After another fantastic 24 Hours of LeMons season in 2016 with twin-engined Cadillacs, mid-century cars, and an amphibious road-racing helicopter, the series launches a new campaign of crappy cars and silly themes. As it has for three of the last four years, LeMons starts at the obscenely beautiful facility at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, for the “Shine Country Classic.” Weather can be a bit crazy this time of year—LeMons has arrived in town just after a huge snowstorm and ended early in a deluge—but so go the perils of LeMons scheduling.
Since Barber Motorsports Park is the endpoint for the Retreat From Moscow version of the LeMons Rally, we’ll start with a few cars running the Rally that are also racing. 1,800 miles on the road following by another 800 on the racetrack? There’s no potential for failure here. You can find the rest of the entry list right here.
As usual, I can’t just give a straight preview for LeMons, so I’ve instead used a random literary quote generator—which isn’t so random, as you’ll see by the narrow selection of British authors—with some slight modifications to describe each entry.
#10 Sinical Racing (Volkswagen Beetle) – “She had found her Honda V6 at last. Never having known horsepower’s worth till now, she had never known the worth of one-tire burnouts.” – Charles Dickens
#64 Team Fairlyame (Ford Fairlane) – Taste, on the contrary, like a Corvette owner, suspects every eye that beholds it to be privy to itss transgressions, and every tongue that mentions its name to be proclaiming them.” – Henry Fielding
#560 Knoxegas Lowballers (Mercedes 560SL) – “Electrical problems are a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet on the side of the road in 20-degree weather.” – Henry James
We’ll toss in an honorable mention for the #833 Steel City Ruskateers—formerly known as Morrow’s Racing—who will tow their Pontiac Banshee (a BMW E36 with Opel body parts grafted on it and a Pontiac OHC-6 under the hood) along the rally route with their tow vehicle.
Here’s some other interesting and terrible stuff on the entry list:
#18 Lunar Lemon (Chevy Astro Van) – “But you have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a minivan and change her into a quite different vehicle by creating a new purpose for her. It’s filling up the deepest gulf that separates Class C from Class B and soul from soul.” – George Bernard Shaw
#11 Dodgie Racing (Dodge Daytona) – “Remember that you are a vehicle with a soul and the divine gift of articulate handling…Just kidding, you’re a glorified K-car.” – George Bernard Show
#46 Ya’ll (Dodge Daytona) – “Blunt tools are sometimes found of use, where sharper instruments would fail.” -Charles Dickens (unchanged)
#57 RetroRacing (Volkswagen Beetle) – “And now, Doctor, we’ve done our work, so it’s time we had some play. A sandwich and a cup of moonshine, and then off to violin-land, where all is loudness and blunt objects and discord, and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#33 British Invation (Triumph Spitfire) – “For the stress of circumstances, Fred felt, was sharpening his repairing abilities and endowing him with all the constructive power of swearing.” – George Eliot
#440 A2 Racing (Triumph TR8) – “There is no influence like the influence of stupid habit.” -Gilbert Parker
#225 Slant Six (Plymouth Valiant Signet) – “The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern cars are stupid anyway!” – Oscar Wilde
#911 m00nb00stin’ (Chrysler Conquest TSi) – “It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.” – H.G. Wells (unchanged)
LeMons’ most successful electric car, which is based on the Plymouth TC3/Dodge Omni 024 will run with its array of batteries and chargers, ironically running off a gas-powered generator.
#128 Duff Beer (Jet Industries Electra 007) – “”Running an electric car in LeMons, my young friend, is a very dangerous and ticklish occupation. It is pleasant, I have no doubt, while it lasts; but like many other pleasures in this transitory world, it seldom lasts long.” – Charles Dickens
As always, you can follow live timing on Specialty Timing’s website or on the Race-Monitor app. Post-race coverage will be found on Roadkill.com and you can find the unofficial entry list right here. Here’s a bit of info on this race and on past Barber races.
LeMons at Barber
|Friday Tech Inspection (CST)||Noon to 5 p.m. CST|
|Saturday Session (CST)||9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Sunday Session (CST)||9 a.m. to 11 a.m. & Noon to 5 p.m.|
|LeMons Lap Record||1:45.864 – Frankenstein Motorworks, Toyota MR2 (2015)|
|Overall Winners||2014 – RC Spiders (Mercedes 190E)|
|2015 – Save the Ta-Tas (Chevy Camaro)|
|2016 – LemonAid Racing (Geo Metro)|
|Class B Winners||2014 – Squirtin’ Coronas (Mercedes 300E)|
|2015 – The Generar Ree (Datsun 240Z)|
|2016 – Duff Beer (Honda Civic)|
|Class C Winners||2014 – Knoxvegas Lowballers (Geo Metro)|
|2015 – Morrow’s Racing (Pontiac Banshee – BMW E36/Opel GT)|
|2016 – Team Fairlylame (Ford Fairlane)|
|Index of Effluency Winners||2014 – Knoxvegas Lowballers (Geo Metro)|
|2015 – NSF Racing (Studebaker Hawk)|
|2016 – J-Crewed (Jaguar XJ-S)|
[Photos: Eric Rood and Murilee Martin]