By on May 22, 2011


GM cars start any 24 Hours of LeMons race with a big Index of Effluency advantage, and when you throw a big couch and handtruck in the bed of your Chevy S10 and spend the weekend hurling the thing around a twisty road course full of much faster vehicles… well, for the Greene County Moving Company, the end result was LeMons racing’s top trophy.

The couch-laden truck’s quickest lap time of 1:15 wasn’t so quick (in fact, it was the slowest thing on the track), but the Greene County Movers picked up exactly zero black flags and suffered only brief mechanical ailments, which gave them an impressive 28th place out of 68 entrants. This is the second S10 to win the IOE this year, after the Pickup Trash S10′s win in Michigan last month. Congratulations, Greene County Movers!

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


  • avatar

    Having raced an ’84 Ford Ranger at the May 2008 Altamont LeMons race and tracking my ’96 Dodge Dakota at Willow Springs I heartily approve. I may need to find a LeMons worthy Dakota. Mine was surprising with nothing more than lowering, a sway bar from a V8 Dakota, and sticky 17″ wheels/tires.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    O.K. — I give up. These “races” look interesting and maybe fun, but – do you actually get paid for this? How do the people who participate in these earn a living? It seems to me that this is a very expensive hobby, and maybe it’s just the passing of years…oh wait…that’s it…you can only do this sort of thing when you’re young(er), because eventually reality raises its ugly head and you have to go to work. At least that’s what happened to me.

    What county fair do all the large, over-stuffed animals and other objects come from, and who won (or stole) them?

    • 0 avatar
      rwb

      I think, as far as auto racing goes, this is probably one of the cheaper ways to make it your hobby. Plus, some people’s realities allow them the time & funds to have & enjoy such a hobby.

      I would also presume that entry fees etc. make sure it’s not a horrible money pit for the organizers, but I know nothing so I may well be wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I used to race before wife, kids, mortgages, scouts, soccer practices, etc., etc. I didn’t drive, I was (and remain) too tall and heavy to be a good driver, but turned a lot of wrenches. Part of me really likes the campy/art car vibe of LeMons. I’m hoping to see one of these races next time they come through Michigan, as GingerMan is only about a 45 minute drive from here.

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      If you want to experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel racing action, this is the cheapest way to do it. Take it from a guy who wheeled a 4000 pound Yank Tank around CMP this past weekend, driving a miserable crap heap at (or beyond) the limits of its abilities while scores of other (mostly faster) cars are buzzing all around you is surprisingly fun.

      Yeah, its a hobby, and yeah, it cost money, but so does buying a 20′ bass boat and sitting on a lake all weekend drinking beer.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “Yeah, its a hobby, and yeah, it cost money, but so does buying a 20′ bass boat and sitting on a lake all weekend drinking beer.”

        Ha ha ha! You’re right. I didn’t even think of that, but I don’t have the time or money to do that, either.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Zackman: “I didn’t even think of that, but I don’t have the time or money to do that, either.”

        Hey, you must work in the graphic arts, too? ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        @geozinger:

        I was a graphic artist (illustrator) in the air force (believe-it-or-not!), then in U.S. Civil Service, but got out of it 31 years ago and wound up in the box business as a structural designer – actually designing the package itself. All types of paperboard packaging for beverages, candles, soap, you name it.

        A fellow designer told me years ago that the box business is for all those who goofed off in study hall when in high school. He was right. Guilty as charged!

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Zackman: In my first corporate job, I worked with a gentleman who was an illustrator (commercial artist) in the Army during WWII. He wasn’t that far from retiring when I worked with him, but the man had fantastic technique and a real scholar, too.

        I’ve been a graphic designer for 27 years this Spring, but am trying to find a position in marketing, somewhere, somehow. Anybody can call themselves a graphic designer these days, with minimal or no training. You know your line of work has jumped the shark when the banner ads on websites offer quick diplomas in your field…

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    Again I’m surprised that a handtruck in the back of a pickup would be allowed on a track. I see these cars have roll cages and the drivers wear safety equipment, yet obvious safety hazards are allowed to be attached to the vehicles.

    Do the BS inspections pay any attention to the safety of the vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Does anyone know how it was secured to the truck? I mean, if it was welded to the bed, it’s not going to fly out and hit anyone.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        I wouldn’t be so sure that it isn’t going anywhere. I realize these are a lot of crap cars, but even these rolling pieces of crap will be hitting over 100MPH at the end of the straights. High speed rollovers and collisions cause pieces of the cars themselves to go flying, never mind sofas and handtrucks supposedly secured in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      rwb

      Yes, there is a safety inspection.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    We’ve attached things to our car before. The safety inspectors do look at these things, and if they aren’t secure enough, they make the team remove them. Safety is paramount at LeMons races, believe it or not.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Here’s a memory that just came to mind after reading these comments concerning safety:

    In 1974 (yeah, I know, a very long time ago), my friend up the street had a rail with a 327 Chevy in it. Of course it wasn’t that fast, but he wanted to take it to the drag strip – St. Louis International – they had free-for-all racing on Tuesday evenings. I even raced myself in my 1972 Nova – 250 cu. in., three-on-the-tree, if for no other reason than I could – felt pretty stupid afterwards when I saw my quarter-mile time of at least 20 seconds!

    Anyway, back to my friend. He needed a “fire suit” in order to be able to race his rail, so, believe-it-or-not, he bought a pair of green cotton coveralls and PAINTED them silver! Those things were so stiff, he stood them in the corner by themselves and they remained upright! Of course, he had to wear those things and he actually got away with that at the track! We were all dumbfounded that the track officials let him drive in that. This was August. St. Louis humidity. Hot, even in the evening we were there. If something would have happened, he would’ve burnt to a crisp in no time wearing those painted coveralls. All of us were relieved when he finished his two or three trips down the strip at around 14 seconds and we finally went home. I don’t believe he ever put that “fire suit” on again, let alone raced that rail, as he sold it that fall. Talk about getting away with murder! A different time.

