With 21 total LeMons races in the books since the first one in 2006, it's about time to start honoring lifetime achievement… and you get to vote on the potential 24 Hours Of LeMons Wall Of Blame inductees!
From now on, a certain number of outstanding LeMons teams will be chosen for the WOB at the end of each race season. Each team will be honored with a
totally cheap beautiful plaque, which will be hung on a grimy wall in the corner behind the boxes of obsolete LeMons merchandise a prime location in Jay Lamm's squalid live/work warehouse 24 Hours Of LeMons Global Headquarters. As you can see, the Wall Of Blame already showcases such discarded priceless relics of LeMons history as the original "Noch Einer Scheiss-E30" stencil and the first of a long succession of "BRIBED" stencils.
So here's how it works: For the 2006-2009 seasons, the
sinister cabal brain trust that runs LeMons has decided that 16 teams shall be inducted into the WOB. First off, they've chosen six slam-dunk, no-doubt WOB inductees, each of whom gets automatic plaque-on-the-Wall honors. We're going to let LeMons Perpetrator Nick Pon, aka our own TheEastBayKid take over the descriptions here; first, the six instant WOB inductees:
The IOE, Organizer's Choice, and Season Title winners who drove a caged glass-less Cavalier wagon LeMons car from California to Michigan for the Flat Rock race.
Rubber Biscuit Racing
Caprice-wielding warriors with a People's Curse, several trophies, the 2009 Coppa di Bondo title, and fabulous illicit applejack.
Schumacher Taxi Service
These idiots have appeared at every event east of the Mississippi, and featured the worst LeMons car ever seen—a primered Citation X11.
Size Matters Chrysler
While an IoE winner, consistent strong finisher, and constant West Coast competitor, Size Matters is WOB-worthy for making a '60s Mopar not suck at all on the racetrack.
OK, those six are on the Wall already. Now it's your turn to decide which teams will get the additional ten slots. After much agonizing, the list of potential 2006-2009 WOB inductees has been narrowed down to 20 (I wanted to have all 41 LeMons Legends cars inducted, but was overruled). We'll present them here with Nick's descriptions, and then you'll get to vote for your favorites. You can vote for one car, two cars, or all 20 of that's how you swing. Here goes:
These LeMons veterans were once accused of being "Well-Connected Nissan Freaks" by the judges. For the following race, they removed the cheaty bits from their Sentra SE-R and gave them to the judges to sell on eBay, beefed up their excellent Super Mario Brothers theme, and updated their team name to "1UP—The Well-Connected Nissan Freaks."
Black Iron Racing
Their impressively well-rounded LeMons resume includes an overall win, Organizer's Choice, People's Curse, and Most Heroic Fix. Their chewed-up-and-spat-out BMWs are noted for generating huge numbers of befuddled looks.
Team Blue Goose
One of the first teams to make a long-haul trip to a LeMons race, Blue Goose towed from Texas to Altamont and finished in the top ten. Since then, they have had an unparalleled string of mechanical failures, but they keep coming back for more.
The 2009 Season Champions bounced around the country scoring one top-ten finish after another, mostly behind the wheel of a frickin' Saturn.
Easily setting the LeMons record for number of total engine swaps, these I Got Screwed, Organizer's Choice, and Index of Effluency winners had at one point gone through five motors in two races. In the middle of one swap, they stopped to help another team with their swap. All in a day's work.
It's hard enough to complete seven LeMons races in a single car—when that car is possibly the worst Alfa Romeo Spider on the planet, that task is near-impossible. An Index of Effluency award, visits to the Concorso Italiano, appearances in Automobile, ADDX Tuning, Grassroots Motorsports, and Sports Car Market magazines, references in countless blogs, and even a cameo in the Wall Street Journal are among this team's highlights.
Evil Genius Racing
Evil Genius' well-known Ford-powered "V8olvo" has experienced major highs and lows—ranging from a last-lap overall win at Buttonwillow to being driven the wrong way on the track by Judge Murilee at Thunderhill (Editor's note: I didn't drive the wrong way; I drove on the wrong section of the track.) They are also responsible for the 928 Shooting Brake and a mind-blowing project to be revealed during the 2010 season.
