By on April 14, 2014

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This well-traveled Houstonian thinks his town is Pistonhead Nirvana, proven every month via fanboi scale and diversity at Cars and Coffee gatherings.  Or with every 1000+hp racer on at Texas2k, every shoestring budget’d LeMons racer and Art Car fanatic: it’s all here. Except there’s nothing like Houston’s SLAB culture.

A confession: I know automotive subcultures, no matter which socioeconomic population nurtures it, always raise the ire of outsiders. My response?  Every generalization about SLABs applies to anyone building a custom, race or show car. We are all the same, deal with it.    (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2011

When you’re looking at a basket-case Ford Ranchero, a Cadillac 500-cubic-inch V8 plus TH400 transmission, an ancient Mercedes-Benz hood, and a yard full of random scrap metal, do you feel optimistic? The builder of this fine machine certainly did! (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2011

Working in the 24 Hours of LeMons Penalty Box, the constant refrain of “Four wheels off” over the radio from the corner workers reporting miscreant drivers gets a little tedious. Hearing “Six wheels off,” however, really livens things up for us. That’s just one of the many benefits of having the Team Apex Vinyl Texas six-wheeled Toyota Hilux in a race. (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2011

There are some fast LeMons cars that suffer from a single glaring weakness that knocks them out of the running after maintaining a lead for hour after hour. For example, the Acura Integra and Honda Prelude and their fragile head gaskets, or the Toyota MR2′s chronic engine-cooling/oiling woes. The Ford Taurus SHO, however, is constructed entirely from weaknesses; the transmissions explode, the engines throw rods (when they aren’t too busy spinning bearings and/or burning valves), the brakes overheat, and the suspensions crumble like pretzel sticks in a trash compacter. Wheel bearings, electrical components, you name it. But when a well-driven SHO doesn’t fall apart, very few LeMons-priced cars can catch it on a race course. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2011

After a grueling all-day battle of thrown rods, car fires, and busted suspensions at MSR Houston, we never expected to see a Ford Taurus SHO with a Rat Patrol roof gunner on the same lap as a bar-sponsored ’84 Volkswagen Rabbit. That’s how things sorted out after the first race session of the fourth annual Yeehaw It’s Texas 24 Hours of LeMons. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2011

Perhaps you already know a little about this car from a previous post, but let’s look a little deeper into what makes an engine swap in a Fiero so positively epic.

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By on October 1, 2011

Here we are at MSR Houston for the fourth annual Yeehaw It’s Texas 24 Hours of LeMons race. To ensure that TTAC’s coverage of the race remains completely objective, we’ve got three of your most loyal and dependable TTAC scribes delivering hard-hitting, hammer-jack-stomping journalism for y’all. (Read More…)

By on June 8, 2011

Hear the rhyme of the Tetanus Neon
See the pictures on T-T-A-C
Mesmerizing the unlucky reader
Stay here and listen to the nightmare of defeat

Well, that’s more the Iron Maiden version of “Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner” than Coleridge’s, isn’t it? And yet, this is not a dissimilar tale. There’s plenty to tell about my stint as a driver for last weekend’s 24 Hours of LeMons — misfortune, dehydration of the aqueous and fuel varities, damage, failure, and, finally, escape.

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By on June 5, 2011


With a Mercedes-Benz taking the overall win, it only seemed fitting for another Mercedes-Benz to get the top prize: the Index of Effluency. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2011


The temperature in Texas reached a muggy 104 degrees this afternoon, but that didn’t stop the BenzGay Mercedes-Benz 300E from winning the 2011 Garrapatas Peligrosas 24 Hours of LeMons by a commanding 17-lap margin. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2011


OK, not every car other than the BenzGay Mercedes-Benz W124 fell victim to thrown rods, busted suspensions, and the usual woes that knock LeMons cars out of races, but only 21 entries were still moving under their own power at the low point of late afternoon today. When the checkered flag waved at the end of the session, the BenzGay 300E sat atop a semi-comfortable four-lap cushion. (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2011


TTAC scribes have descended on MSR Houston from all corners of the globe (actually just Ohio, Texas, and Colorado), and we’re busily flashing the TTAC gang sign and spraying our tags on fools’ whips. Left to right, Sajeev “Big Chief” Mehta, Murilee “Judge Phil” Martin, and Jack “Plymouth Master” Baruth. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2011


The 24 Hours of LeMons has been racing at MSR Houston since 2008, and so we’re used to Shiner Bock, 100% humidity, and Taurus SHOs. (Read More…)

By on February 26, 2011


As is typical for races at MSR Houston, the mechanical carnage has been quite extreme. We saw sheared axles, blown head gaskets, thrown rods, and a Jetta with its engine dragging on the pavement (the last one is a first in my experience). Still, some cars haven’t broken, and the battle for the win on laps has been cutthroat; meanwhile, the battle for the Index of Effluency— LeMons racing’s top prize, which goes to the team that accomplishes the most with the worst car— seems to have settled into your classic Tercel-versus-Camaro-versus-W110 slugfest. (Read More…)

By on February 26, 2011


The 24 Hours of LeMons has been coming to MSR Houston since 2008, and it has become one of the toughest, most competitive tracks in the series. Out of the 80 or so cars at the third annual Gator-O-Rama inspections today, at least four are former winners and another half-dozen have multiple top-three finishes. (Read More…)

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