By on February 20, 2011

The Index of Effluency trophy goes to the 24 Hours of LeMons team that accomplishes the greatest feats with the most improbable car; if your team’s car is a horrifyingly rusty heap that sat in a field for decades prior to being resurrected for racing, is a type of vehicle that never belonged on a road course in the first place, and manages to clank through more than 200 tough laps on a car-killing track, you have an excellent shot at taking home the coveted IOE. The NSF Racing 1962 Plymouth Fury accomplished this feat at this weekend’s Southern Discomfort race.

Nothing whatsoever came easy for the NSF team and their Rust Monster-gnawed Fury; the team got flagged off the track endlessly for mechanical problems and never did manage to put together a single stint of more than a few dozen laps at one time. The much-abused, quadrillion-mile 340 engine suffered from so much blow-by that oil was being forced out of every possible gasket and orifice and onto the headers, where huge billows of smoke would follow the car; bad piston rings caused more oil smoke to spew from the tailpipe… and the smoking problem was just the beginning of NSF’s troubles. The brakes failed on several occasions, for a different reason each time. The driver’s seat broke. The brake lights stopped working. The brake lights were on all the time. Octillion-mile parts and 1950s suspension technology made the Fury handle like a Mississippi grain barge, which made it by far the slowest thing on the track. More oil smoke. The carburetor stopped working. Yet more oil smoke. Meanwhile, the Fury’s toughest IOE rival (a hilariously bad Nissan Stanza Wagon) kept grinding out slow, steady lap progress all weekend. When the green flag waved, however, the Plymouth’s 218 laps were deemed more effluent than the Sputnik Stanza’s 441 laps. Congratulations, NSF Racing!

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14 Comments on “Southern Discomfort LeMons: And The Real Winner Is…...”

  • avatar

    Obviously a Southern car – there’s way too much metal left!

    But the big question – WHERE do you still drag up one of these cars?  When I was a wee lad back in the early 70s, I remember a few of these still on the road (early 60s Mopars had some crazy-weird styling that permanently indented my mind as a child, especially the way that they did both the front and rear lights), but by the later 70s, they were long gone, even in rust-free eastern WA (I suspect that the hideous styling was one reason for this, it hadn’t yet gone retro-cool, with the second reason being most of the original owners owned these until they died).

    THIS car I can actually believe was purchased for under $500, not to mention they probably had less than that in the whole effort.  Not so for many other entries (is there any limit to what you can spend after you buy the car?) IMO.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m reasonably certain it is (purchase + post-purchase-work – safety-equipment) <= $500. Note safety equipment can include such things as the braking system, tires, roll cage and fuel cell.

  • avatar

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love that old Fury, and the track shots are amazing.

  • avatar

    That poor thing was so barely holding together that 20 laps would be enough for a win, IMO. Awesome sight.

    I remember I saw a slightly yonger one sitting out in the parking lot of my old apartment complex for years on end, slowly rusting away under the rain and snow. A convertible, too!

  • avatar

    Now they can take it home and polish it up.

  • avatar

    Also worth noting that their brakes failed AGAIN on the final lap and they ended up rear ending the MX-3 winner because the MX-3’s driver decided to stop at the finish line to grab the checkered flag.  “Watched too much TV” was the general consensus as to why he did that.

    • 0 avatar

      The kid was nice enough to stop over to our pits and shake hands.  We’re OK with that.  Class act.
      Rewatch the final lap video.  Notice the huge cloud of smoke as the two cars exit the final turn.   Our brakes didn’t fail, weak from racing yes, fail no. 

      We were playing with the Ford for the last few laps and the drivers were waving and giving thumbs up.  When we looked up there were 3-4  cars in a traffic jam.  The Ford took to the outside and the Fury scraped the guard rail removing the little paint we had left.   

      We are so happy that the kid stayed in his car and wasn’t hurt.   Being caught up in the moment was his crime.

       The best black flag penelty ever: Forcing the (very fast) Ford to follow the Fury for 3 laps.  Priceless.

  • avatar

    I am impressed at the foresight of the designer(s).
    Viewing pics of pre-wear and tear Furys, most taken of new cars from those years when I was pert-near new, I come close to gagging at the awesome ugliness I see.
    But, for whatever reason, the well-used (and abused) Fury I espy in the provided pics here I do not see the sheer, raw, inherent, pure ugliness I saw in those pics of the new cars!!!!!!!
    No, not beautiful but in my minimal mind some of the ugliness “veneer” has disappeared!!!!!!!
    Yes, it is a mental thing and I AM “mental.”
    One possible possibility?
    The “aura” from the Creator-being and crew when using the car for transportation;  when Adam and Eve were driven out of the Eden Garden in a Fury… perhaps, is it possible? That the car viewed HERE was THAT car thus lending a unique “aura” in what is seen?
    Just pondering within the shanty. Attempting to comprehend how my mindlet is viewing a beat-up non-new Fury in a mo’ positive manner than the views of newer, shinier, gussied-up Furys.
    Admit it. You haven’t read “gussied” for pert-near a long time. Have ye?

    • 0 avatar

      I remember one of my bosses from my youth having a Fury like that. We piled nine people into it one time, two in the trunk (who sang tunes to pass the trip). When we all piled out there was a drunk on the sidewalk with a flask in his hand, as in the old movies, who just stared at us gobsmacked–except this guy didn’t drop his flask.

  • avatar

    Maybe this will assist thee:

    Origin: 1935–40; of obscure origin
    Warm diggity-dog….. “obscure origin”   Just like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (fun with words: for the easily amused)

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    That is a seriously tired 62 Plymouth but a win’s a win-here’s a 62 that came back from oblivion

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Yep: only thing uglier than a ’63 is a ’62.

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