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HCOTY Nominee: The FX32

Scott Ith December 11, 2013 Hooniversal Car of the Year 8 Comments


I don’t know how to define the Hooniversal Car of the Year, but I know one when I see one. Especially when it’s one that used to be two. You see, this Toyota used to be an FX16 and an MR2. Now, this beautiful amalgamation is a veteran of three Lemons races, a winner of one Lemons race, and is the only Lemons car to have ever driven back to the pits under its own power after a rollover accident. 

In other words, it’s a Hooniversal Car of the Year.  Check out more of my lobbying, and a video of the build, after the break.


This unassuming little FX is no ordinary Lemons car (if there is such a thing). This particular car is what happens when you take the floor pan, gas tank, rear suspension, and drivetrain – by force – out of  a first generation MR2 and shove it up the ass of a Corolla hatchback.  That’s right, it has the heart and soul of an MR2 pushing it around the track while the heart and soul of an FX pulls it around the track at the same time. 

It’s a marvel of backyard engineering, cutting, welding, and wiring.


It has two wiring harnesses, two shifters, two gauge clusters, and two drivetrains. Somehow, they all live peacefully together. It finished third in Class C in its first-ever race among a field of 180 cars at Sonoma Raceway. The Lemons judges recognized its potential and moved it to Class B for its next race at High Plains Raceway, and it promptly won that class. The car just works.

Oh, and did I mention that it is great fun to drive? As Zombee Pete so eloquently put it, “It’s like driving a normal Lemons car that’s being pushed around the track by the hand of God.”


Then, at Thunderhill, it was running in 23rd overall position (of 180+ cars) when it slipped off the track and, while trying to recover, it did at least one barrel roll (there are reports of two or three barrel rolls). A spectator who saw the action described what happened next like this: “The car rolled back up on its wheels and, a few seconds later said, “Tis but a flesh wound” and started moving. Those of us in the pits heard over the in-car radio, “Hey guys, I just flipped the car…I’m bringing it back in.” Thus, the FX32 became the only Lemons car to ever motor back to the pits under its own power after being rolled. 

The fact that it has been rolled and will definitely race again in 2014 is just another reason on the ridiculously long list that it should be HCOTY.

Before rolling over, the FX got a huge theme upgrade for the Thunderhill race. The “Lemonites” name was picked up by the folks at 24 Hours of Lemons and will be the name of the first-ever Lemons event in Utah. That race will be held at the first class Miller Motorsports Park on May 31 – June 1st.

To get an idea of the scope of the work, engineering, and lunacy that went into this car, watch this video of the entire build process and the car’s first race.

As I said above, I don’t know how to define an HCOTY, but I know one when I see one.




  • Sorry guys, game over. This "thing" wins everything.

  • This, and the MR-olla, are definitely some of the most creative powertrain "swaps" (if you can call it that) in LeMons, and the amount of work required to make it work was staggering. While I spent most of my time tacking junkyard crap onto my car to make it look like a cartoon, I have to tip my hat to these guys and their talent.

  • cruisintime

    Hooniverse "Cars " of the year ? Multiplicity on this one.

  • Preludacris

    The Pushmi-pullyu was always one of my favorite characters in Doctor Dolittle.

  • craigsu

    As much as I enjoyed the accompanying music this build video cries out for some Yakety Sax.
    [youtube tNBL5OMeuno http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNBL5OMeuno youtube]

  • Van_Sarockin

    Great car and a fantastic build. But will HCOTY go by default to a cool LeMons cars every year? Not that that's a bad thing…

    • So far it's been one year out of four, although perhaps the inexhaustible coolness of that car has made it seem like more.

  • Rover1

    Should win on just the wiring!