The Ghost Ride The Whip 24 Hours Of LeMons penalty doesn't need much explaining: screw up on the track, you and your team dance your way around the paddock while on or around a LeMons Supreme Court Official Vehicle.
We can thank LeMons Perpetrator and hyphy Oakland native Nick "Deuce Deuce" Pon, aka TheEastBayKid, for the idea.
We had a decent speaker/amp setup, a 400-watt amplifier and four 6x9 speakers stuffed into an old thrift-store particle-board speaker cabinet. It's visible on the roof of the Cursed VW Transporter in the photo above.
Just attach the jumper-cable clips to the vehicle's battery, hook up the iPod to the amplifier input, and crank up the Mistah F.A.B. It worked well, as you can see in the video from the Buttonwillow Histrionics LeMons last summer. At that race, we used the Department Of Highway De-Beautification Safety Truck as the Ghost Ride vehicle. Unfortunately, Mistah F.A.B. coupled with the "Bass Boost" equalizer setting on the iPod blew out most of the speakers on our GRTW Box, and in any case we needed something sturdy enough to withstand shipping to non-West Coast races. Junkyard time!
First, we'd need a bunch of tie-downs/speaker protectors. I headed over to my local self-service boneyard, figuring I'd find an old truck with a bunch of rusty-ass tie downs. But wait! Car door striker latches are made to withstand high-speed wrecks, every car has at least two of them, and they're held on with just two screws. No need to fight nasty, corroded carriage bolts on some junked '74 F-250 with a bed full of ossified dog poop. Problem solved!
I grabbed quite a few latches, all from Hondas and Toyotas; my design called for four, but there's no harm in a bit of junkyard overkill.
I figured I'd get some junkyard 6x9s and just build a plywood box with enough room for them, but it turns out that Bunny With A Pancake On Its Head VW Rabbit team captain and 1976 Audi Fox driver Casadelshawn holds a degree in Intergalactic Badasstical Speaker Design (note: I've forgotten all the technical terms Casadelshawn so patiently explained to me, including the name of his college degree, so I'll be making up every audio-engineering term from this point on), and he offered to help apply some, like, science to the design of Ghost Ride The Whip Box V2.0.
A little cutting and pasting of some scrap plywood went pretty easily, thanks to the miracle of drywall screws and Elmer's Glue. I was forced to buy longer countersunk machine screws to mount the door latches on 3/4" plywood, because the Toyota screws were too short. It hurts, paying for new stuff on a junkyard project!
Here's a top view of the super-scientific cabinet design, as suggested by 33rd Degree Master Speakerman Casadelshawn. The layout was limited by the requirement that the box be readily shippable to distant race tracks without incurring oversize fees from FedEx, so there was no avoiding right angles (which, according to Heisenberg's Fourth Theorem Of Boombox Design, should be shunned). Note the Intradimensional Thumpin' Doob Tubes™ (PVC pipe), which apparently enhance the rubber-mallet-on-skull effect of the bass. The idea here is to run one channel per pair of speakers, then place the GWTB Box V2.0 at an angle on the roof of the vehicle, so that spectators to the front and rear will get both left and right sides of the stereo.
The latches flank the side speakers, in order to protect them when the inevitible drop to the asphalt occurs. LeMons gear takes a serious beating. Cabinet pulls go on the ends, providing speaker protection as well as carrying handles.
The Total Mobile Audio T4404 amplifier goes into a protected-from-upside-down-droppage compartment on the top of the box.
Here's the high-tech power connection. Don't slam the hood all the way closed!
A few random car emblems give it that Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™ look. Spitfire, Buick, Jaguar, and a nice diamond-studded 22" emblem add class.
Some scavenged ropes and bungee cords keep it semi-anchored to the roof of my Crown Victoria, which edges closer to being sold to a LeMons team with every week that goes by.
And here we go! The Judges' Choice-winning 1Up SE-R team looks enthusiastic as they pay for their sins. Yes, I know I'm supposed to get out of the car and let it drive itself, but the Chief Perp nixed that idea for- get this!- safety reasons!
The guys from the Starsky and the Bandit Capri team also looked good during their Ghost Ride penalty. Let's watch some video!
These dudes proved to be the lamest Ghost Riders in LeMons history, trudging along like they'd been in the Bataan Death March for the last couple of days, but they said they'd form a mosh pit if we cranked up some Metallica. "Master Of Puppets" perked them right up! Later, we did the German Car Parade Of Shame, with several E30s, a Porsche 914, and a VW Golf doing a very slow lap of the paddock behind the Crown Vic and Rammstein cranking on the GRTW Box.
Here's what we used for inspiration when determining the appropriate level of LeMons Ghost Ride enthusiasm:
Just in case you're too young to get the "Tigra and Bunny" reference: