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24 Hours of LeMons: Saying goodbye toTeam Resignation’s Ford Escort

Trailer_On

There was no fanfare as the new owner pulled the dented rustbucket away on the rental trailer, itself fittingly oxidized and tired. It was a thing that had needed doing and that thing was done. I plopped into my daily driver—which had temptingly housed the same type of motor as the heap I’d just sold—and headed for home and warmth. Shelter. I no longer owned a 24 Hours of LeMons car.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Sears Pointless’ race recap

Sonoma_Raceway_Boys_Lead
The 24 Hours of LeMons trekked to Sonoma Raceway last weekend to open its West Coast season with the annual “Sears Pointless” race. California’s colorful competitors placed their craziness on full display while Hooniverse’s own Tim Odell served on the LeMons Supreme Court, doling out a couple of creative penalties for miscreant drivers.

Of note, the “Sonoma Raceway Boys” lampooned the idea of “grid girls” (above) while elsewhere all manner of incredible Class C shenanigans carried on. Somehow—perhaps in spite of all that—great races broke out at the front of the field and at the front of Class B. Porch Racing repeated their Overall win at Sonoma in December in a nailbiter while Hella Shi**y Racing (aka Sonoma Raceway Boys) similarly snuck to their second-straight class win. Get the details after the jump. 

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Video: 1961 Rambler Classic is a proper three-on-the-tree LeMons racer

Lede

I’ve posted a few on-board videos from 24 Hours of LeMons races before and a couple of things stand out: (1) I like to watch slow cars because you get a good tour of the entire field or (2) I like cars whose interiors and/or drivers are interesting to watch. Take, for instance, the above screen capture of Panting Polar Bear Racing’s 1961 Rambler Classic, which won Index of Effluency at last weekend’s LeMons race at Sonoma Raceway (Full story coming soon).

It’s a leisurely “racecar” as you’ll see after the break, but take a minute to drink in that classic interior, even after it’s been stripped: Simple but effective dashboard, an enormous steering wheel that takes about 29 turns lock-to-lock, a column-shifted three-speed manual, those sweet old triangular vent windows, actual metal door handles, and an aftermarket tachometer where the shift light comes on at 3000 RPM.

Simply cromulent.

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Car 300 Loves Coming into the Penalty Box, here’s their Story

For a Lemons team like ours, it’s not hard to see the obvious benefits of having a garage space next to the penalty box.

Unfortunately, our presence  here is no longer welcome by our esteemed race safety officials, AKA the Greatest Racing Judges Assembled in the History of Motorsports.

Why are we here, typing on this laptop while sitting on rickety folding chairs that are themselves a significant safety concern? And isn’t our current status the EXACT OPPOSITE of our intended team strategy, which we all agreed was: TOTAL DOMINATION!?!?

A number of possible answers present themselves, only the least of which have something to do with “passing under yellow”, “spinning in turn 7″ and “adjusting the body panel alignment on another team’s Volvo at speed”. The REAL reasons are much harder to pinpoint, but we offer these strong suggestions as possible causes:

  1. Perhaps, we have been possessed by the the crashy demon spirits of Altamont  2007.
  2. Perhaps, sensing it’s impending death from injuries sustained last fall at Thunderhill, our Snowspeeder  MR2 decided that it would henceforth consider driver inputs as merely “suggestions”, and instead decided that the car would make its way around the hallowed asphalt of It-Will-Always-Be-Sears-Point-To-Me on ITS OWN terms. 
  3. Unintended acceleration due to poorly designed factory floor mats.
  4. Having run a number of races with relatively clean noses, we began to miss the companionship, camaraderie, and warm fellowship of Judges Phil, Judge Matt and our esteemed proofreader and penalty-dole-er-outer, Judge Tim. We shall share hugs, mango smoothies, and warm stories of times past at the conclusion of this writing effort.
  5. Judge Phil suggested that the quality of writing on Hooniverse was suffering as of late, and needed a healthy injection of hot-headed idiot driver mentality. In his mind, since we can’t drive, maybe we can write. Seems logical. For Lemons.
  6. Apparently, the “I don’t care if they run over a baby! Let ‘em go!” pass, issued by  Jay, ends after you get 4 black flags in one race.
  7. While testing the phenomenal data collection and live telemety capabilities of Autosport Labs’ Race Capture Pro, we decided that the penalty box area needed to be thoroughly evaluated for GPS detection capability. Seriously, though – check them out.

So here we are. We feel a little like the kids at Shermer High explaining who we think we are.

We are:

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Car 322 CRX: Currently the Worst Team at LeMons

[ED: While working the penalty Box at LeMons, Team Sunday Funday managed to rack up enough infractions to incur the wrath of the Hooniverse Slave Labor Penalty, writing this post]

“THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!”
It was a drunken New Year’s Eve that spawned our horrible decision. 1 a.m. talk of Canon Ball Run, rental car rallying and the like got us inevitably to 24 Hours of LeMons.

