Ford was the second-most-numerous marque seen at the Arse Freeze-A-Palooza, with 14 vehicles (versus 18 BMWs), and two Fords in the Top 10 (not to mention the quickest lap time of the whole race) is grounds for Blue Oval pride. The important question is: when are we going to see a Jeffrey Lebowski Torino in the race?
A P71 Crown Vic in the top 10 is always good to see, and the Tinkerbell Rosso car got 9th place… and the coveted Fastest Yank Tank trophy.
We don't need to say much about this fine car, other than the fact that these guys really get it. Inside word was that the afterthought tinfoil octo-headlights cost them the People's Choice award; remember, you've got to get those details down!
These guys came really close to grabbing the Most Heroic Fix trophy (which is one of the most prized LeMons awards) after their all-night engine swap on Saturday night, but they blew that chance by heading out onto the track with an audible-at-500-yards rod knock on engine #2 and proceeding to oil down half the track when the engine blew minutes later.
Lesson to future LeMons racers: don't claim that a car you bought new is worth $500. As Justice Lieberman explains, that will get you an all-time 2,100 penalty laps (and the newly-created Mega Cheaters trophy, welded up for the occasion by Christina The Arc Angel). That said, we love SHOs at LeMons, because they sound so great out there.
It's the People's Curse Winner! You Crown Vic fans will be pleased to know that this car- equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, monster brakes, and an engine that seems to make way more power than the one in my P71- knocked off the best lap time of the whole race (1:31.474, in a race in which the winner's best lap was 1:36.298) … after having its doors, hood, and trunk torn off during the Curse. Chief Perp Lamm felt that the Blues Brothers didn't deserve the Curse, so he had the Executioner take it easy on them. Looks like we'll have another ex-cop People's Curse survivor out there now!
Putting 800 pounds of particle board on your Mustang isn't crazy- it's the ticket to the People's Choice trophy! The Bipolar Express' best lap time was a glacial 2:10, but so what?
Here's proof that you don't need to go fast to contend in the 24 Hours Of LeMons (yeah, we keep saying that, but just watch the lunacy when the green flag waves). This Escort came in 5th place with a best lap time of 1:44.649, which made it one of the slowest cars on the track. Had any of the cars in front stumbled, it might have won. Don't break down, don't get penalties, and you can win this race! Winner: No Prayer Of Finishing Class.
We've seen this Mustang at Altamont (in pink paint) and at the first Arse Freeze (in PCH colors). Now it's a Shelby! And, hey, its blazing best lap of 1:33.958 really was Shelby-esque.
We've seen several Rangers at LeMons events, and this one acquitted itself quite well on the track: 39th place. We liked the free ice cream the team members were giving away in the pits, and the ambient temperatures of 36 degrees meant that melting wasn't a big problem.
Another P71! These guys had to hack off their Mad Max style front bumper prior to the race, because everyone is already sufficiently scared of the Crown Vics out there.
Winners of the first-ever LeMons Junkyard Scab-enger Hunt, Team Huey Newis And The Lose spent the entire weekend giving me bad high-school flashbacks with the 80s soundtrack blasting from their pit. Their 64th-place finish was pretty respectable for the first time out.
Another multi-race veteran, the GI SHO car had a good best lap time of 1:40.332. If only a SHO could hold together for an entire race… but there's always Reno! You can check out the team's photos here and here, then read the insider account:
One cold and dark November, we stumbled upon the website for the 24 Hours of LeMons. No that is the correct spelling.
On a whim we sent in our idea - take one of our beat up parts cars and turn it into a race car called the GI SHO. We would gut the car and paint it in camo to match the name. Unbelievably, our idea was accepted, and we had 6 weeks to turn a non-running pile-o-parts into a caged running race car.
The car we chose was a non-running 1989 SHO with about 270k+ miles on the clock. At one time, someone loved this car, but that was at “one time”, and a long time ago. When we bought the car, the Craigslist ad read something like this:
1989 Taurus SHO: 270k miles. Does not run. I am tired of changing parts to fix it. It has Koni struts and a nice stereo. The clear coat is shot, there are dents in the body, the sunroof leaks, and it looks like two wolverines mated in the front seats. $300.
He was not kidding. There were chunks missing of the front seat. We bought the car with thoughts of saving the Konis and a few other parts, but the car ended up “aging” in my pasture for three years.
Three years of aging on “The Wolverine Car” was a biological experiment. Here is what the car looked like just 6 weeks before the race.
With a LOT of work, a used crank sensor, used water pump, and some new rod bearings, the car was up and running. Then it was off to DGE Motorsports for a quick roll cage. This cage was built in two days. Once the cage was installed, we added a spare racing seat and a 5 point harness, and it was off to the paint shop. Kadels Auto Body let us borrow the paint booth for a couple hours since it was raining hard outside. Four guys with rattle cans, four flat colors, an hour later, and we had the GI SHO.
We survived the whole race and had a blast. We did have a few Black Flag incidents, including one penalty for “aggressive driving”. The penalty was a flower pot full of raw eggs screwed to the hood. It reminds you to drive more carefully, so the eggs don't splatter all over your windshield. A nice thought, but the eggs still splatter. The paint damage on the hood and the screws are still there from the “flower pot incident”. We thought about painting the hood again, but decided to leave it in case the car ever became a collectors item – OK we were just lazy.
The cool thing about the car is this. Even after 270K miles and a pretty nasty past, the car handled like it was on rails, and it could pass just about any car in the race, at any point in the track. This car has inspired one other local club member to resurrect an otherwise beat up 89 parts car and turn it into a gutted daily driver/track car. It is a beautiful thing to have a car that can perform this well, and you do not need to worry about dents, paint, or even washing it.
The National SHO Convention
The 2008 National SHO Convention was in Seattle. SHO lovers from all over North America gathered together to see the best SHOs in the world. Obviously, the GI SHO made an appearance. The car went in full race dress (as-is). We did remove the flowerpot for aerodynamics, but the egg goo, mold and road dirt went along for the ride. Since the car is still street legal, it made the drive. There is something about a beat up camoflaged family car that gets looks. Funny thing is, everyone wanted to drive it. It even served as a track car for two drivers with car troubles at the Pacific Raceways open track day.
2008 Thunderhill LeMons
Here we are preparing for the 2008 Thunderhill LeMons race. We replaced last year's drivers that had black flag trouble. We have three returning drivers and three new drivers.
In all honesty, we really did have only $500 invested in the car for the 2007 Thunderhill race. To help the judging (and keep us from losing $300 worth of laps like last year), we respectfully ask you to establish the residual value for the car. We are thinking $300-400, so we still have some money to add some camoflage, weaponry, and banned F1 technology to the car. We have not added any other value to the car since last year. The moldy egg residue is still on the hood. I think every body panel and bumper took at least one hit last year. We popped out the major dents and used a crow bar to get the doors to open and close better. We are removing some of the excess weight and “snag hazzards” by gutting the doors.