Is The Man really sweatin' you on the job today? Don't let salt-mine toil break your spirit; instead, spend the next couple of hours debating the merits of these extremely reliable race cars!
As everyone who has been following the run-up to the 24 Hours Of LeMons Arse Freeze-A-Palooza- which takes place on the weekend after Christmas- the crop of Index Of Effluency contenders absolutely smokes anything we've seen at prior races (and, in the case of the British Leyland machinery, we mean the "smokes" part quite literally). The team that claims the Index Of Effluency trophy- which goes to the car that exceeds all expectations in the most glorious fashion- is the real winner of the 24 Hours Of LeMons, so we're gearing up for an all-time battle at Thunderhill (where, to nobody's surprise, the weather is expected to feature near-freezing temperatures and stinging horizontal sleet).
And because LeMons aficionados love nothing better than a debate on how fast- yet effluent- cars should perform when the real deal goes down, we're going to have a little contest here. Below are the 13 big-league Index Of Effluency powerhouses that will be running the Arse Freeze-A-Palooza- the "Lucky 13," as they shall henceforth be known. You need to estimate how many laps you think each of the Lucky 13 will complete during the weekend of racing, sharing your predictions in a comment in this post, for all the world to see. After the race (probably long after the race), I'll get around to doing the math and seeing who came closest overall (by calculating the difference between prediction and actual performance for each of the 13), and I'll send that winner a few team T-shirts and other LeMons goodies.
"But Murilee," you may be whining at this point, "I like the idea of blowing off work while I figure out the 13 lap totals, as my boss is a cruel, Simon Legree-esque figure, but I don't know where to start! How many laps would a not-so-effluent car manage in this race?" Not to worry! There's a new track configuration this year, with a total length of 1.9 miles (last year, it was more like 1.3 miles). Last time, the more reliable entrants managed to finish 400 laps or more, with the lap winner knocking out 461 total. With the longer track configuration, we can expect to see the cars that don't blow up, fall apart, or otherwise crap out to grind out totals somewhere in the 250 to 300-lap range. Some of the Lucky 13 are really fast cars, when working properly, and many of the teams are totally stacked with ace drivers, so we might just see some of these teams go on to totally dominate the race, leaving those boring Acuras and Mazdas to choke on their dust! Anything can happen out there! Here they are, in no particular order. Note: Because I was short on sleep when I calculated the lap totals in my estimates, I multiplied when I should have divided. Feel free to update your estimates if you made the mistake of trusting my numbers.