And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Index of Effluency, the top prize of LeMons racing, goes to the team that accomplishes a feat far beyond the apparent capacity of their horrible, never-belonged-on-a-racetrack “race car.” Sometimes the IOE goes to a team that climbs way the hell up into the standings in a moderately terrible car (e.g., the Exhibition of Slow Tercel EZ grabbing 10th overall in Texas)… and sometimes it goes to a team that somehow keeps an apocalyptically terrible car on the track all weekend and finishes well inside the top third of the field. We have no idea how such a thing could be possible, but the Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws 1980 Pontiac Bonneville donk managed 16th place out of 52 entries this weekend.

I took this car out on the track at the Capitol Offense 24 Hours of LeMons, and I can say firsthand that it’s even scarier than it looks. There’s no suspension to speak of, the smallest surface irregularities want to send the car airborne, it lifts the inside front tire on turns, and the 301-cubic-inch engine wheezes out about 80 horsepower. In spite of all this, the donk ran just about all weekend long at Stafford Motor Speedway, and it actually passed quite a few cars.

The tone was set for the awards ceremony when, on the checkered-flag lap, a front wheel came off this Olds and the car scraped across the finish line to the cheers of an overjoyed crowd. If that isn’t a sign that General Motors will continue to dominate the Index of Effluency, I don’t know what is.

This is the third IOE for Speedycop and his henchmen, and the hardest-earned one of the three. Congratulations, Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws!

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.

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  • Tiredoldmechanic Tiredoldmechanic on Jul 25, 2011

    A long, long time ago I worked at a Rent-A-Wrech franchise as a mechanic. We were always on the lookout for cheap B-bodies that hadn't been abused too badly. They were tough as dirt and cheap to maintain. There's a reason these were a staple of the taxi industry for 20 years. They were by no means perfect but I have long thought that GM built the best RWD big cars in the industry and these were the best generation of GM big cars. I'm pretty sure you could get a real Pontiac 400 in them for the first couple of years of production if you favoured Pontiacs. With a few simple engine mods, the Chevy 9C1 suspension and a 3.23 or 3.42 rear gear you'd have pretty decent sleeper on your hands. And yeah, snowflake wheels for sure.

  • Jon Jon on Aug 02, 2011

    You can see a video of that Team Olds as the tire pops off. Our car was right behind it when it happened.

  • Urlik GDI engines emit 5 to 10 times the particulate matter that PFI engines emit. The particles are not just carbon either.
  • Pgb65773699 I enjoyed it, it is what you expect , funny
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  • Alan Like all testing and analysis work you need a good set of requirements. If you don't you'll find or end up with gaps.