By on May 21, 2011

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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15 Comments on “Slant Six BMW E30, Mercedes 6.9, and a Parade: BS Inspections of the 24 Hours of LeMons South Spring...”

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    That slant six looks lovely. A TB and a cheap turbo would have been enough to make it the Mayhem Über Inclinado Sausage

  • avatar

    As strange as it may sound, I have a soft spot for slant sixes. If I had to pick the most durable automobile engine ever made, I’d have to go for this. Some might argue that others are just as durable and a well maintained engine might be. That is until you throw in the first real overheating. The slant six will still be running afterwards…a reliability legend is not an exaggeration. And for its day, “crude” is an unfair term.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I would love to come to one of these. Just to hang out for the day.

    Let us know what the 2011 schedule looks like. I have a place not too far away from Camden.

  • avatar

    Is that a Nissan Axxess van?

  • avatar
    Sam P

    The slant-six in the E30 is awesome. Although technically, the original M20 six went in at an angle as well, so it’s a slant-six.

  • avatar

    Is that Tupac in front of the bug???

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    The alternator belt on that /6 looks like it’s about five feet long.


    • 0 avatar

      Stock fan and alternator belt is indeed 57″.

      If there is oil in the bearings a slant will live a long time. The oil pan is long and shallow so it’s easy for the pump to suck air and have a rod bearing go bye-bye. I used to road race a ’66 Dart with a 225 so this knowledge comes from expensive experience.

  • avatar


    Have you ever come across an aluminum block Slant Six? They made them for a couple of years in the early 1960s. There is one on display at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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…

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