The Truth About Cars » 24 Hours of LeMons Charlotte The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:28:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » 24 Hours of LeMons Charlotte And the Real Winner Is… Mon, 26 Sep 2011 02:35:51 +0000 Some 24 Hours of LeMons fans get all excited about the team that turns the most laps at a race, but the real cognoscenti know that the Index of Effluency (the prize given to the team that accomplishes a great racing feat with a car that never belonged anywhere near a race track) is the pinnacle. Only the most legendary LeMons heroes manage to win the Index of Effluency more than once, and now South Carolina’s Tunachuckers have driven their two-ton Ford to that achievement.
It’s possible that the Tunachuckers now have more 24 Hours of LeMons trophies than any other team; I believe today’s IOE gives them a total of seven. They started with a ’66 Volvo Amazon, which was replaced by the LTD after getting stuffed into a tire wall at Carolina Motorsports Park last year.
The LTD was tremendously slow (though it did blow the doors off a Fiero and a Cavalier), but reliability is more important than speed in an endurance race. By the time the checkered flag waved Sunday evening, the LTD was in 36th place (out of 66 entries). Astonishing!
Not only did the Landau manage to get through a weekend of racing with no mechanical problems (making the Ford 400M one of the most reliable Detroit pushrod V8s in LeMons history), it set a record for the largest number of passengers during a Saturday night LeMons paddock party: 44. Yes, 44 people managed to get in or on this car, raising the gross vehicle weight to something north of five tons, and the LTD hauled them for a few laps around the CMS paddock in this condition. Try doing that with your E30.
Congratulations, Tunachuckers!

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And the Winner Is… Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:56:35 +0000 They won the Southern Discomfort race in February, the ‘Shine Country Classic in May, the Cain’t Git Bayou race in August, and now Hong Norrth has taken the overall win at a fourth 24 Hours of LeMons race this year. That run of victories makes Hong Norrth one of the most dominating teams in LeMons history.
Conditions were difficult for much of the weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with rough patches on the track and plenty of dihydrogen monoxide falling from the sky.
Nothing seemed to slow down the Hong Norrth Mazda MX-3, however, and the team had a comfortable 11-lap lead when the checkered flag waved. Congratulations, Hong Norrth!
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Where The Elite Meet To Cheat Day One: MX-3 Leads, Monte Carlo Close Behind Sun, 25 Sep 2011 01:28:11 +0000 After a long, occasionally rain-soaked race session, it was no surprise to find that Hong Norrth, winner of the Cain’t Git Bayou race (and two others in ’11) held the lead at the end of the day.
The Hong Norrth MX-3 is quick and the team doesn’t spin out or commit cone-icide (though they did benefit from ownership of several Get Out of Penalty Box Free cards in escaping from pass-under-caution busts today). It looks like Mazda may end the season with the manufacturer’s trophy, which would be a huge upset over 2010-dominating BMW.
However, a lot can happen between now and tomorrow night’s checkered flag, especially with the Simon Says Integra menacing the MX-3 from just three laps back. The Acura is a bit quicker than the Mazda, so Hong Norrth can’t afford to make a single mistake on Sunday.
14 laps behind the Integra, we find the extremely rusty Team Molde Carlo Chevy. Yes, it should be impossible for this monster to hang with the nimble front-drive Japanese cars on CMS’s tight, twisty road course, but the Molde Carlo has threatened to win several LeMons races at similarly cramped Carolina Motosports Park in the past. A rash of black flags and/or minor mechanical problems for the Acura and Mazda would be the invitation the Monte Carlo has been waiting for.
Meanwhile, Unununium Legend of LeMons Speedycop has done it again, with this… this… well, I’m not sure quite what to call this car. It’s a rollover-victim BMW E36 with (if I recall correctly) ’42 Buick fenders, a ’50 Dodge roof and hood, and a ’51 Plymouth grille. Aside from an unnerving tendency to scrape the bodywork on turns, it’s looking pretty quick on the track.
The Tunachuckers managed to keep their ’75 LTD Landau on the track, in stark contrast to their bad-fuel-system nightmare at the last South Carolina race. The Landau is on the ponderous side, but reliability counts for a lot in LeMons racing.
We’re hoping the weather will be a bit nicer on Sunday, after being forced to throw the checkered flag 15 minutes early due to a massive rain shower that flooded the storm drains on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course. Life was hard for the teams that didn’t show up early enough to grab the covered garage spaces.

