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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons: Sucking, Knocking, and Blowing in Jersey

That said, everything can change tomorrow

And everything did change the next day. An hour into the second day of the race we were in fourteenth or fifteenth place overall out of 120 or so cars, which seemed pretty damn amazing. I was getting ready for my stint when a radio message from my driving teammate came in “lost some power, about 20%-30%, feels like something is dragging”

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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons: Real Hoopties of NJ update

buick hooniverse real hoopties newjersey

Day one of the 2015 24 Hours of Lemons Real Hoopties of New Jersey (did you notice how races always have long names?) is done. To say that it was a great would be an understatement; beautiful, if hot, day, an air show at a nearby airport, no accidents, no breakdowns, no penalties!

We are currently in 20th place overall (out of 112) and 8th in our class (B). And I’m super happy with that. Our top secret plan is working! That said, everything can change tomorrow.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Real Hoopties of New Jersey’ preview

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The 24 Hours of LeMons rolls into its third consecutive race weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville for “The Real Hoopties of New Jersey.” NJMP has been on the LeMons calendar since 2011 and has been dominated largely by European cars and also by aggressive driving. For whatever reason, NJMP tends to bring out the crashiest in the local LeMoneers, so expect the LeMons Supreme Court—anchored by Judge Steve McDaniel, who has road-tripped to all three races (Steve is no stranger to masochistic road trips, BTW)—to give no quarter to aggressive racers.

Luckily, mid-week forecasts call for clear skies and pleasant temperatures, so rain may not contribute to the delinquency of those LeMoneers. LeMons will run the longer and faster Thunderbolt course at NJMP again and with “only” 108 entries, perhaps the race will be more pleasant than it was with more crowded affairs last season. Oh, and Hooniverse’s own Kamil Kaluski will be there racing the Park Bench Buick and hopefully not having to write apologies to you, dear Hooniverse readers, from the Penalty Box (above).

Make the jump to see what’s on tap this weekend in Jersey.

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24 Hours of LeMons: Bow before the zoomiest of Judgemobiles

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When the 24 Hours of LeMons rolls into a racetrack, race organizers tend to pack lightly and so they occasionally politely ask for some accommodations from local racers. At the recent LeMons race at Gingerman Raceway, LeMons Supreme Court Justice Steve McDaniel asked for a loaner vehicle that carried ample judicial gravitas to command respect in the paddock. Michigan team Flying Pigs Racing—who would also win the race with their winged, pink Ford Mustang—heeded the call and brought this immensely badass hot rod to loan the LeMons judges.

It is a utilitarian vehicle, having four wheels and a drivetrain (but not much else). From the second it its towering exhaust stacks hove into view at the far end of the paddock, however, it induced slack jaws throughout the LeMons paddock and if you’ve ever been in a LeMons paddock, you know how difficult that is to do.

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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons Racing – The Buick is Back!

hooniverse buick lemons nj hoopties

We bought this Buick almost two years ago. Thus far it has been in five races, in two different crap-can series, with eight different drivers. It is now on its second engine and it is sporting various minor improvements. Our next race is The Real Hoopties of New Jersey, this weekend, May 9th and 10th. While many teams have changed cars in that time, we, stubbornly, race the same crap-can and expect better results.

Well, not quite!

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Southern Discomfort’ preview at CMP

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This weekend marks the second of three consecutive races for the 24 Hours of LeMons. A flying pig won last weekend’s race at Gingerman Raceway in Michigan and next weekend the series goes to New Jersey Motorsports Park, but this weekend is all about “Southern Discomfort.” LeMons has visited Carolina Motorsports Park more than any other racetrack—This is the 15th CMP event—and the Southern racers know how to LeMons.

Compared to the likely aggro racing expected in New Jersey, the 78 entries at CMP should be relatively well-behaved. As with any road racing, weather makes a huge difference and rain is often a factor at CMP, but early-week forecasts call for clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Follow the jump for more on the race.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Cure for Gingervitis’ preview

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As was the case with the recently snowed-out race at Eagles Canyon Raceway, weather often plays a major role in 24 Hours of LeMons race weekends. Seldom has that been that case more regularly than at races at Gingerman Raceway in southwestern Michigan, especially at races in April. This year’s edition of “The Cure of Gingervitis” marks the sixth such annual race and when it hasn’t featured snow, the howling 20 miler-per-hour winds off nearby Lake Michigan have instead conspired to create what must be considered “trying” conditions.

Midwesterners are a hardy bunch, however, and will go out of their way to let you know how little the poor conditions bother them. “It’s fine,” they’ll say through chattering teeth. “I start riding my motorcycle by mid-February. This isn’t that bad.” When the weather is overlooked, the races at Gingerman are usually marked by friendly rivalry and a brutally taxing nine-plus-hour race session Saturday to accommodate for the track’s strict no-racing-before-noon policy (There’s a church across the road) on Sundays. Follow the jump for the rundown on the field and pay attention because this writer will be there in the flesh, acting as a member of the esteemed LeMons Supreme Court.

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Easter Sunday Ranchero Resurrection

All it needed was points and a condenser. Of course, I came to that conclusion after throwing a bunch of other parts at it first (and leaving the points on the counter as I walked out the door the first time). That raucous exhaust note comes courtesy of a massive crack in the exhaust manifold and a really high idle. After a little fiddling it runs like a car with a bad exhaust manifold that needs a carb rebuild.

With that box checked, it’s time to address wiring to impart such luxuries as starting the motor from inside the vehicle and functional stop/turn signals. Following that it’ll be time to address the translucent floors, hopefully with a solution that can tie the floor, future cage landing spots and subframes together as one. But the in the mean time, I’m pushing towards that first around-the-block drive.

1962 Ranchero Makes a Predictable Entrance to the Hooniverse Fleet

1962 ford falcon ranchero project car lemons hooniversePlease welcome my new 1962 Ford Ranchero to the fleet! The image you see above marks the fourth vehicle that’s been towed to my driveway in the last four years. This fine example of the Falcon platform’s versatility sports a 170ci straight six, a three-on-the-tree and…not much else. Power nothing, non-functional window rollers, rusted-out floors and a few good dents in the body. However, it only weighs about 2500lbs and shares a number of key parts with all other Falcons, Mavericks and early Mustangs.

That parts interchangeability should come in handy as we build it out to be our next LeMons racer. Things than many people throw away (like 200 and 250ci I-6s, 8″ rear axles, floor-shifted three speed transmissions and drum brake spindles) constitute upgrades for us. Not only that, but it can haul its own spare parts!

Well, it could, once it’s running…

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Sears Pointless’ preview from Sonoma Raceway

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No, you’re not hallucinating; the 24 Hours of LeMons is once again at California’s Sonoma Raceway this weekend for packed track of wheel-to-wheel action and inaction. Well, maybe you’re hallucinating. But that doesn’t change the fact that LeMons holds its sixth annual “Sears Pointless” at the Track Formerly Known as Sears Point and Infineon Raceway. As has historically been the case, this is one of LeMons most popular races with 180 teams signed up to try their hand on the track’s insane, roller-coaster contours.

The traditional March race at Sonoma occasionally exhibits grumpy weather, but early-week forecasts call for extremely pleasant weather in California’s wine country. This particular field exudes excellence and effluence (as you can see on the unofficial entry list), so follow the jump for what is certainly Hooniverse’s best 24 Hours of LeMons preview yet.

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