By on February 26, 2011

As is typical for races at MSR Houston, the mechanical carnage has been quite extreme. We saw sheared axles, blown head gaskets, thrown rods, and a Jetta with its engine dragging on the pavement (the last one is a first in my experience). Still, some cars haven’t broken, and the battle for the win on laps has been cutthroat; meanwhile, the battle for the Index of Effluency— LeMons racing’s top prize, which goes to the team that accomplishes the most with the worst car— seems to have settled into your classic Tercel-versus-Camaro-versus-W110 slugfest.

It’s probably too early to get serious about the IOE discussion, since the Pontiac Montana may recover from its damage and blow away the competition on Sunday. Let’s discuss the race for the win on laps, which has the GT$500 Toyota Celica leading by a single lap. The GT$500, as you may recall, won the 2009 Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez LeMons and led the 2010 Louisiana event before throwing a connecting rod in spectacular fashion.

In second place, we see the Z-Wrecks Datsun 280ZX. Most observers of LeMons races (me included) feel that a 280ZX cannot take the win on laps, due to innate horribleness, but the veteran Z-Wrecks car, with its excellent drivers and bewildering reliability, may be the only example of the breed that has even the slightest chance. With a crazy-fast best lap of just 1:56.012, the ZX is getting around the track nearly four seconds quicker than the GT$500’s best effort… but reliability and consistency, not raw speed, win endurance races. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

We’re shocked to see a 280ZX in second, but an Infiniti J30 in third is just as startling. The Swine Flew Raycing car has a couple of top-ten LeMons finishes to its credit, and it’s now perched just two laps behind the leader.

We’ve seen a Ford Taurus SHO win a LeMons race before, but mostly we see the SHOs scattering engine and/or transmission parts all over hell. The SHOTime Ford will be threatening the other leaders all day tomorrow… as long as it doesn’t blow up in typical SHO fashion.

So many E30s in the race, but only one in the Top Five. The Theissen’s Revenge car has been breakdown- and penalty-free so far, and only four laps stand between it and the lead.

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12 Comments on “Gator-O-Rama LeMons Day One One: Celica, 280ZX, J30, SHO, E30 Make Up Top Five...”

  • avatar

    …seems to have settled into your classic Tercel-versus-Camaro-versus-W110 slugfest.
    Unless it’s a mighty Iron Duke Camaro, they’re running really high, or there’s been some heavy modification, those aren’t the most exciting IOE contestants. All three fall into that “can’t be killed- cockroach of the road” category.  Really, I don’t know if any factory Toyota should be IOE eligible.
    The Montana on the other hand…

    • 0 avatar

      It is a late-80s Tercel EZ. One of the most underpowered cars of the decade. The fact that it’s sitting in 15th place is nothing short of miraculous.
      As for this Camaro, it’s a truly horrifying pile of crap.

    • 0 avatar

      15th is pretty good for a Tercel.  I still like it most when the IOE leans more to the car instead of the drivers. But, you’re the LeMons judge and it’s your award to hand out.

      As for this Camaro, it’s a truly horrifying pile of crap.

      I’ll wait for your final writeup, but I’ve seen factory V8 F-bodies live on through some of the sickest sh*t ever.
      The kind of stuff that gives you nightmares and makes you question the existence of goodness in the world. Texas Chainsaw Massacre type stuff.

    • 0 avatar

      Herein lies the issue with Lemons.
      You see, while a good F body may, in fact, be quite tough, the F body is also something of a desirable car, driving prices up.
      This means that a $500 F body is going to be VERY VERY far from good. This, in my mind, is the reason Neons tend to do better than Civics. No one wants a Neon, so they sell for shit, whereas Civics hold prices quite well and any $500 Civic will be dragging itself around with it’s arms after it’s last leg hit a land mine.
      I’m really surprised to see the J30 there. That was, not too long ago, a very nice car. Shit, I’d still drive one.
      Anyway, I hope I can actually get my shitheap (88 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo) running so I can make the next Denver race. With any luck it will explode in spectacular fashion,

  • avatar

    is like the sequel to ” Those magnificient men in their driving machines”
    wonder how that early 60’s merc fintail 200 did in the race. They were not known to break any speed records.
    If they have the LeMons here  in Vancouver BC, I might join the race with my 300 Turbo diesel, my recent acquisition does run pretty fast, it can wind up to 4000 rpm in a hurry.

  • avatar

    Is that a drum brake Mercedes? 

    I wonder how that Mustang II is hanging? 

  • avatar

    So when will there be a LeMons race in the Pacific North Wet? (not a typo)

  • avatar

    Curious as to the extent Consuumer Repoorts bases their reports/recommendations upon opinion and date conferred by reporting such as viewed in this helpful article.

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