Donked '79 Bonneville Prepares To Battle Cougars: BS Inspections of the Capitol Offense 24 Hours of LeMons

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
donked 79 bonneville prepares to battle cougars bs inspections of the capitol

One of the cars the organizers of the 24 Hours of LeMons have always wanted to see careening around a road course is a proper General Motors donk. Until today, only the crypto-donked Big Ghetto Skank Tank came close. Now Unununium Medal winner Speedycop has raised the bar again, with this 1979 Pontiac Bonneville coupe rollin’ on 22s. Oh yeah, and 99 other cars showed up to the race at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia.

The Bonnie has the stock 135-horsepower 301, the factory cassette deck, and incredible amounts of style. The naysayers claim it will fall apart on the track, but you just never know what will happen in a LeMons race.

Speedycop and his Gang of Outlaws have brought five cars to this race, including the Parnelli Jones ’67 Galaxie, the MR2-ized Lancia Scorpion, and this late-model Cougar. The Cougar will be racing for charity, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. We had at least two more Cougars as well, which sets the all-time record for Cougars and Mercuries in a LeMons race.

The Mercedes-Benz contingent was out in force. We had three 190Es, including this crazy-rare Cosworth 16-valve car. The special interior parts from this thing were worth a ton on eBay, but math disputes led to 16 BS laps: one per valve.

Then the Cosworth ran into a deer on the track during practice this afternoon. The team fixed the car, but yecch!

This Benz team stepped up with a pretty good bribe suitcase.

This BMW E36 team spent what must have been months gathering beer cans, cutting them up, and screwing them to their car.

The entire car was covered. That’s dedication!

This Fiat 128 is ready to take on the MGB-GT tomorrow morning.

Sorry, 240SX team, we weren’t convinced that you got this SR20DET in the car for under the $500 price limit.

I had the timelapse camera going all afternoon, so here’s a video showing most of the cars that came through the inspection. Green flag waves Saturday morning, and I’ll try to post updates if I can find some sort of internet connection; otherwise, I’ll do a leader post tomorrow night.

Music: Scrap Iron Jazzerinos, 1919

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5 of 20 comments
  • DeadInSideInc DeadInSideInc on Jun 18, 2011

    Predictions: 1) The donk will threaten to roll if it corners at more than 26mph and will become a the judgemodonk. 2) That BMW now weighs 700lbs more

    • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jun 18, 2011

      I agree, I don't think the Bonni will fall apart on the track it will fall over on the track. Or one of those ridiculous wheels will yank the front suspension clean off the car. Yeah, they probably added at least 10 lbs in hardware alone to the BMW.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jun 18, 2011

    The battle-of-the-least-reliables is going to be between the 128 the MGB, the 128 will probably out pace the MG, until it jumps a few cogs on the timing belt, or one of the many relays takes a holiday. I'd also like to take bets on how many valves that Cosi will still have by the end of the race-still in the head, not in the pistons.

    • See 1 previous
    • Johnhef Johnhef on Jun 20, 2011

      cosworth engine still has all of them, although the picture above is only half correct. the silver car pictured was originally a 16 valve, but the engine in the photo is a 3.2L M104 6-cyl. The red mercedes we ran originally had an 8v motor in it and we put a 16 valve engine in instead 2 months before the race.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Nopiho Kovaon GOOGLE
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.