Quattroporte, Stretch Limo, Model T, and More: The Greatest Gathering of LeMons Cars In History!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
quattroporte stretch limo model t and more the greatest gathering of lemons cars

With nearly 180 entries, the 2010 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza will be the biggest 24 Hours of LeMons race in history, and it also promises to have the highest concentration of never-belonged-on-a-road-course awesome machinery ever gathered in one location. At this moment, I’m wearing the LeMons Supreme Court judicial robes and busting cheaters, which means that I’m finally allowed to share some of these fine machines with you and not ruin their grand entrances at the track.

We’ll start with a car we’ve been waiting for years to see at a LeMons race: a Triumph Spitfire. The going rate for a LeMons-grade Spitfire currently stands at about negative 200 bucks, but for some reason no team has been willing to run one… until now! Yes, the Sex Pistons will be running their punked-out ’80 Spitfire this weekend, and they haven’t even swapped out the Triumph Slant Four with a– how shall we put this nicely?– less terrible engine.

We’ve already made it clear to the Sex Pistons that they’ll need to blast the X-Ray Spex in addition to “Never Mind The Bollocks.” In fact, let’s hear some Spex now!


We’ve also been waiting quite a while for our first LeMons Mini Moke, and now it has finally happened. The two-time Index of Effluency-winning madman behind the Air Prance SChitroën and the Mr. Bean Austin Mini (which will feature blow-through turbocharging this weekend) has obtained the World’s Most Horrible Mini Moke and converted it to– get this– a replica of the Apollo Lunar Rover. Could it get any better than that?

Normally, such a feat would be impossible. However, at this race even a Mini Moke Lunar Rover can’t be assured of a slam-dunk Organizer’s Choice award, not when it’s facing off against the likes of the Fiaguzzi Fiat 600, which features a Moto Guzzi 1,000cc engine swap. Yes, the legendary Italian Stallions have replaced their X1/9 for a much cooler Fiat, and they’ve done this to it:

There’s nothing wrong with the 600 that nearly doubling the displacement can’t fix, right? Let’s see how it looks at a recent Thunderhill track day:


If there’s one thing we love in LeMons racing, it’s Italian cars. And the more needlessly complex an Italian car is, the more we love it! That’s why the Maserati Quattroporte has long been one of our Holy Grails, and Pendejo Racing has brought one this weekend.

You may remember Pendejo Racing as the team that brought the most radically depreciated LeMons car in history to the last Arse Freeze-a-Palooza; they claim the inflation-adjusted purchase price of their ’80 Quattroporte beats even the S600. All we know is that this car makes us deliriously happy.

Can you think of any reason that a full-stretch Lincoln Town Car limousine doesn’t belong on a crowded road course? Neither can we! The veterans who have been running the Lemon Demolition CRX (and the People’s Curse front-end loader) since the early Altamont races have caged this beast and painted it pink for its bachelorette-party theme. Best of all, I’ll be suiting up and driving the Rolling Chicane Racing Town Car this weekend, because members of the LeMons Supreme Court have a standing invitation to take the wheel of this excellent race car when and if time allows.

Prior to this weekend, the oldest 24 Hours of LeMons car was the Rocket Surgery Renault 4CV (unless you count the ’51 Chrysler Saratoga— a Carrera Panamerica car we allowed as a last-second replacement for a dead LeMons car in Lousiana– which we don’t). That record was annihilated at the ’10 Arse Freeze; make way for the Beverly Hellbillies’ ’31 Ford Model T! Assembled by Black Metal V8olvo crew chief Hellhammer, who knows a thing or two about cheap Model Ts, has horse-traded enough parts to squeeze a ’31 T body, a Model A frame, a Pinto suspension, and a Ford 302 into a LeMons-grade $500 budget. The team will be stacked with the same Spec Miata demons who drove the V8olvo to victory at the last Buttonwillow race, so this glorious heap might actually have a hope in hell of contending! Even if it falls apart on the second lap, it will all be worth it.

We’ve seen the Angry Hamster Honda Z600 before, but enough has changed between its last thrown-rod-a-minute race experience and today that we consider it a new car. The best-engineered LeMons car in history now has a Honda CBR1000 engine in place of the series of extremely fragile Honda V65 Magna engines it once ran. Will the Hamster finally live up to its incredible power-to-weight potential? We shall see.

There’s more! Sharing the track with the Quattroporte and the limo will be this black-bumper MG.

And this Shelby Lancer! I’ll try to post the usual timelapse video of the BS Inspection tonight, if the effort of inspecting 180 cars hasn’t made me completely incoherent by that time. Check in later!

























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  • Dculberson Dculberson on Dec 03, 2010

    A Quattroporte. Really. Is there a cage in it? It doesn't look like it from the pictures. I drool over the possibility of a Quattroporte on the track. I hope they do great and bring it again so I can talk them into an arrive-and-drive at a later race. Drool.

  • I hope the Quattroporte team wears pinstripe suits over their coveralls. If they can put a little Mafia fear into the rest of the field then at least we can be assured that it'll be out due to a spectacular mechanical failure rather than just getting rammed by a Neon. I notice also that the engine compartment on the Mazzer is already festooned with cable ties - should we just take it for granted that all the rubber pieces are moments away from failure?

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.
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