When the LeMons perpetrators get together, the conversation inevitably turns to the "Cars We Wish Someone Would Bring To A Race" topic. The Chevy Citation X-11 always makes our Top Ten list.
Yes, the X-11 is right up there with the Renault Fuego Turbo, the Lancia Scorpion, and the Humber Sceptre when it comes to 200-proof 24 Hours Of LeMons awesomeness: the "high-performance" version of what may well be the worst platform General Motors ever manufactured (cue the hate mail from enraged Pontiac Phoenix owners).
For '84, the Citation X-11 had functional cowl induction and 135 horses from its 2.8 liter V6, and it featured a better axle ratio and stiffer suspension than the base Citation. An X-11 should actually be pretty quick on the race track, if the performance of the closely related Cavalier wagon is any guide. You see, consumer-alienating stuff like 3/4" body panel gaps, overnight corrosion, window cranks that come off in your hand, etc., don't matter on a race car, so the X-11 will finally be in its element!
The last time we saw this team, things didn't go so well for their Corolla FX16. That car has been fixed by now, but the Schumacher Taxi Service will become Team Craptation for the 24 Hours Of LeMons New England race next month.
Equipped with active aerodynamic devices (toilet seats on the trunk lid) and the number 2, the Craptation will be out there waving the Chevrolet flag, right next to UDMan's '63 Corvair sedan. Do any other teams even have a shot at the Index Of Effluency? We'll see!
Here's what Craptation captain Jerry has to say about his team's race car:
The car: a daily driver last state inspected in 2006, this beast sat in a neighbor's front yard for sale for a few weeks. Each time I drove by, I wondered about it. it was so damned ugly no one would WANT it, especially not for street use. So I inquired, and it was all there—-V6, four speed, it started—-intermittently. I lowballed the guy with a $300 offer and he took it instantly. Guess I overpaid. Here's what it looked like then:
So we auotcrossed the car in November. On it's maidenm voyage, it was clear something was amiss with the suspension, but worse still, Rob, a Schumacher teammate, rode with and was upended when the passenger seat decided to break loose from the floor. Amid his laughter, all I could say to him after the run was "You broke my seat!"
The shock change and cutting of the springs helped a little , but it still has this incredible rear suspension setup.
The heater core came out with a BFH, but left this gigantic 18 inch hole in the firewall. Not to worry, we had a 1964 Rover door ready to give its life. So it was cut up and screwed in.
And the smog pump left the bay as well. It left a tube feeding into the exhaust which we quickly filled with a tree branch. Seemed to fit and it was free!
Now to solve why it's running so poorly. We pulled a plug wire and found wet plugs. hmmm. After some serious head scratching, we siphoned this out of the gas tank! In total we had over a gallon of water in there! ugh.
We raced the car again, and what a crowd gathered! This is a sexy beast! It still handles like crap, only now each time you unspring a side and then reload it, the spring makes a gawd awful BANG! Perfect for LeMons racing!
Theme. Why not run with the Craptation theme! We got number 2, and we are in process of adding the rolling portapottie features. The spare tire well makes an excellent reservoir for waste. Rob and I are demonstrating.
We still have work to do, on the beast. We've campaigned a number of cars in LeMons racing, but this was a new direction for us. We KNOW this car embodies the spirit of LeMons racing. A poor, orphaned American crapbox with no other possibilities of leading a useful life. We can't wait to bring it to Stafford.