By on December 6, 2010

The Index of Effluency, considered the top LeMons prize, goes to the team that accomplishes the most with a car that never, ever belonged in the same time zone as a race track. A Fiat 600 with 1000cc Moto Guzzi motorcycle engine swap? Effluent and then some!

The Italian Stallions used to race a Fiat X1/9, but that car was just too reliable for their taste (chew on that for a while, you racers who feel that the universe of available LeMons cars includes nothing but the RX-7, E30, and Sentra SE-R). A 1964 Fiat 600 seemed like just the ticket, but why not hot-rod the thing with a big Moto Guzzi powerplant? Sure, great idea! As it turned out, the “big” motor tended to overheat in a hurry when pushed on the race track, so the team’s drivers spent the entire weekend driving by the cylinder-head temperature gauge; when it hit 450 degrees, they slowed down. That meant that the tiny Fiat spent hour after hour creeping around the track while cars scaling in at five times the Stallionmobile’s weight roared past. Countless Crown Victorias, a ’76 Continental, a Maserati Quattroporte, and a freakin’ full-stretch Town Car limo menaced the 600 for hundreds of laps, but the Stallions just kept the car out there. Congratulations, Italian Stallions!

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

  • avatar

    I’d love to see the accounting on that 600 (V700?).  Some folks would consider that one desirable, maybe even collectible.

    • 0 avatar

      In my spare time (i.e. at work) all I do is search for more Lemons cars. You would be very surprised what you can find out there within reach of the budget. Some people don’t know what they have. Some people just don’t care what they have. It also seems that nobody is resourceful or mechanically inclined enough these days to get these heaps moving down the road anymore. It’s really kind of sad. For example, you can find restorable examples of 60’s impalas, T-birds, and especially Corvairs for under $500 ALL DAY.
      And if you think it’s a disgrace to see these classics in a Lemons race, just picture this: Once a car hits $500 on Craigslist, it’s a prime target for some black-hearted junk dealer to show up with a tow dolly. Next stop:The crusher.

  • avatar

    Incredible that they didn’t fit a ventilator to cool that thing. Also, did they use an oil cooler?

  • avatar

    I bet with a couple cooling fans and ducting to force air across the cylinders that thing could really go. Add the oil cooler for extra benefit. Would love to see the trans setup. Guzzi’s are shaft drive, so that wouldn’t make it too difficult. Heck, use a Convert and it’s already got a FIAT clutch….

    • 0 avatar

      It is, in fact, a Convert motor.  But the Convert clutch is not a Fiat clutch – it’s some multi-plate, internal thing.  Used the Convert torque converter as an adaptor plate for the 600 flywheel and clutch.  Will post a write-up on how I did it later.

    • 0 avatar
      SOF in training

      It looks like it is a Convert engine – see the bare oil banjo fittings on the top of the cam chain case?  Those are for the torque converter.  The protrusions on the upper front of the case are the converter oil pump.

      As I recall, putting an oil cooler on the engine – CHEAPLY – is not easy.  But a bit of metal sheeting and pop rivets should have gotten some more air to the engine.

      What a great car!

  • avatar

    Congratulations guys! I was rooting for you. How did you mate the guzzi to the fiat transaxle?

  • avatar

    I loved those cylinders on frosty mornings. Being to cheap to buy heated riding gear (not to mention the low alternator output), I’d grab those toasty jugs at stoplights to warm my hands up. Good times…

    • 0 avatar
      Peugeot 504 - the Car for Nigeria

      My Beemer does a great job of keeping my feet warm when the bike is in motion. It’s also the generation of R-bike with the oil coolers mounted in ducts up in the top front of the tank, so if you splay your knees out a little you can get some great warm air coming off them.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    That isn’t a Lemons car … that is a *cool* car (even if it was, ahem, a little hot). I like it!

  • avatar

    If I remember correctly, a blue flag with a yellow diagonal is used to indicate “Move over”. Forcing a driver to carry one around the track…OUCH!
    At least it isn’t yellow with vertical red stripes to indicate “Oil on the Track”.

    • 0 avatar

      We put this flag on the car ourselves to save the corner-workers the effort.  The corner workers gifted it to us at the end with a big smile – I have to say, that flag almost as much as the IOE win…almost.  ;)

    • 0 avatar

      The blue flag was actually our idea – we were concerned about Repetitive Stress injuries for the corner workers constantly having to wave the overtaking flag for us so we got a spare one from the track workers and mounted it for Sunday.

  • avatar

    Muilee! Thanks for the great LeMons coverage, have been missing it on the usual rickety website I frequent.

  • avatar

    Insanely Cool! What a well-deserved win!

  • avatar
    Peugeot 504 - the Car for Nigeria

    What a fantastic car. The Guzzi engine sounds just like what you’d expect a track Fiat to sound like anyway. And I like the running with the engine compartment cover open – it’s like a rusty Abarth.

  • avatar

    More details being gathered here:

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