And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

40-year-old cars have an edge on the Index of Effluency, LeMons racing’s top prize. Chrysler products also have an edge. And, of course, French cars have a huge edge on the IOE. When you race a car that’s simultaneously 40 years old, a Chrysler, and French… well, just keep it running most of the weekend and the big trophy is likely to go home with you.

The SimcaCUDA, aka Le Mopar, is a 1971 Simca 1204, which could be purchased in Chrysler showrooms back in the day alongside rebadged Hillman Avengers and rebadged Mitsubishi Galants. What kind of madman would dare to race such a terrible car at brutal, hilly Thunderhill Raceway? We’re talking about Unununium Legend of LeMons honoree Spank, of course. This is Spank’s third Index of Effluency trophy, following his 998cc Austin Mini’s win at the ’09 Buttonwillow Histrionics and his 1971 Citroën ID19’s win at the ’10 Sears Pointless race (he went on to drive the Citroën from San Diego to Miami, in order to race it at the ’10 LeMons season-ender, so you know we’re dealing with a serious madman here).

The best part about the SimcaCUDA’s Index of Effluency win today is that second-place Eyesore Racing ran out of gas on the checkered-flag lap and was pushed across the finish line by the Simca (thanks to Dave Coleman for the photo). Congratulations, Le Mopar!

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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  • SimonAlberta SimonAlberta on Aug 08, 2011

    These cars were not "terrible" as someone said. In their time and place they served their purpose in their marketplace exceptionally well. Not only that, they were at least as technologically sophisticated as any front wheel drive built in North America around the same time, if not for a decade or more later.

  • Njsimca Njsimca on Aug 09, 2011

    Wow, congratulations, Spanks! What is really amazing is that this Simca 1204 is one of only three or so running in the United States! Whenever Spanks needs technical help or advice or parts, those of us who know him (and we all drive rear-engined Simca 1000s) could basically just scratch our heads and defer to Spanks as the new Simca 1204 subject matter expert!! Bravo!! It's true, the Simca 1204 was a technological trailblazer when introduced in 1968, but 40 years later, it obviously takes a very talented man to enter, and win!! Best of everything to you!! Matt Cotton Lake Parsippany, NJ 1965 Simca 1000 1969 Simca 1118 1969 Renault 16

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