And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Does General Motors have an unfair advantage when it comes to taking the top prize in 24 Hours of LeMons racing? The General’s LeMons soldiers have taken something like a third of all Index of Effluency wins during the course of LeMons racing’s four-year history… and today another GM marque was added to the IOE victors’ list: Opel! The Team Tinyvette 1969 Opel GT took 38th place out of 173 entries, and the team did it with the car’s original 1900cc Opel engine (instead of the Buick V6 that all the other LeMons Opel GTs run). The Opel GT is a genuinely terrible car that has no business doing this well in an endurance race, so Team Tinyvette deserves our respect. Congratulations!

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.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
6 of 14 comments
  • Dignotov Dignotov on Mar 28, 2011

    LeMons or not. Cut me some slack! A 1969 Opel GT was my first car. It was red. Well rust colored. That thing along with a silver Fiat 131 Mirafiori (rust tinted as well) taught my poor ass how to drive on the back roads of NE Ohio. So don't make fun... ;-)

  • M610 M610 on Mar 28, 2011

    It came in close to $500. We paid $200 for a car that had been sitting in an orchard for 25 years, and $300 for the parts car that had sat next to it. It got rewired, scrubbed, and roller painted, plus a broken CF wing we got from a tuner kid who got laughed at for wanting to put it on his car 10 years ago. We added sway bars but fessed up to that in our first race and bribed our way clear of penalty laps. Alan loves the car, so after our first race he went out and bought a somewhat restored one for a DD. I think they are somewhere between cute and silly, but love it, well, this one, nonetheless. The Opel community, small but dedicated, hated our efforts at first but came to love what we were doing and are supporting us. We never thought of the car as a IOE car because it was pretty and completed races. But I guess we compiled IOE points over time with our woes and our persistence and our slowness.

  • Ajla Ajla on Mar 28, 2011
    The Opel GT is a genuinely terrible car that has no business doing this well in an endurance race... At least it is genuine.
  • GeneralMalaise GeneralMalaise on Mar 28, 2011

    Wannabe baby'vette... how 'bout that Flying Spaghetti Monster, running class "A"!!!