Yesterday the forty-grand Fiero was jilted by a commitment-phobic 77% of you. Today, we've got a sure-fire, can't-miss money making scheme for you; one that involves track time, a Deliverance-style trek to California's back-woods, and a car that you can fix with a ball-peen hammer and a bungee cord.
The idea behind the 24 Hours of LeMons is an endurance race for cars costing less than $500 to obtain. This lets drivers of limited means get some track time, maintains close racing, and keeps a lot of crappy cars off the roads. Not only is there the circus-like atmosphere, and camaraderie of your fellow contestants to look forward to, but there's also money involved- should you manage to finish the race. The racer that completes the most laps, and suffers the fewest lap-adding penalties, takes home a cool $1,500. Win the Index of Effluency and you'll pocket another grand. If you manage the trifecta of these and the People's Choice Award, worth $500, you'll be $2,500 richer and have earned the respect and or derision of your peers.
In order to maximize these winnings, it's best to start with as low-priced a racer as possible, and - save for someone paying you to take a car off their hands - you can't get cheaper than. . . FREE. That's right, a poster on the LeMons forums is offering up a 1978 (?) AMC Spirit of indeterminate mobility, for just the effort of hauling it away. Not only that, but it comes with that claim of reassurance you seek in a used car ad- like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval- that it "ran when parked." Sure, it's got an automatic, and the big six under the hood is probably filled with squirrel scat. But that, and the fact that it's nothing more than a citified Gremlin don't matter, it's a freaking free car for pete's sake. This is a free spirit that'll run with the ‘Stangs, and run-over the ankle-biter miatas. Not only that, but the fabulously facial-haired justices Martin and Lieberman would raise unruly eyebrows in approval over your unconventional, but nut-scratchingly American choice of competitor. LeMons is a petri-dish of wackiness and you and your free spirit would only add to that culture.
So what do you say? Is FREE a Nice Price for the potential of
milk-chugging beer swilling in the LeMons winner's circle? Or is dragging this free spirit out of its back-woods grave make you think $500 would only be the tip of the LeMonsberg?