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Randy Pobst: LeMons MGB-GT “Handles Well, Bad Brakes, Low On Power” Sat, 24 Sep 2011 19:16:50 +0000 Randy Pobst came to the Where The Elite Meet To Cheat 24 Hours of LeMons to drive Speedycop’s MR2-chassis’d Lancia Scorpion, but we couldn’t resist seeing what would happen if we put him behind the wheel of the Goldbrickers MGB-GT. In the rain. The result was startling.
Pobst immediately knocked 13 seconds off the team’s previous best lap, which was set in the dry (this is on a track layout on which most LeMons cars are running laps in the 1:25 region), and started eating up the E30s and RX-7s. What lesson should LeMons teams take away from this? Improving the driver helps a lot more than improving the car. Unfortunately for the MG team, the brake lights crapped out soon after Randy’s stint, and the car spent the next hour with the team battling Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

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Moonshine, Nuns, and a Six-Cylinder 510: BS Inspections of the Charlotte 24 Hours of LeMons Sat, 24 Sep 2011 02:36:22 +0000 Here we are at historic Charlotte Motor Speedway, after a long day of BS Inspections, and we’ve got quite an interesting field of cars preparing for tomorrow morning’s green flag.
We were a little disappointed that Dog Ciao racing replaced their Alfa Twin Cam engine with (gasp) a 1.8 liter Miata powerplant.
Their build-cost math didn’t quite work out for us, but they did have a pretty good Angry Birds theme.
I’ve never actually seen Angry Birds, so all this stuff was somewhat incomprehensible to me.
But the aftermath of the car’s launch into the “target birds” was pretty entertaining. We gave them some BS laps, but fewer than they’d have gotten with a lame-O theme.
For some reason, we had three teams with sombrero-based themes. Here’s one with a Benz.
And, of course, this Datsun 510 with L28 swap.
Sure, this team has destroyed all handling potential for their car, to gain a few dozen horsepower, but who cares? The only problem is that we don’t have an M20-swapped BMW 2002 to race against it… well, and the fact that the team added a $200 radiator that didn’t fit their budget. I hated giving them BS laps, but it’s my duty as a LeMons Supreme Court Justice.
Here’s a theme we hadn’t seen before: a Sentra SE-R made to look like a BMW E30 and then decorated with a “53% Off” Harbor Freight scheme.
The best part was all the stickers parodying Harbor Freight brands. Sadly, the car had a Cheatonium-239-enhanced JDM turbocharged engine under the hood (because, as the team claimed, “it was the only engine we could find”) and medium-sketchy documentation, to the BS Lap hammer had to fall again. Still, the great theme spared them from some of our wrath.
The Tunachuckers’ ’75 Ford LTD Laundau was back, this time with something every LTD should have: its own oil well. The Tunachuckers’ fellow Legends of LeMons, Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws, will be bringing several great cars… but they haven’t arrived from Maryland yet. That’s normal for them, and we’re sure everything will be fine.
Speaking of Speedycop, somehow he managed to talk pro driver Randy Pobst into showing up and driving a couple of machines from the Speedycop racin’ fleet. I’m going to try to get Randy behind the wheel of the Team Goldbrick MGB-GT tomorrow.
Why not? It’s time that a British Leyland product leaves the E30s behind in a cloud of burning-electrical-insulation smoke. Check in tomorrow to find out what happened in the Where The Elite Meet To Cheat 24 Hours of LeMons’ first race session!

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