We never see enough British cars in the 24 Hours Of LeMons, so getting two TR7s, a V12 Jag, and a Chevy-powered Jag on the track at the same time really made our weekend.
There was much grumbling in the pits about the "really nice XJ-S," with talk about the impossibility of getting "such a nice car" for under $500. Nonsense! Anyone who reads Project Car Hell knows that you can get running, good-looking V12 Jaguars for next to nothing… and this one was actually a crude Tijuana bad-welds-and-bondo salvage job under the skin. For a big luxury machine- with all accessories still intact, including the stereo and ashtray- this car was pretty quick on the track, with a best lap of 1:42.746, and its 27th-place finish was very, very impressive. They stirred up some controversy over on Autofiends, thanks to the much-disputed cleanliness of a pass of the V.I.P. BMW, which really adds to the post-race fun.
This car was actually leading the race at the end of Day One, but some reading of the fine print was in order: Supreme LeMons Court Justice Lieberman heard the engine in this car during the BS Inspection- and it sounded terrible, even by very lenient Malaise British standards- and bestowed a whopping 50-lap bonus on the team. Ha ha, funny joke… right? Then, of course, the clattery, Lucas-haunted Triumph just refused to die, going around and around and around the track. Its best lap time of 1:54.673 was- for lack of a better word- gastropodal, but when the race was over, Team Cape Coventry was the triumphant- get it?- owner of the invented-just-for-the-occasion Alfetta Versus TR7 Challenge trophy. 21st place, or 56th place if you don't believe in bonus laps.
The Buick V6-powered Wedginator, which did most of its laps at the SF '08 race behind a tow truck (thanks to fuel-system woes), performed much better this time around, with an 82nd place finish. Its best lap time of 1:40.567 was about a week faster than its Triumph-powered rival- and up there with the E30s and RX7s- but too many thrilling driving adventures led Chief Perp Lamm to put it on the trailer on Sunday. Don't worry, Wedginators, there's always Reno!