By on April 10, 2011

We were all quite impressed by the way the Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn BMW clawed the win from the grasp of the Pro-Crass-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo, but the serious battle at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons took place among the contenders for the race’s true top prize: the Index of Effluency.

The Scuderia Regurgito Fiat 131 seemed to have the IOE all but won by mid-Sunday, having climbed into the mid-20s in the standings.

Then… KABOOM! That huge hole torn in the floor of the Fiat happened when the transmission became a giant grenade on the track. Fortunately, the driver suffered only a big bruise on his leg, but you’re not going to find a Fiat transmission and driveshaft on short notice on a Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.

The other IOE candidates— and this race had plenty— fell, one after the other, as the high speeds of New Jersey Motorsports Park’s track ate their engines. In the end, the plodding but extremely reliable 1968 MGB-GT of Gormless Racing took 32nd place and the Index of Effluency trophy. Congratulations, Gormless Racing!

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4 Comments on “And the Real Winner Is…...”

  • avatar

    I’m glad the Fiat driver was relatively unhurt. A friend of mine’s GLC died with a similar transmission fragmentation. The mechanic said he’d been lucky it exploded towards the ground instead of into the car, and now I see he wasn’t kidding. Ouch.

  • avatar

    That sounds very painful and scary…I also agree with CJinSD, the driver was very lucky.

  • avatar

    Yep. When the RWD car comes around, I’m insisting on a transmission blanket.

  • avatar

    I only owned a single fiat, and I’ll admit I bought it under duress, (my wife’s car died just before I left on 9 months cruise).  But the most distinctive feature / constant irritant was the Clutch Cable, which went out at regular intervals, so that I used to buy a spare a month ahead of failure, and keep a ratchet/socket in the center console. Finally it lunched 3rd gear, after failing every 8,000 miles, plus or minus 200 miles.  So I could get rid of it, without complaint.
    I wonder if the 131 had a clutch cable like the 128…
    As long as that damned clutch cable stayed in my mind, I wonder if there is any point in bringing Fiat back, even by proxy.

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