The Truth About Cars » 24 Hours of LeMons New Hampshire The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:42:50 +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 New Hampshire Down On The New Hampshire Street: World’s Nicest Bradley GT Thu, 19 May 2011 15:00:22 +0000
As we all know, 99 and many more nines percent of VW-pan-based fiberglass kit cars were never completed, instead clogging up garages until enraged spouses and/or landlords gave them the heave-ho. That makes the ones that actually got finished extremely rare… and well-built, good-looking examples? There’s probably one per time zone.

This Bradley GT was parked at the LeMons HQ hotel during our Loudon Annoying journey, and it looked incredible with its metalflake bronze paint (a Chevy Aveo factory color, according to its owner) and matching interior.

Yes, that’s a Samuel Adams beer tap as a shifter. Powering this lightweight plastic machine is a 57-horsepower, 1600cc VW air-cooled engine, which is plenty for a car that probably weighs about 1,200 pounds.

This would have been the ideal pace car for our race, but the owner couldn’t make it to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the green flag.

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And the Real Winner Is… Mon, 09 May 2011 03:25:57 +0000
The Index of Effluency goes to the LeMons team that accomplishes a feat far beyond their vehicle’s purported abilities, and the chances for an IOE go way, way up when you race a General Motors product. The IOE chase in the Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons devolved into a Chevette-versus-Storm battle early on and stayed that way all weekend.

By Sunday afternoon, LeMons HQ had more or less decided that whichever of the two had the most laps at the end was going to take home the Index of Effluency and the $1,501 in prize money that accompanies it. The ’93 Geo Storm of the Brooklyn Bomb Squad, with its automatic transmission and gas-sipping lo-po engine, struggled with the ’85 Chevrolet Chevette of Team Chev-itte Where The Sun Don’t Shine (yes, they were still making Chevettes in 1985; in fact, The General made them through the 1987 model year) tooth and nail from start to finish. At one point, one of the Geo drivers was heard enthusing over his “epic duel with the Chevette,” a phrase we’re pretty sure had never been uttered before. In the end, the Chevy beat the Geo by a mere 5 laps, 349 to 344.

The Chevette stayed out of the way of the quicker cars (i.e., just about everything that didn’t have a Geo nameplate) and avoided the Penalty Box, and in the end it stood in 26th place out of 54 entries. Congratulations, Chev-itte Where The Sun Don’t Shine!

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And the Winner Is… Mon, 09 May 2011 03:03:32 +0000
Most of the time, the winner on laps of a 24 Hours of LeMons race takes the checkered flag with a nail-biting half-lap cushion, but that’s not how it went for the Goin’ Nuclear 1989 Honda Civic. This team built up a double-digit lead by Saturday afternoon, defended it all day Sunday, and ended the day with 14 more laps than the second-place car (an Accord).

Sometimes— in fact, most of the time— a Civic grinding out lap after screaming 6,000 RPM lap will pop its head gasket or worse, and that’s about the only hope Team Goin’ Nuclear’s pursuers had. As is always the case with a LeMons overall winner, Goin’ Nuclear ran a clean and consistent race, seemingly invisible on the track. The team’s drivers were especially skilled during the rainstorms that hit New Hampshire Motor Speedway both afternoons, gaining much of their edge while the competition slipped and slid their way into the Penalty Box. Congratulations, Goin’ Nuclear!

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New Hampshire LeMons Day 1 Over: Civic Leads, Chevette Shockingly Reliable Sun, 08 May 2011 02:28:22 +0000
Today was a long, grueling day of racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with the occasional break for lightning storms and cleanup of oil from multiple catastrophic engine nukings.

Speaking of nuking, the leader at the end of Saturday’s race session ended up being the Goin’ Nuclear Civic, which now sits atop an intimidating 9-lap lead. Given the fissile nature of Civic head gaskets and the likelihood of xenon poisoning of Civic connecting rods, however, the Honda isn’t quite a safe bet to take the checkered flag tomorrow afternoon. The Goin’ Nuclear drivers have a lot of talent on their side (fast laps, zero black flags), but Civics tend to be all-or-nothing LeMons cars.

