There's Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Can't Fix!

Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!

My favorite thing about working for the 24 Hours of LeMons is experiencing the completely stupid engine swaps done by so many teams. From a ghettocharged 351W in an XR4Ti to a V65 Magna-powered Honda Z600, they're all winners!

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!
Advertisement

At the Gator-O-Rama LeMons in Houston a few months back, we encountered the incredibly terrible and black-flag-prone— yet fast— Lincoln Mark VIII of Los Bastardos De LeMons. After coming in 72nd out of 108, the team decided they needed an upgrade for the North Dallas Hooptie LeMons, coming up next weekend at Eagle Canyon Raceway in Texas.

Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!

As you can see, theseyer Texans are made of stern stuff; in fact, we're pretty sure that this dude is actually Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers. He didn't deny it, and his teammates sure seemed suspiciously knowledgeable about Butthole Surfers trivia. That might explain what happened next...

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!

You see, real 24 Hours of LeMons cars are made in Russia, Italy, or France. Los Bastardos, no doubt after consulting with the spirit of the Shah— who, as we all know, sleeps in Lee Harvey's grave— decided to go for the rear-engined French route, selecting this total basket case of a challenging project Renault Dauphine.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!

The Dauphine came with an engine developing between 19 and 32 horsepower, which might be insufficient for a road-race course packed with Mustangs and RX-7s. The solution? A wrecked Sable with 208-horse quad-cam Duratec V6, naturally!

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Theres Nothing Wrong With a Renault Dauphine That 625% More Horsepower Cant Fix!

So we're looking at an upgrade from 32 horses to 200 here, which should result in a totally uncontrollable beast a spirited performer on the race track. Some heavy-duty cutting-and-pasting is called for when undertaking such a project. You can check out head Bastardo madman TheHeckler's account on the LeMons forums to get some sense of the hundreds of hours of work involved here; it's a good thing that team sweat doesn't apply to the $500 budgetary limit. Good work, Los Bastardos, and we'll see you next weekend!

Advertisement


[24 Hours of LeMons Forums]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

To understand how batshit crazy this project is, read this description of the Dauph, one of the 50 worst calls of all time...

The most ineffective bit of French engineering since the Maginot Line, the Renault Dauphine was originally to be named the Corvette, tres ironie. It was, in fact, a rickety, paper-thin scandal of a car that, if you stood beside it, you could actually hear rusting. Its most salient feature was its slowness, a rate of acceleration you could measure with a calendar. It took the drivers at Road and Track 32 seconds to reach 60 mph, which would put the Dauphine at a severe disadvantage in any drag race involving farm equipment. The fact that the ultra-cheap, super-sketchy Dauphine sold over 2 million copies around the world is an index of how desperately people wanted cars. Any cars.