The Worst Place To Find Out That A Car Isn't Watertight

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“Just drive on through the car wash,” he said. “It will be fine,” he said.

When building a race car, there are many items you pay a lot of attention to. The engine! Transmission! Suspension! Safety items needed to compete! Weight that you can shed!

What you don’t pay attention to is whether or not you can still take the car through a car wash without getting soaked. Somehow I’d forgotten this side effect of a race car’s nothing-else-matters take on creature comforts when teammate and nemesis who will feel true vengeance soon Steve Harrell said I’d be fine taking our borrowed, stage-rally-prepped Porsche 944 through the car wash to wash the road salt off once we were out of the snowy part of the LeMons Rally.

The LeMons Rally is a grueling multiple-state scavenger hunt for vehicles that are some delightful combination of “ill-advised for long-haul travel” and “anger-bait for car snobs.” Bringing a stage rally car may sound like a cheat, but trust me, it was not.

Sure enough, a 944 that has gotten to know a tree all too intimately at the Black River Stages rally will leak all over, regardless of the fact that the rubber gaskets are still visible around the doors.


This explains why I had to bundle up like the kid from A Christmas Story going through the ice-cold legs of the rally. If you have a race car stripped of all interior carpeting, sound deadening and other comfort items, those rubber gaskets around the doors and hatch are really just there to taunt you if you end up anywhere wet.