in the afternoon. The Hard Parkers came out of nowhere and had a near-perfect day on the track, and a bit of research revealed that the team’s roster is packed with Improved Touring S ringers. The car is an unexceptional V6-powered 1996 Ford Mustang, but the driving has been exceptionally good.

Saturday Leaders - SOB Team
-The S.O.B.s are taking apart their VW for the umpteenth time, trying to catch the about-to-fail parts before they can torpedo their chances for a win… again.

Saturday Leaders - BertOne Team
-The scene in the Bert One compound looks very similar.

Saturday Leaders - Dome Dinner
-However, both teams— in fact, just about everybody at CMP— put down their tools and headed over to the Team Turbo Schnitzel geodesic dome— which takes three guys about six hours to assemble but is worth every bit of work put into it— for the massive dinner prepared by pit-neighbors Terminally Confused Racing. These Honda Civic racers cooked 120 pounds of pig meat in four Big Green Eggs, managing to feed the members and hangers-on of 77 hungry LeMons teams, plus all the race organizers, corner workers, and track employees.

Saturday Leaders - Moonshine
-Naturally, plenty of the local refreshments were on hand. The “Painkiller” in the foreground tasted like Ozium air-freshener liquid, fabric softener, carb dip, and nail-polish remover, with hints of Orange Dye #334 and a Listerine finish.

Saturday Leaders - Lowballer Geo
-Class B was very exciting as well. The Knoxville Lowballers’ Geo Metro, which features the Duratec V6 from a Ford Contour SVT in the back, has become a fairly well-sorted race car after a mere dozen races in which it was parts-droppingly unreliable and boasted garbage-truck-with-busted-tie-rods-grade sketchy handling. We can’t believe this is actually happening, but the Lowballers’ Geo managed to finish the day leading Class C and in P3 overall. Just to confound everyone further, this car somehow set the fast lap of the day.

Saturday Leaders - Lowballer Contour
-Maybe the Orange Dye #334 is doing strange things to our senses, because it appears that the other Knoxvegas Lowballers Class B car— the 1998 Ford Contour SVT with Taurus wagon body graft— is pursuing its stablemate for the Class B prize, sitting just six laps behind the Lowballer Geo.

Saturday Leaders - Pinto
-Leading Class C and in 29th place, we’ve got the Fuzzy Blumpkins and their 1979 Ford Pinto.

Saturday Leaders - Fairlane
-Those Blumpkin Pinto pilots had better not get too complacent, because they’re being pursued by the relentless Team Fairlylame drivers and their 1964 Ford Fairlane sedan. Just three laps separate the two teams, and Class C wins generally go to the team that breaks the fewest parts on Day Two of racing.

Saturday Leaders - Datsun Rod
-Meanwhile, teams are breaking parts and scrambling to find engines, transmissions, and whole parts cars on Craigslist tonight. We’ve got quite a few Heroic Fix contenders making their moves tonight.

Saturday Leaders - Valiant
-A lot will happen tonight in the pits and tomorrow on the track, so be sure to check in for all your 24 Hours of LeMons updates!

Car and Driver Blog

LeMons Southern Discomfort Inspections: Ranchero, Fairlane, Valiant, Monza, Many Mustangs and Miatas

05 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-We’re back at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina for the sixth annual Southern Discomfort 24 Hour of LeMons, and today we inspected the 90 or so vehicles that will be competing this weekend. We saw more Mazda Miatas, BMW 3- and 5-series cars, and Ford Mustangs than ever before at this venue, which was disappointing, but we also had a good contingent of elderly Detroit Iron show up. We’ll skip the boring cars and get right to the cool stuff now.

08 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-This 350-powered Chevy Monza is the only example of a GM H-body in LeMons that isn’t indescribably horrible on the race track. Sure, the drivers get a lot of black flags and small-block Chevrolet V8s aren’t so good at keeping the rotating assemblies inside their blocks in our series, but there is a slightly-better-than-lottery-odds chance of this car competing for an overall win this weekend.

09 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The Team S.O.B. (Sick of Breaking) Volkswagen Golf has spent quite a bit of time at the front of the pack at our CMP races in the past, often sitting in P1 by a healthy margin on the second day of racing… but then, as so often happens with LeMons VWs, something breaks. The team has such a massive collection of Volkswagen parts that they feel they must stick with this car forever, so perhaps this weekend will be the one for the SOBs.

16 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The members of this first-time LeMons team work at The Organic Mechanic in Asheville, North Carolina, and they picked up this very LeMony Volvo 940 Turbo for their debut race.

17 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The car has an amazingly squishy suspension and a tired automatic transmission, but at least the engine has plenty of head-gasket-blowing boost. Ommmmmm.

01 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-This Mustang wasn’t all that interesting as a car, but the car-show theme was good. Note the creepy “Time Out Kids” dolls.

02 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-A pushrod engine has a Single Under Head Camshaft, right?

06 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-After winning the I Got Screwed By the Nazi Junkyard award at the Alabama race a couple months back, Team Fairlylame are back to chase Class C glory in their 3-on-the-floor-equipped 1964 Ford Fairlane sedan.

13 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-There’s some tough new competition for the Fairlane now, though: this 1970 Plymouth Valiant sedan.

14 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-This car was pulled out of a field, got caged, got a new fuel tank and brake lines, and is now poised to chug its way to Class C contention.

20 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-Also in Class C, this first-time-in-LeMons Chevy S10 pickup. With terrifyingly stock suspension, no-name 400-treadwear tires, and a commanding ride height, we don’t expect this truck to be at its best in the corners.

11 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-This Ford Ranchero made everyone’s jaws clank to the tarmac when it rolled into the inspection area. So beautiful!

10 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The team gutted a super-rare 1979 Lincoln Tomaso Versailles (the shell is available at scrap value) to provide suspension and brakes for the Ranchero, which would have been conceivable within the LeMons budget… but then they couldn’t refrain from adding a Tremec TKO transmission and a bunch of similarly nice suspension goodies while they were at it. The LeMons Supreme Court couldn’t possibly bury this cartruck beneath the many penalty laps it probably deserved, because it’s a 50-year-old Ranchero, but we did put it in Class A.

12 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-So, the Holdme Moonme team has about as much chance of winning Class A as would a snowshoe-shod burro in the Kentucky Derby, but we’re sure it will look spectacular on the track.

18 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The Knoxvegas Lowballers brought their all-Ford-Contour-SVT-engined trio of custom-vanified cars. In fact, these three machines have four Duratec V6s between them; the Mazda MPV minivan has two engines and two 5-speed manual transmissions. Class C, of course, because there’s so much to go wrong here.

21 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-With the addition of a chunk of Ford Taurus wagon sheet metal, the Lowballers’ Contour SVT became more of a van and now better matches the MPV and the (mid-engined) Geo Metro.

19 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-The team made their lemon-shaped bubble windows by heating up plastic in a household oven and mashing it through a homemade metal frame.

07 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-We had a couple of special BRIBED stencils for this event. Judge Steve made this Minion-themed stencil, which featured two-color paint application.

03 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-I made this oversized BROUGHAM stencil, which was applied only to the classiest vehicles.

15 - 2015 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspection
-Speaking of class, check out these Members Only-clad gentlemen and their tasteful sock gifts to the judges.

-You’ll want to know how things sort out on the first day of racing at the ’15 Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons, so check in later for updates!

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