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24 Hours of Lemons: 5th in class for “Idiots in a Buick”

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We finished the There Goes the Neighborhood 24 Hours of Lemons race and this time we obtained great results. The “Idiots in the Buick” as Jay Lamm, the Chief Perp named us, finished fifth in class. Fifth! And 16th overall!

That’s a huge improvement from our last race, where we blew the motor, and much better than our eleventh in class, previously. But, the car that finished fourth in our class had a best lap about four seconds faster than our best lap. How do we improve on this?

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New Video Describes LeMons Racing As “Halloween Meets Gasoline”

What is the soul of LeMons? Why do these hundreds of insane car geeks take terrible cars, paint them something weird, and race them around a track for hours on end? This video by Marcus Ubungen endeavors to understand them. As one member of the Hella Shitty Racing team puts it, LeMons is “Halloween meets gasoline. It’s like Burning Man for car geeks.” and that’s some of it. The rest of it is the work and effort that goes into producing a cheap, terrible, ugly racing car of your own blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve driven a few of these LeMons creations, including Ferkel the Nein-11, and you can tell that these cars are built with a passion for the sport. If, when you’re done building your LeMons car, you can’t step back and laugh about the absurdity of the thing, you’ve either built it wrong, or you’re probably not mentally prepared for LeMons.

LeMons is all about levity and camaraderie and a little insanity. These aren’t people who do it for fame or international acclaim, they do it for the love of the sport. For the enjoyment of their time on track. Everyone I’ve ever met that is involved in LeMons in one way or another has been wonderful. They’re all great people, including those of the Hella Shitty guys interviewed for this film. They’re true car guys, and they’ve got moxie, dammit! Zandr’s “If the thing runs, and it’s unlikely to kill bystanders, then bring it out” is unlikely to stop being quoted for years to come. Quite apropos…

I must say, this video is very well produced, and extremely well shot. It’s a pretty thing to view, and that alone makes it worth your few minutes of attention. Add in the phenomenal cars they showcase, and you’ve just got to watch it. JUST GO WATCH IT ALREADY!

Some interesting pics from There Goes the Neighborhood 24 Hours of Lemons race

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24 Hours of Lemons races can be, how do I say,… Interesting. I don’t mean the ridiculously themed cars or the intense racing. I mean the stuff other than cars: the people, the stuff the people bring, and the cars that bring the people. Last weekend’s There Goes the Neighborhood 24 Hours of Lemons in Thompson, CT, was no different. In the time I wasn’t driving, avoiding dehydration, or helping out my teammates, I ventured into the paddock and here is what I saw.

Full race report late this week.

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Project Regretmobile Dodge Magnum, Part 1: An elegy for sensibility


This is Kevin. Kevin doesn’t know why he’s agreed to help me.

I am not a smart man.

We must get that out of the way here because it will make understanding the rest of this story so much easier. This is going to be a long build story about me, Eric Rood—a complete idiot whose mushy brain is filled almost entirely with Bad Ideas—and my struggles with building a $200 1979 Dodge Magnum XE to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Naturally, I’m already two months behind on telling the story of this Personal Luxury Coupe.

This Last of the B-Bodies.

This Malaise Era Mopar Orphan (Mop-phan).

This rusting 3,900-pound albatross.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Doin’ Time in Joliet 24 Hours’ recap


A bit more than a week ago, I brought Hooniverse some live blogging from the 24 Hours of LeMons at Autobahn Country Club near Chicago. It was a full 24-hour race and I managed to make it to the end on something like 2-1/2 hours of sleep and a couple of lengthy breaks. As it turns out 24-hour races beat you the hell up and aren’t really as much fun as the usual two-session races, but it does provide a lot of stories and drama and the chance for a team or two to finally pass tech inspection at 3 a.m. I’ve collected a number of teams’ stories in brief after the jump, so make that leap to get the rundown on the longest race I’ve ever covered.

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Deep Dreamin’ about the 24 Hours of LeMons at Autobahn Country Club

Dustbuster Van

Look, I’m not going to pretend to understand what this whole Deep Dream interface thing is, but I know there are plenty of coding geeks who read Hooniverse who can explain it (and please feel free to do so in the comments; if you can’t geek out on Hooniverse, then you can’t geek out). From my understanding, it somehow simulates all of your most enduring nightmares and then adds them to photos so that you can’t sleep. Ever. Naturally, from the moment I saw the first few brain-dissolving images, I knew that photos from the 24 Hours of LeMons would be perfect to feed into Deep Dream with the results likely both mind-breaking and somehow also fitting. So I took a half dozen more shots from last weekend’s full 24-hour race (during which I may have hallucinated some similar-looking images in the depths of the very early morning hours) at Autobahn Country Club near Chicago and saw what I could see.

Follow the jump for more with the original images linked below them (lead image here). I’ll offer no explanation because it’s probably better that way and you can slightly embiggen the images by clicking on them, even though I’m breaking Hooniverse rules in doing so (Sorry, Tim and Jeff). But you can’t break a few minds without braining some omelettes. Or something. I still haven’t slept.

Be forewarned: You can’t unsee the images after the jump and they will hurt your all of you.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Doing Time in Joliet 24 Hours’ liveblog


It’s a typically muggy Saturday in the Midwest and Hooniverse is live from Autobahn Country Club this weekend for the 24 Hours of LeMons’ race. While last year’s summer race at Autobahn was 14 straight hours (unlike the usual 14-1/2 hours over two days), this year’s is the series’ first true 24-hour race since September 2013 and your stupid lucky correspondent is here to walk you through as much as he’s able while balancing the basic needs of working the Penalty Box as a LeMons Supreme Court Justice, keeping tabs on the races on and off the track, and somehow sneaking a few hours of sleep in.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Button Turrible’ preview at Buttonwillow


The 24 Hours of LeMons’ annual visit to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in the California desert may be the very pinnacle of LeMons-dom: The race has typically been held there in the summer when high temperature peak at around 100 degrees. It’s no surprise, then, that this race goes by the monker of “Button Turrible.” Only the most dedicated LeMoneers suffer through this one, but the most dedicated crews tend to be the best and this race is no exception.

As expected, daytime temperatures should push 100 degrees every day this weekend, which will test both idiot and crappy machine equally. Saturday’s race features a three-hour break at 3 p.m. to beat the heat some while Sunday’s checkered flag comes early at 1:30 p.m. local time. This weekend will feature a full plate of sweaty, stinky racing. Follow the jump for an executive brief on what to expect.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘B.F.E. GP’ preview at High Plains Raceway


There’s some kind of big race happening in France this coming weekend, but real endurance connoisseurs know that the real action this weekend is in Deer Trail, Colorado, for the 24 Hours of LeMonsB.F.E. GP at High Plains Raceway. Yes, beautiful High Plains is primed for a weekend of pot jokes, drone hunting, and penalties doled out by the one and only Judge Phil at his “home” race well out in the middle of nowhere.

How good will this race be? Of the 49 cars registered, the General Hooptiness Index (GHI) of them is showing at an unbelievable 74.1! This is unbelievable, of course, because I just made that number up. And GHI. I made that up, too. So much for credibility.

Anyway, follow the jump for more literary headdesk than you can possibly handle!


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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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