So, on July 4th, 238 years ago our Founding Fathers signed a document that created these United States of America and this olelongrooffan was the lucky recipient of that event by being awarded a rare Friday off work. Alternately, the 24 Hours of LeMons Powers That Be decided to schedule their Tech Day up at the Sebring International Raceway on this very day just so this olelongrooffan could make the 120 mile trek up that way to see what could be seen this day. And I did.
Now as some of my fellow Hoons may remember, back when I was schlepping trailers for a living, this olelongrooffan tried to talk a security dude out at the Daytona International Speedway into letting me park my olebeaterpickemup truck outside the inspection window at that track and I was ultimately denied that opportunity. Well, today, my fellow Hoons, I did not ask permission to park where I did, just off pit road, to gather the above image. Just because I could.
I arose work early, realized that task was not a part of my day this day and rolled over and slept another hour. By the time I got up I was rather restless and got on down (actually up) the various roads between Naples and Sebring and arrived before many of the participants for the Tech Inspection due to start around 1pm EST. As this olelongrooffan was passing by that Security Babe at the entrance, I had my $30 admission price ready to hand to her. (Note To Self…be sure to put the squeeze on the Hooniverse Overlords prior to attendance to any function in the future!) She stated that she thought spectators were not allowed in the paddock area this day. Subconsciously, this olelongrooffan chuckled and thought to myself, “I’ll see what I can do.”
My fellow Hoons are free to make the jump to see the results of whether this olelongrooffan had any luck in gaining admission to that hallowed paddock area this day.
So, as I mentioned, I had arrived an hour or two prior to the initiation of the Tech experience and several teams had yet to offload their rides and this olelongrooffan was lucky enough to chat it up with a few of them just after they had arrived.
The owners of this Cajun based Granada/Monarch/Versailles based ride were a Hoot and mentioned that it sucked there weren’t more races based over in the NOLA Raceway area. Now this ride was sweet as it had a ton of Lincoln parts all around….
and that plastic Jesus statue on the dashboard was a real winner. This olelongrooffan didn’t get a chance to ask them what the plastic kitchen timer zippy tied to the dash was for but I am confident there is a good reason for its presence. I’ll try to follow up on Saturday and provide this information.
Parked next to that collection of FOMOCO parts was this infamous ’64 Fairlane. Now, this olelongrooffan must say this about that. The participants of both of these teams were extremely friendly, passing along information about their rides and generally letting me hang around for a bit and share in their revelry about the modifications they have done to their rides.
And something this olelongrooffan noticed about every mention of parts acquired by all of the race teams this day, the cost of each item was a real part of their experiences. I distinctly remember hearing one of the members of this team talking about the acquisition of three transmissions for a hundred bucks. “That is $33 per transmission,” is the comment this olelongrooffan will always remember. If my fellow Hoons may remember, a replacement Aisen 15 transmission for my old Commanche was unobtainable at any price. But then I’m not talking about a FOMOCO transmission that was probably installed in millions of vehicles back in the day.
And as this olelongrooffan was hanging around, eavesdropping on these race dudes conversations, one asked about the dent acquired, as shown above. The responder mentioned it was acquired when a certain black Mercedes tried to go three wide in a previous race and was unsuccessful in that venture. Hmmm..black Mercedes?
So this olelongrooffan scooted just down the paddock aways and I spotted these guys getting ready to offload yet another ’64 to participate in this weekend’s action.
Complete with the venerable slant 6 that served so many years in the MOPAR stable. Including an old farm truck that was so memorable in this olelongrooffan’s childhood.
Parked between that ’64 MOPAR and the Snack Shack was this, based upon Eric’s description, J30 crossover from the Chumpcar Series which seems to have a strong following here in the Sunshine State. Know this my fellow Hoons, LeMons Judge Jay gave this entry a thorough going over when it later entered Tech.
So, ultimately, this olelongrooffan was successful at gaining entry to, not just the paddock area, but the garage area as well. It was there I spotted this ride. The driver of this Mercedes clad RX7 seemed a bit busy so I didn’t have a chance to chat it up with him but this fastback is certainly noteworthy in its own right.
And with that grille, headlamp covers and a Turbo, it should certainly be noteworthy this weekend here in the Sunshine State. At least it is Florida Gator Orange.
As this olelongrooffan was strolling along that hallowed Sebring garage area, I spotted this MOPAR ’64 in its resting place for this weekend.
As I was strolling back toward the Tech Inspection area, I captured this image of this driver either covering his face in shame or wiping the sweat off his brow in the 90+ degrees of the pleasant central Florida induced weather this Independence Day in July provided.
And let this olelongrooffan share with my fellow Hoons, there is an infinite amount of penalty laps for breaking bottles of bribe beer, even before the bribe is offered.
And then Tech opened.
This ET themed team was headed down to Tech just as this olelongrooffan was passing on by. See that big dude climbing in the passenger seat? He was actually sitting upon an inverted 5 gallon bucket. Yeah, it gives a whole new meaning to bucket seats.
But, overall, due to the ET/Star Wars theme, these dudes came through Tech rather well.
They even got the Murilee Martin approved bribe stencil on the rear decklid of their E30. I will say this about that. It wasn’t until this olelongrooffan saw this posted image that I realized that infamous stencil was based on a Corn Chex box. How can any of us eat anything other than Kellogg’s Corn Chex for breakfast anytime in our future.
And that Close Adventures of the Third Kind sticker on the rear quarter of that E30 just rounds out their Space Adventure Theme, FTW.
This entry was another Chumpcar crossover that received the severe attention of Chief Judge Jay. When I gathered this image, he was hidden behind that raised bonnet checking out the structural integrity of its roll cage, something this olelongrooffan noticed he paid a lot of attention to this Tech Day.
And down in the next stage of Tech Inspection, our esteemed Saucy Minx provided his own sense of artistic license. But always in a patriotic red, white and blue.
Our own Eric Rood has predicted this Wine Country based Toyota Solara would do well and with their bottle of wine and Ritz cracker bribe, and the fact their youngest driver is only 16 years old, that may just be the case. This olelongrooffan loved the Citroen emblem on the nose of this ride and its nod of the head to French wine.
Did I mention a black Mercedes earlier? I believe this would be that culprit. Earlier in the day while I was sitting in the shade of the Snack Shack enjoying a smoke and a Coke, the members of this team joined me under that cover and we chatted it up. Turns out they had ventured down from Rockville, Maryland for this weekend’s adventures. They were excited about merely having the opportunity to race on the track at Sebring and, much like this olelongrooffan taking that lede image of this post, just had to make the trip just for the experience of it.
And while I didn’t remember the successful results of this team in past LeMons races, they were nothing if not pragmatic. Their bribe to the judging team was several cases of Gatorade and water, prompting Judge Jay to wonder where the bribe ice was? But even more near and dear to Murilee Martin’s heart
were the multitude of obscure European and Russia based car badges and a bag to get them home to the Mile High City in. Yeah, Kamil, that is a Lada emblem in the previous image.
That Swamp Thing certainly generated a bit of discussion down there in the 20 something garage area of the Sebring International Raceway.
But soon, this olelongrooffan realized I had a couple hour drive back to my humble abode and, without having had lunch, I should probably be getting back on the road to get home in time for Happy Hour and fireworks on the pier. So I’ll conclude with a couple images of
the LeMons race teams hanging in the garage and leave it at that.
Images Copyright Hooniverse/2014 longrooffan