If the Goin’ Nuclear car suffers a meltdown, the Keystone Kops Volvo 240, which has suffered approximately zero mechanical problems in at least a half-dozen LeMons races, is poised to grab the lead. The Kops’ brick is pretty quick, but they’ll need some help from that fragile Honda engine to make their move.

The Index of Effluency battle appears to be an all-GM affair at the moment, which— given The General’s historical IOE dominance— comes as no big surprise. At the moment, the top IOE contenders look like the Chevette Where The Sun Don’t Shine, the Gutlass Cutlass, and the Brooklyn Bomb Squad Geo Storm. That could all change tomorrow; the Farfrumwinnin VW Fox would need to claw its way pretty deep into the top 10 to beat the trio of GM misery chariots to snatch the IOE, but it’s looking pretty strong as this point. Meanwhile, the Banana Hammock BMW L7 seems poised to make a move into the top third of the standings, at which point it would enter the IOE conversation. There’s just no telling what might happen tomorrow!

When the green flag waved Saturday morning, the heavy IOE favorite was definitely the Team Whaaambulance Dodge Daytona Shelby Z. At the end of the session, however, the Shelby Z had managed a total of five laps, due to massive oil leaking and burning (including an Exxon Valdez-grade track-oiling episode that ended the day’s race session 20 minutes early). Team Whaaaambulance isn’t giving up, however; as I write this, they’re spinning every wrench they can find in a valiant attempt to get their high-performance Shelby-approved machine back into quasi-raceworthy shape.

Thanks to our Atlanta-based LeMons Assistant Perp Kim, we’ve got a new penalty available to the LeMons Supreme Court Correctional System: the Royal Wedding Penalty. The drivers of two miscreant teams must don their wedding garb and ride in the Royal Golf Cart while “Rule Britannia” plays and commoners wave British flags. It was all so very festive.

We don’t know what New England weather will give us tomorrow, but we do know the battles for overall win and Index of Effluency will be interesting. Check in Sunday night for the latest Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons news.

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Cutlass Ciera, Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Civic, and an L7: BS Inspections at the Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons Sat, 07 May 2011 02:18:24 +0000
Here I am, starting another three-races-in-three-weeks road trip, this time at the NASCAR-O-riffic Loudon Motor Speedway in New Hampshire. After an excellent, chowder-saturated seafood dinner, the LeMons HQ staff is still contemplating this weekend’s exceptionally good crop of great race cars. And by “great,” we mean “awesomely terrible.”

The real star of the day for us was a car we’d been hoping to see get LeMon-ized for a long time: a BMW L7. The hyper-luxurious, conspicuous-consumption car of choice for corporate raiders and mid-level cocaine kingpins in the mid-to-late 1980s, the L7 is the BMW we wish E30 teams would drive.

One of the Greatest LeMons Cars Ever, and it hasn’t even been on the track yet!

The Organizer’s Choice-winning “New York, New York” Civic from the ’10 season-ender in Miami has been transformed into the “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots” Civic for this race. These Brooklynites are making a strong case for a second Org Choice.

Look, it’s a genuine Carroll Shelby race car! Yes, a numbers-matching Dodge Daytona Shelby Z. Hey, didn’t I just see one of these things in the junkyard? You Shelby Chrysler fans will be happy to see this car, but probably not so happy to learn that I’ve put it in the same class as…

…this Saab 96, which no longer has the 2-stroke engine it used to win the Index of Effluency last year. That engine done got blowed up in the Miami race.

A 1.0 liter three-banger from a Geo Metro has replaced the Saab powerplant. As we often say in LeMons, what could possibly go wrong?

Some LeMons first-timers read all about what the organizers want to see on the race track, and then proceed to get yet another boring E30 or Integra or Mustang. Not these newcomers! Their recipe for LeMons success: 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Excellent choice.

Another GM product sure to bring a smile to our faces is the Chevy Chevette. The diesel Chevette we saw at the Michigan race a few weeks back really broke our hearts with its miserable (and very smoky) 5-lap performance, so we have high hopes for this gasoline-fueled model.

Here’s the traditional BS Inspection timelapse video; just one lane of the inspections is visible here, but you’ll get a good cross section of the cars that will hit the track tomorrow morning at 10:30 EST. Check in tomorrow night for a roundup of the Loudon Annoying first session. Music: Riley Pucket, “The Boston Burglar,” 1925

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