    True story.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Back in the early 70′s, I helped crew a drag car my older brother’s friend owned. This is when they still used bleach in the bleach box. The brother of the owner had just poured some in the box and a fair amount on his overalls.

      We take the Valiant up to the line, but the driver stalls it on the line. Being shoe-string racers, the battery was near death. So we sent the same brother over to the tow rig to get that battery, but it is out of a truck, so it is much heavier than he anticipates. He ends up carrying it sideways, with the terminals facing his overalls, and some acid leaked out of the top of the battery.

      As he approaches the starting line, the reaction between the two chemicals cause his overalls to start smoking most impressively! He drops the battery (cracking it open), barely missing his feet and does a rain dance as he’s trying to get his overalls off as quickly as possible.

      There we are, our tow rig’s battery’s contents are all over the staging area, along with our dead Valiant, and the whole crowd is laughing at him standing there naked.

      Needless to say, we didn’t go back to that track for a while…

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        As I look back, I suppose the 1970′s were good for a few things! That story got me laughing pretty good as I sit at my desk at my CAD computer!

        Amazing what we got away with back then, isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Zackman: Oh God yes, the crap that happened… I have more stories, just with the Valiant alone… Not to mention the Dusters that came after…

  • avatar
    pk386

    2.2, 2.5, 2.8, 4.3 what was the motor tranny combo?

    (91 2.8 60° V-60 daily driver)

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I just noticed it’s a long bed, the “dual taillights” confused me for a minute. Looks like it has a rotted out rocker panel and cab corner.

    I second pk386, what’s the motor/trans, 2.5 2.8 or 4.3 and stick or 700R4?

  • avatar
    Westley

    Hey everyone! We only had 3 1/2 weeks to get this truck ready for the race. Our previous pick, an 87 Isuzu P’up (another gem), went south at the 4 week countdown mark (cracked head). With such little time, we didn’t have too many options. Having already ordered a pickup roll cage, and purchased 14″ tires, we needed something that would fit the bill. Hence we landed the S-10 you see above.

    It’s a 1986 model with a 2.8L V-6 and 4-speed manual transmission. The truck had 205,000 miles on it (original motor and transmission). We bought it knowingly with oil pressure issues (hey, we were desperate). The first day we ran 10W-40, which is what the previous owner ran in it. However by the time we reached the end of day 1, the oil pressure was only around 10 psi at idle. So after a quick run to Walmart Saturday night, we threw some 20W-50 in her and she made it through day two. In fact, when we lost the wheel on the back stretch and had to be flatbedded in, I thought for sure we had lost the motor.

    I was happy to make it through the first two hours on day 1. This was our first debut at a LeMons event, and I wanted every driver to have a chance in the driver’s seat. Making it through day 1 and day 2 were just bonuses.

    Everything on the truck was stock (no time), and the only other issue we had was overheating. When we shut the truck down (say fueling), the water would boil out. We would then have to drive a lap, and go behind the wall to add more water while the truck was running.

    @mechimike, I loved the Ford LTD. There’s just something about the big land boats.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Whoa, first time out and you win the big trophy? Congrats!

    • 0 avatar
      pk386

      If you residual value is low enough Sounds like time for a motor swap!

      3800 + a newer 5 spd manual? Limited slip out of a Bravada? Brakes from a Camaro?
      Options are endless for this if you lower it correctly and get creative with the suspension you will have a pretty mean machine.

      (My s10 2.8 has 230K miles and it still runs STRONG)

      Congrats on the win!

      • 0 avatar
        Westley

        We’re already trying to mastermind something. From what I understand, they’ve never had a pickup win overall position/laps (I’ll have to dig deeper to find out if that’s true). Sounds like a hopeless(ly fun) challenge.

      • 0 avatar
        Ian Anderson

        PK386 I’d say a Camaro 3.4 since it will bolt right up to the trans and mounts, get a limited slip from a S-truck/S-Blazer/F-body/G-body, and 11″ front discs from a later Blazer. If you want to get special get an 8.5″ rear with discs and a posi from a *2WD* 4.3 stickshifted Blazer. Then play with lowering the suspension etc.

        I just passed 161K on a 4.3 TBI/700R4 combo and have been looking into making it go faster/handle better which is why I know this (that and too much time on my hands).

        Westley thanks for showing this can be done (again) and congrats on your run!

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      Thanks for the kudos, Westley. My dad was at the race and apparently spent some time chatting with you guys. Wish I’d had a chance to say hello. I feel a special bond with IoE winners- we won the IoE our first LeMons race ever (1966 Volvo Amazon) and if we’d have made a showing Saturday I think we could have given you guys a run for the money! But as soon as I saw your truck, I knew you were going to be stiff competition for that. Good show, guys.

      Incidentally, I had been looking for a 2.8/ manual trans combo for a potential future LeMons car. If you decide to ditch that drivetrain (and you’re somewhere around the Greenville, SC area) I might be interested in it.

      • 0 avatar
        Westley

        I have no doubt the LTD would have had a chance at the IoE award. If we weren’t running, you would have had my vote!

        As for the engine/tranny combo, I’m definitely open to the possibility. The motor will need some love, she ran strong, but a basic rebuild may help with the below specs oil pressure we experienced all weekend.

        The truck is located in Charlottesville VA (between I81 and I95). Keep me posted. We won’t race again until next spring or summer, and probably with a different power train setup, so there’s plenty of time.


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