And the Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The third annual Gator-O-Rama 24 Hours of LeMons endurance race is in the books, and a 29-year-old Datsun just beat out 80 or so competitors— most of them less than half the Datsun’s age— to bring home the Win On Laps trophy for Team Z-Wrecks.

The GT$500 Celica (itself nearly as old as the Z-Wrecks car) had a commanding lead late in the race, but its 22R engine threw a rod for the second race in a row and the situation devolved into a nail-biting three-way battle between the Swine Flew Raycing Infiniti J30, the Z-Wrecks 280ZX, and the SHOTime Taurus SHO. The ZX opened up a not-so-comfortable lead with several minutes before the end… but then it began losing power due to lack of fuel. Pit stop! The J30 closed to within a half-lap as the Z-Wrecks crew dumped a splash of gas into their car’s tank, but the Infiniti couldn’t quite catch its fellow Nissan and the checkered flag waved for the ancient 280ZX. Congratulations, Z-Wrecks!

Photo by Nick Pon

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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  • CJinSD CJinSD on Feb 27, 2011

    I think this car should have won the IOE as well. 280ZXs were pretty terrible cars even measured against their 1981 competition. Tercels are overdogs by comparison.

  • Mechimike Mechimike on Feb 28, 2011

    Wow, this has to be the first Z car to ever take the overall win at LeMons. Agreed with CJinSD, it definitely coulda been an IoE contender as well.

    • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Feb 28, 2011

      No, it hasn't...and shockingly, it was a 300ZX (Z31) that has that title.