“I’ve wanted to do that for years!”

It was the beginning of the end.

I must have inherited it from my dad – the love of junk and cars and junk cars – because I can’t remember a time when our garage wasn’t full of either Citroen DS’s, 2CV’s, or Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40′s. Not to mention the Volvos and Saabs that came and went.

But that was years ago. Today on the other hand we’ve had 3 black flags in nearly as many hours. How’d we get here?

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24 Hours of Lemons – We’re back!!

24 hours new jersey 2014 real hoopties park bench racing

Last October we participated in the historic 2013 Halloween Hoopties 24 Hours of Lemons endurance race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We finished mid-pack, mostly due to really mean judges our own stupidity and the penalties associated with it, but we were as high as 39th overall in a field of more than 140. Not bad, not bad at all.

Driven by our passion to get away from our wives and kids for a weekend compete and the amazing abilities of our so-called racecar, a 2002 Buick Regal, the Park Bench Racing Team has entered the 2014 The Real Hoopties of New Jersey “endurance” “race”!!

[Images: Murilee Martin]

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Sears Pointless’ preview

Lead3

Maybe it’s no surprise the 24 Hours of LeMons’ (unofficial) de facto home track is in the middle of California’s wine country, but the series returns to California’s Sonoma Raceway just a month after its last visit. The recent sprint race marked a format change for LeMons, but if anything, it simply compressed the absurdity and drama into two hours. Prize money for this longer race probably won’t be paid in 10-ruble notes like it was in 2011 (above) since those notes would probably be better used in Crimea now anyway, but class and Index of Effluency winners will still take a few bucks with them.

Spring races at Sonoma have typically seen with huge fields and miserably wet weather, but early-week forecasts call for pleasant temperatures and clear skies. The 167-car field is slightly smaller than previous races, but traffic will still rule the early stages of the race until attrition sets in. The classes—assigned during Friday’s BS Inspection—will all have incredible depth. Take a look at what to expect after the break and be sure to peruse the unofficial entry list here.

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24 Hours of LeMons: Urine the money – or how to convince your teammates to let you pee in your racecar’s $800 Corbeau seat

75_Civic

Yeah, I’m not below this level of “READ ME” headline, but how else am I supposed to get people’s attention to read a story comparing stint lengths and crunching all of the numbers that will tell you how to win a couple hundred bucks in nickels at a 24 Hours of LeMons race? Actually, I’m not even going to tell you how to do it; I’m just going to gloss over all of the backbreaking preparation work that teams do to explain how the most recent LeMons winners won their winnings.

This introduction just keeps getting longer and more pointless, so let’s cut to the chase: If you want to win, your whole team has to be as efficient as your meager collective brain power and ability allow. Now that you’re almost certainly hooked and not even considering going elsewhere, follow the jump to learn all the Inner LeMons Sanctum super secrets only available to those with a free MyLaps account, a spreadsheet program, and a couple hours of spare time.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘North Dallas Hooptie’ race recap

TARP_Lede

The 24 Hours of LeMons has run two endurance races in 2014 and the harsh weather of this foul winter has intervened to end both early. A month ago, the race at Barber Motorsports Park ended in torrential downpour that, combined with the day’s failing light, meant an early checkered flag for poor visibility. Last weekend, the Texas weather gods bestowed ice, snow, and considerably sub-freezing temperatures on the “North Dallas Hooptie” race at Eagles Canyon Raceway, ending the frigid weekend Sunday at noon, three hours short of the scheduled finish.

Weather played a major factor all weekend with the race starting Sunday in gloomy, foggy conditions before improving to a pleasantly sunny day. In our race preview, we predicted some kind of insanity that seems endemic to Texas races and the weather certainly did not disappoint. Follow the jump for the lowdown and rundown.

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24 Hours of LeMons: Speedycop is building a V16 Lincoln

speedycop_V16

Well, calling it a “V16″ may not be entirely accurate. Speedycop and his ever-growing Gang of Outlaws have embarked upon building a twin-V8 Lincoln Continental. That’s two of Ford’s Modular V8s, whose combined displacement is 124 cubic inches bigger than the 454-cubic-inch plant in Speedholes Racing’s swapped AMC Marlin.

Speedycop’s no stranger to Lincolns (though not-so-much the huge front-drive ones) and LeMons has seen a twin-engined racecar before (and the Little Lamb-orghini ChumpCar team even built a 12-cylinder car with a Modular V8 in it), but using two complicated luxury cars and combining a heckuva lot of cylinders takes the crazy up another notch. It appears this beast will debut at New Jersey Motorsports Park in May, which was also where Speedycop debuted the Upside-Down Camaro that made the Internet flip. The video explains a little about the Continental, but it sure leaves plenty to the imagination like any good tease. See it after the jump.

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