The Index of Effluency, considered the top LeMons prize, goes to the team that accomplishes the most with a car that never, ever belonged in the same time zone as a race track. A Fiat 600 with 1000cc Moto Guzzi motorcycle engine swap? Effluent and then some!
The Italian Stallions used to race a Fiat X1/9, but that car was just too reliable for their taste (chew on that for a while, you racers who feel that the universe of available LeMons cars includes nothing but the RX-7, E30, and Sentra SE-R). A 1964 Fiat 600 seemed like just the ticket, but why not hot-rod the thing with a big Moto Guzzi powerplant? Sure, great idea! As it turned out, the “big” motor tended to overheat in a hurry when pushed on the race track, so the team’s drivers spent the entire weekend driving by the cylinder-head temperature gauge; when it hit 450 degrees, they slowed down. That meant that the tiny Fiat spent hour after hour creeping around the track while cars scaling in at five times the Stallionmobile’s weight roared past. Countless Crown Victorias, a ’76 Continental, a Maserati Quattroporte, and a freakin’ full-stretch Town Car limo menaced the 600 for hundreds of laps, but the Stallions just kept the car out there. Congratulations, Italian Stallions!
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