Slant Six BMW E30, Mercedes 6.9, and a Parade: BS Inspections of the 24 Hours of LeMons South Spring

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
slant six bmw e30 mercedes 6 9 and a parade bs inspections of the 24 hours of

Once again, the 24 Hours of LeMons has taken over downtown Camden, South Carolina, with a parade down the main drag to baffle the locals and a BS inspection scene complete with live band and draft beer. Why don’t we do this for every race?

The members of Stupid But Tough Racing (a Malibu-driving team whose members all work with uranium at Oak Ridge National Laboratory) decided to take my “Tennessee Homer Simpsons” appellation and run with it. This car should look great on the race track Saturday.

One way to make us love the BMW E30 is by replacing the sophisticated, powerful BMW M20 inline-six engine with a crude, heavy Chrysler Slant Six. Since this is LeMons racing, the normally reliable Slant Six has already bit this team, with a spun rod bearing this morning and a panic-stricken hunt for a donor Dart. Look, the car appears nearly ready… and is that the dreaded Carter BBD carburetor?

Here’s a car we’ve been waiting to see in LeMons for years now: a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. NSF Racing won the Index of Effluency with their 1963 Plymouth Fury last time, but they decided that an old Chrysler is just too easy. Now they’ve showed up with possibly the most complicated motor vehicle this side of a Citröen SM. It’s not quite running yet, but they’ve got at least nine hours before the green flag!

This being a Southern race, the LeMons Supreme Court received numerous bribes in the form of unlabeled mason jars full of vitamin-Pb-enhanced, radiator-distilled moonshine. Hope we don’t get the jake leg!

Here’s the traditional timelapse video of today’s inspections.

Music: Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton, “Carolina Stomp”

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  • FuzzyPlushroom FuzzyPlushroom on May 21, 2011

    That 244 is meant to be a boat? Sure, it'll rock like one if the suspension is stock, but it's just not a very big car. They must have gotten one hell of a deal if they didn't have to sell off the trim bits, though (grille, hockey-stick trim). Same with the 142, although it looks like a proper vintage racer! And taping off a Volvo's composite lenses is pointless unless it's to hold 'em in over bumps - I've personally run over my 244's former right headlight lens after it fell out, and it bent. My 745's, of the same fade-prone-but-indestructible material, has survived a ~10 MPH hit to a Silverado's bumper while the hood, grille, and signal lens bit it. As for that S-10, that's my kind of theme. Probably levels out the weight distribution nicely as well.

  • WRohrl WRohrl on May 21, 2011

    Doesn't the 450SEL 6.9 violate rule 2.1 in regard to the maximum manufacturer curb weight not exceeding 4200 pounds? I've seen both 4270 and 4390 published but not under 4200...

    • NSF Racing NSF Racing on May 23, 2011

      Running that Mercedes, on a small curvy track, violates several rules. Mostly rules of common sense. We had to apply for a waiver for the 80 lbs overweight.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.