Just over two weeks ago I introduced our 2013 24 Hours of Lemons racecar, a 2001 Buick Regal. We (specifically three friends and I) will be racing at the end of the month at the Halloween Hooptiefest At New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We’re all racing rookies and we don’t know the car very well in terms of reliability and driving characteristics, so I am confident that we will do great.
Majority of the important work on the Buick has been completed: cage, seat, F-body brakes, kill switch, brake ducts, transmission cooler. We have also obtained some additional wheels. We have recently tackled the issue of logistics, race strategy, and finally theme.
Yes, that park bench is our rear spoiler, because a racecar isn’t a racecar without a spoiler, ask any four-year-old.
Yes, carpet flames, to go along with our park bench racing theme.
Not including the drivers, the transmission remains our weakest point. We got a junk yard BMW cooler for it, but it’s still kind of a crap shoot. Spare junk yard transmissions ranged in price from $300 to $1200 (test unit from supercharged Pontiac (stronger)) and were at least 300 miles away. Basically, a spare transmission was out of our budget but we are discussing the potential of buying a whole spare parts car, many of which are available for as much as the said transmissions, but time is our enemy.
Andy and Justin came up with some kind of a last minute NASCAR theme for the sides. I have no idea what it is, and neither do they.
We are approaching, and quickly surpassing, our budget limit of $1500 per person net. It’s amazing that it costs over $5000 to race a $500 exotic such as this, but no one ever said that racing was cheap. I should point out that we have done nothing to the car to increase its performance. A ton of money was spend on safety stuff. Additional money is going to race fees, driver fees, fuel, spare parts, etc. It all adds up really quickly. Hopefully we won’t bend this car during the race and our second race will be cheaper.
Great news!! We got some sponsors!!!
- A hard-working awesome dude with a small business who prefers to remain anonymous has generously contributed $500 towards gasoline, towing, food, camping/hotel, etc. He does business with the company that Andy and Justin work for, he saw them working on the car and loved everything about it. Good Guy Anonymous!
- Blipshift.com will hook us with some t-shirts!
- Hooniverse.com, a website you maybe familiar with, will supply us with some monies for bribing of the judges and other random BS in exchange for an awesome windshield banner, which they too will provide.
- And the big one, BFGoodrich is sponsoring us with a set of g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires. I confirmed with the Gods of Lemons racing and this is cool as long as the tires are within spec. Tires fall under safety exception rule 4.2.1, too. They are not the Rivals that Jeff “tested” earlier, but they are similar. We will do our best to tell you that YOU should go and buy these tires!!*
And now for some build pictures:
Our “racecar” came with a dent in a shape of a tree, or a pole, in front, which is what drove its low price. Damaged were also the radiator, A/C condenser, and other crap up front. Since Andy owns a sweet Jeep CJ-8 (on 33’s) , that he wheels all the time, he put its winch to a good use…
The Scrambler is nearly rust free since Andy bought when he was working in Mexico. He also installed a fuel-injected cylinder head on it from a later Cherokee and he made his own skid plates. It’s slightly lifted but not yet locked, but it has a LSD from a Mustang Cobra in the rear.
Andy sourced a battery cable from a wrecked E36 BMW which allowed us to place the battery in the trunk. Justin had the battery box from his other race car.
Justin did a compression test on a cold engine. Normally you try to do the test at normal operating temperature but we had radiator issues.
- front, cylinders 5 3 1 – wet 145 115 130, dry 120 90 120
- rear, cylinders 6 4 2 – wet 150 125 115, dry 130 120 100
Haynes says minimum 100 and maximum 25% from highest reading, so we’re close-ish.
F-body caliper brackets were drilled and tapped to fit the Regal bolts. The Camaro calipers were mounted with new rotors and Hawk pads. New braided stainless steel brake lines were installed on all corners and the braking system bled.
High quality super awesome brake ducts were all Andy’s work.
Used Mustang wheels are amazingly cheap. Here they are on Andy’s trailer. Andy used that trailer and his Jeep to move from Massachusetts to school in California, and back to Massachusetts. Yes, he fit all his personal possessions into a Jeep and a small trailer.
A different view of the bench. It’s set up for easy removal in case it becomes a safety issue or if it hinders our performance. Ha!
More updates soon…
*Just kidding. But this actually is a perfect opportunity to review something like this. Stay tuned.