Space Shuttle LTD, Sullen French Rebels, and Endless Audis: BS Inspections of the B.F.E. GP 24 Hours of LeMons

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The second annual B.F.E. GP, which takes place at High Plains Raceway (located somewhere in the Great Plains between Denver and Kansas), kicked off today with the traditional Friday tech and BS inspections. This weekend’s field may have the highest concentration of German iron ever seen at a 24 Hours of LeMons race, with what seemed like about half the entries bearing Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, or Audi emblems.

In addition to a couple of Audi Quattro 20-valve cars, a pair of VR6 Volkswagens, and the usual Porsche 944s, we had this parade-float-ized Porsche 928. This is the third 928 to race in LeMons, and they’ve been more reliable than most of the 914s, 924s, and 944s.

Of course, if something does go wrong with a 928… well, it probably won’t be fixed in a hurry.

The Index of Effluency winner at last year’s B.F.E. GP, the Rocket Surgery Racing mid-VW-engined Renault 4CV, now has an excellent hipster/rat rod/Billetproof theme.

The co-captains of the Texas-based Tetanus Neon team (yes, the same Neon that Mr. Baruth drove) have flown out from Houston to join the Coloradans responsible for the 4CV. The car is much better sorted out than last year, with a few more horses behind the driver’s seat, so it will need to claw its way pretty high in the standings to get a shot at an unprecedented second IOE.

Speaking of Index of Effluency contenders, the vast bulk and 150-horsepower 400-cubic-inch engine of this Space Shuttle-themed Ford LTD makes this wagon a huge IOE threat.

It’s also a serious Organizer’s Choice contender, for obvious reasons.

You’d think that a Plymouth Sapporo with a Fukushima Cleanup Crew theme would be able to go toe-to-toe with the LTD in the IOE race… but this Sapporo has had its Mitsubishi engine replaced by a Toyota 22R. Not that the Toyota R has been particularly reliable in LeMons racing (it tends to throw rods), but de-Mitsu-izing any car distances it somewhat from IOE contention. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!

Captain Fiero!

The Mini Moke of Legend of LeMons Unununium Medal Winner Spank was hauled all the way from San Diego— that’s about 1,100 miles, over two mountain ranges— and now sports a whitewater rafting theme.

With so many IOE and Organizer’s Choice contenders, we’ve got a real embarrassment of riches. On top of everything else, there’s the twin-supercharged 454-powered AMC Marlin of Speed Holes Racing, which now features a “Murilee Marlin” theme and a hat and mustache that look disturbing similar to the ones I wear for my job as LeMons Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Yeah, this stuff gets weirder all the time.

Does this setup make enough power to fry the Marlin’s Jaguar XJ-6 rear end? We don’t care, because it sounds beautiful!

RX-7s are great race cars, but the Mazda rotary engines suffer from reliability problems. The solution: Mazda B engine out of a Miata.

This team has by far the best Gong Show theme we’ve ever seen in LeMons.

OK, so it’s also the only Gong Show theme we’ve ever seen in LeMons, but as the Chief Perp said, “This team really raises the bar.”

We have the use of an excellent turbocharged Judgemobile for the weekend.

The Salt Lake City-based twin-engined MRolla is yet another IOE powerhouse. We’ll have some tough decisions to make on Sunday afternoon. Check in tomorrow night for a standings update!

In the meantime, enjoy this timelapse video that compresses about seven hours of inspections into four minutes.

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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  • Strippo Strippo on Jul 09, 2011

    The Tetanus Neon team reminds me of my Uncle Daddy.

  • Fritz Fritz on Jul 10, 2011

    Good to see the Judgemobile has four doors. That way when its back breaks from the beach rust you'll be able to get out of it quick enough. Or perhaps its biodegradable wiring will fuse and it'll all end in a whimper, not a roar. GO LIL BRICK! GO! Remember your youth. There is no tomorrow!

  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.