And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Watching the J30/280ZX/SHO battle for the win on laps this afternoon was pretty exciting, but the Index of Effluency (which goes to the terrible car that accomplishes something orders of magnitude beyond what any sane observer considers possible) is what the true LeMons fanatics care about. A 280ZX coming in first is impressive, but how about an 80-horsepower Toyota Tercel EZ taking tenth place overall? How is that possible?

Team Exhibition Of Slow brought their hacked-up late-80s Tercel EZ— the EZ, as aficionados of rent-a-car-grade econoboxes might recall, is the low-budget/stripper “economy” version of the already miserably underpowered third-gen Tercel, complete with carburetor— and drove it around and around and around the MSR track, all weekend long, and received exactly zero black flags. They beat most of the E30s, all the Mustangs, in fact damn near everything on the track. Definitely one of the easiest IOE choices we’ve ever made. Congratulations, Exhibition Of Slow!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Ajay Singh Ajay Singh on Feb 27, 2011

    That's a great accomplishment! How about a little love for team LemonAid: 13th overall and first in Ugly class with a Geo Metro stock 1L 55hp motor (Rod Blagojevich never say die 500). Good to see the "Turtle and the Hare" symbolism coming true on the track.

  • Thirty-three Thirty-three on Feb 27, 2011

    What could you possibly strip out of a Tercel? No tach, no power steering, no stereo, not even a clock. The seats were cheap vinyl, but they held up much better than other manufacturer's cheap vinyl. Those were tough cars. I'm glad to see that one got the IOE award. Congrats!

  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Feb 28, 2011

    There is something to be said about cars like this without all the gee whiz bang stuff that can literally run circles around just about everything else, even if very slow. It's the dogged determination that does it I think. :-)

  • Threeer Threeer on Feb 28, 2011

    Much love for the Tercel! Makes me dang proud of the '97 I drive regularly! Captain Slow...your vehicle is ready!