Faster Farms Chickens
A '66 Plymouth Belvedere and chicken suits was a good start—when Faster Farms drove their windowless Belvedere to the track in 30-degree weather, flipped in Thunderhill's turn one, then drove back home in a single weekend, they were elevated to legend status.
After winning overall, Krider Racing reversed their thinking and went for—and ultimately scored—the highest number of penalty laps awarded in a LeMons race up to that point. Later, they converted a former LeMons car into a NASA contender—earning them a feature in Grassroots Motorsports. They also hold the distinction of the only team to roll their car while leading the race on the final lap.
The Latch-Key Kids
In most competition venues, a Chia Pet-themed Plymouth Neon covered in Astroturf is not a speed threat. Not so in the LeMons. This Detroit-based team has racked up no fewer than five top-ten finishes, three Fastest Yank Tank honors, and one Least Horrible Mopar award. They have also towed the thing all across Creation, including one 50-hour marathon from Motown to California in between Christmas and New Year's Eve in 2007.
One of the earliest examples of the Totally Nutzo LeMons engine swap, the Gnomes' sportbike-powered Geo Metro won overall in its debut. Not content with that result, they converted the car from front-engine, front-drive to mid-engine, rear-drive using about 40 bucks worth of angle iron. What could possibly go wrong?
These guys decided that an Alfa Romeo Alfetta was too mainstream, so they upgraded to the first-ever LeMons V12 Jaguar. Deciding that the Jag wasn't complicated enough, they found a salvage-titled '95 Mercedes S600 supposedly owned by a shady Paraguayan diplomat, stuffed a cage in it, and went racing. Even when Jay claimed the Benz for 500 bucks, they never stopped smiling.
PMS/BiPolar Express/Phony Express
If you don't recognize them by name, you'll recognize their work: A menopause-themed pink Mustang which was later converted into a steam locomotive using about 300 pounds of roof-mounted particleboard, followed by an early-'80s Accord with a life-sized fiberglass horse and cowboy bolted to its top.
These DC-area cops and Organizer's Choice winners were off to a good start when they figured a Lincoln Mark VIII would make a good road-race car, then they kicked things up to an even higher level by bringing a behemoth '61 Cadillac Fleetwood to Nelson Ledges. They eventually crashed it into a bridge abutment, but it was pretty awesome before that.
Property Devaluation Racing
While most Mustang teams go tough, these guys went sensitive with a My Little Pony theme. Appearing in Texas, Ohio, and Louisiana, Property Devaluation eventually added a V8-powered Fairmont wagon to their stable—which can typically be seen in the pits receiving the latest in a long line of engine swaps.
Saabs Gone Wild
One of the oldest, worst-performing, and most irritating LeMons teams, SGW has spawned numerous spinoff teams, a dedicated following on Saab internet forums, and a widely-recognized connection between Saab 900s and tragic unreliability.
Shrimp Boots/Piranha Rentals
Despite being relative rookies on this list, these South Louisiana racers have left a serious impression on the LeMons, at one point feeding hundreds of their fellow Texas competitors with buckets of freshly boiled shrimp. Few pay much attention to their cars, but everyone knows where they're parked in the paddock.
One of the first teams to solidly break away from E30 homogeny, the Porcubimmer's foam-quilled 325 was also the first BMW to have the pricks on the outside.
The Sharks have speed, style, and an '80s BMW with a junkyard turbocharger sticking a foot out of its hood—what's not to like? Well nothing really, especially if you also like crash-prone driving that incorporates lots of sweet jumps. They swear they're reformed, but do we really want them to be? (OK, probably yes.)
Complete with homemade lederhosen and a specially-hired paddock bratwurst cook, the Schnitzels also weren't short on mechanical ingenuity. When their Merkur XR4Ti's clutch took a dump, they made a new disc from sheetmetal and old brake pads. They scored an Organizer's Choice for all of their efforts.