While we saw the Top 50 finishers of the 24 Hours of LeMons race at Thunderhill last month, we didn't get to see the bulk of the photographs I shot, nor did we see a lot of the stuff sent in by members of the various teams. That's because my laptop's hard drive took a dive during the race and I lost the best stuff... but now the sick Maxtor has yielded up its contents and we're ready to take a look at the long-awaited Über Gallery. Many thanks to all the team members who have been so patient about this; you know who you are!
We're going to sort the teams by car number; everyone who managed to get a car out on the track should be here. We've tried to provide links to team-supplied images and video whenever possible. Enjoy!
Pendejo Engineering's Alfetta came equipped with an early-70s wing and a burning desire to take home the Fastest Pasta Burner trophy, but a hole in their engine block on Day One dashed their hopes in most cruel fashion. However, in the most heartwarming style imaginable, they joined forces with Team California Mille and put together one running car from two engines!
We saw Saabs Gone Wild back at the Altamont race, and they were back again with a pair of Saab 900 Turbos.
This Volvo wagon was definitely being driven hard, carrying that Swedish flag high and so on. Check out some in-car video from this racing station wagon:
However, there's such a thing as getting a little carried away on the track, and Mr. Lamm (who we know is a fair man) had to administer a little LeMons Discipline to the Cops Gone Naughty:
It was good to see some GTIs contending at this race. Don't miss In The Red Racing's build photos and in-car video!
These guys drove all the way out from the Midwest (where they turned in the best lap time at the Flat Rock LeMons race) and placed second in their Neon. You can see how they went about building their race car here, then take in their photos of the Thunderhill action here. But they didn't just take still photos; they had the car rigged up for some white-knuckle-inducin' in-car video:
You can see Parts 2 and 3 here.
The Bernal Dads piloted their Volvo 245 to a 33rd-place finish- not bad for a wagon packing Scandi-Malaise horsepower; in the words of one team member: "We certainly didn't have any power (we dyno'd it and had 73 horse at the rear wheels), so it must have been the handling that allowed us to pass people!" They've got some great in-car video available here, so check it out!
Team Armageddon was tied with the Team Field Find '65 Mercedes for the honor of bringing the oldest car at the race (though they were the clear winners in the Most Primitive Suspension sweepstakes), and so their in-car video is full of extra-vintage squeaks, groans, and body roll:
First, the rear-facing camera.
Now the forward-facing version.
Even though they only finished 4th overall, Team InAccuracy's Integra had the quickest lap time of the race.
Team Rockford Pile claimed that this car is a Firebird with Camaro front body parts and a 305 engine. All we know for sure is that it looked and sounded pretty mean, like a car that belonged at the Pumpkin Smash.
We ran into the Dirty Drifters the night before the race began, and things weren't looking so good for them. But they perservered, and the intrepid Oregonians pulled off a 20th-place finish with their new junkyard 3TC.
These guys blew their transmission on Day One, but swapped in a new on in time for Day Two- no small feet in a FWD car!
In addition to having the largest diameter tailpipe at the race, Team Size Matters has some decent photos up on Flickr for us to enjoy.
This Z had to have taken the most punishment of any car that wasn't actually knocked out of the race; the all-night thrash to repair crash damage caused by a rear-ender with one of the Neons was an epic frozen/bleeding-knuckled adventure. You can read some of the team captain's observations here
Another fast GTI! Read Team ZZ Uber Das Driver's account here, then enjoy their video:
We saw the Making of the Carpet Pissers CRX video after the Altamont race, and the Pissers came back strong with a new car for Thunderhill. You see, they abide. These guys deserve some kind of award for somehow finding stuffed marmots (as part of a bid for the "most obscure Big Lebowski reference ever" award)... and then using them to plug a big oil-gushing hole in their engine block (see video below)
These guys were the obvious slam-dunk winners for the People's Choice award, and everyone knew it from the start. The handling wasn't so great, but the ol' 190 just kept on keeping on.
After seeing this car at the October Altamont race, we had high hopes for the Alfetta at Thunderhill. And while they didn't win the overall race, Team California Mille did take home the Fastest Pasta Burner trophy!
We don't know much about this Volvo, but we like the paint job and low stance; this car served as inspiration for us to pick up our own 200 series car for the May Altamont race!
We hope DWA comes up with more in-car video like the one they put together for the Altamont race! These guys did great at Thunderhill, putting a Porsche in the Top Ten.
Here's a team headed by our own Rnair. The Formula BMW car got knocked out on Day Two by rear wheel hub problems, but before that happened they got some good in-car video; check it- and some good description of what racing in LeMons is like- out here. Or take a look at some highlights in the video below:
57: Team www.LemonVoyeur.com, Saturn SL-2
The only Saturn in the race, and apparently they were going to provide live internet video feed of the race.
We were really rooting for the only Isuzu in the race, but things mechanical did not cooperate.
As we all know, Team Red Meat and Poontang won the race, and they did it with class, style... and a Mazda Protege!
In true Project Car Hell fashion, they even sent us a copy of the Craigslist ad that yielded their car, to prove that, yes, they really did pay under $500 for it! Head over to their Picasa page and you can see the official RM&P team photo album.
We had a feeling this car was going to be the People's Curse, after taking the pulse of public opinion after Day One of racing. It was hard watching that beautiful-sounding engine get destroyed, but that's how the People's Curse works.
We'll probably see the Size Matters Fury at every 24 Hours of LeMons race for the rest the century, as this Mopar is unkillable.
Words cannot describe how bummed we were that this incredibly beautiful car threw a rod early in Day One. Take a look at the broken bits of camshaft in the "after" engine photos below!
Hooray, a Yank Tank finishes in the Top Ten!
RotorRevenge was actually part of the same team as Old Punks, and these guys definitely knew how to race... and work on rotary Mazdas:
First you need to go look at Team Drift RWD Sport's collection of LeMons photos. Then hear what team member Steve has to say about his experience:
We were in the top 4 for about 90% of the race. out of our 6 drivers however, 4 were blag flagged at some point. Needless to say that ate lots of time and lost us a few places, but still maintained 4th at the end of day 1. We seemed to have a faster pace than all the other cars too! Day 2 however wasn't kind to us. With 1hr 30mins left to go, the front right wheel bearing failed and shot the bearing race under and away from the car, and caused a funny "wobble" which led to the front brake caliper snapping in half. There was little to no braking, but after a generous loan of a spare hub from the other red MR2 team (who eventually flipped) we were able to repair the car. With 30mins left in the race however, we got black flagged for the final time, taking us out of the race, dropping us down to 15th. Such is racing, I guess!