The 24 Hours of LeMons shitbox racing series is, arguably, one of the three pillars of modern society, along with the Kiwanis Club and our nation’s easy and ready access to taquitos. One of the icons of LeMons is a mysterious figure named Speedycop who always manages to build some genuinely insane cars. The Speedycop team has a new car ready for the next race, and it looks nice and nuts.
The choice of car this time is interesting, as it’s sort of at the exact opposite end of the spectrum as their last build, a remarkable amphibious racing attack helicopter:
After such an overtly military theme, it’s impressive that this next build has swung the pendulum so far to the other extreme, using a vehicle most often associated with voyaging, unwashed peaceniks, a Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus camper.
Just racing an old VW Bus in LeMons has been done before; what hasn’t been done is racing one on its side, which is exactly what Jeff Bloch (the name Speedycop signs on his bad checks to Harbor Freight) and his team are doing this time. Here’s a teaser video:
Yes, the Trippy Tippy Hippy Van is a full 1976 Volkswagen Westfalia camper body flipped on its side, and mounted on an early ‘80s VW Rabbit. So, it’s all VW hardware, just combined in ways that would make Ferdinand Piëch want to vomit. Here’s a look at how it’s put together:
The team has been working incredibly hard on this build, and I think they’ve done an astoundingly good job, with the sort of attention to the little details that are so cruicial to making these sorts of insane projects elevate themselves from just a ridiculous idea into something approaching art. A perverse sort of art, but that’s the best kind, right?
What I mean are details like this: where some builders may have been satisfied with some basic black sheet metal or plastic for the van’s underside, the Speedycop crew used screen-printed Lexan panels that show images of the van’s actual, anatomically-correct underbits while allowing visibility from the inside:
I mean, from a little bit of distance, that’s pretty convincing.
I’m pretty excited to see this thing on the track, spreading alarm, confusion, and delight all over the place. I’m not sure if LeMons rules allow them to add things that throw sparks as it drives, but that’d be a nice touch. Maybe they can add that for when this thing gets rented out for parades and weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.
Good work, Speedycop and crew; you’re doing important work.