And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Some 24 Hours of LeMons fans get all excited about the team that turns the most laps at a race, but the real cognoscenti know that the Index of Effluency (the prize given to the team that accomplishes a great racing feat with a car that never belonged anywhere near a race track) is the pinnacle. Only the most legendary LeMons heroes manage to win the Index of Effluency more than once, and now South Carolina’s Tunachuckers have driven their two-ton Ford to that achievement.

It’s possible that the Tunachuckers now have more 24 Hours of LeMons trophies than any other team; I believe today’s IOE gives them a total of seven. They started with a ’66 Volvo Amazon, which was replaced by the LTD after getting stuffed into a tire wall at Carolina Motorsports Park last year.

The LTD was tremendously slow (though it did blow the doors off a Fiero and a Cavalier), but reliability is more important than speed in an endurance race. By the time the checkered flag waved Sunday evening, the LTD was in 36th place (out of 66 entries). Astonishing!

Not only did the Landau manage to get through a weekend of racing with no mechanical problems (making the Ford 400M one of the most reliable Detroit pushrod V8s in LeMons history), it set a record for the largest number of passengers during a Saturday night LeMons paddock party: 44. Yes, 44 people managed to get in or on this car, raising the gross vehicle weight to something north of five tons, and the LTD hauled them for a few laps around the CMS paddock in this condition. Try doing that with your E30.

Congratulations, Tunachuckers!

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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  • RRJ RRJ on Sep 26, 2011

    I believe it as I had a '74 Country Squire with the 400M, and it's log hauling capacity was amazing. Other drivers would laugh aloud at the sight of it coming down the road at full capacity. My father-in-law gave it to me at 160,000 miles and as he had had it running on propane, its engine was as new. God, I wish I had that car now.

  • Carve Carve on Sep 26, 2011

    We inherieted one of those from my great grandma. What a land yacht! VERY floaty and isolated. The steering wheel had zero feel. It was like a rehostat, and so overboosted that you could probably give the wheel a quick spin and move the tires lock-to-lock on inertia alone. It was reliable though.

  • Kcflyer Well it's a better waste of my money than the 1.5 billion sleepy joe's handlers gave away this week to pay for gender studies tuition.
  • Dukeisduke SK Siltron - they make blank wafers, so this isn't really a semiconductor factory (wafer fab). Siltron just polishes wafers sliced from silicon carbide ingots. Sometimes these plants are located close to fabs, sometimes they're halfway around the world from the fabs.Wafer fabs take those wafers and run processes on them (photolithography, etch, deposition, etc.) to produce finished wafers. Those finished wafers go to an assembly/test (A/T) site, where they go through probe and other testing, they're cut up into individual chips and inserted into packages with lead frames. After testing on the finished chips, then they're ready to sell.
  • Argistat If China invades Taiwan (becoming even more likely thanks to DT's isolationist rants) , then the US is completely screwed. If someone tried to list all the manufactured items and manufacturing equipment that contain semiconductor chips, the list would be so long you'd never complete it. Finally a real effort to help bring this into the US.
  • SCE to AUX What a boondoggle.I'd rather have 40 sandwich shops opened to hire those 200 workers, and it wouldn't cost $300 million. They could include chips with every meal."The company is targeting 4.2 GWh worth of lithium-ion battery packs annually by 2026."For reference, Tesla's Gigafactory One has been at over 37 GWh annually for years, not counting its energy modules (another 14 GWh).
  • JMII Checking Cars-N-Bids the price of Rivians has dropped significantly. These things went from 100k down to 60k on the used market. I assumed it was because they finally shipped enough units as I've seen a few on the roads around me.I had a guy at the local boat ramp asked if I liked my Rivian. I told him what I was driving was in fact a Hyundai Santa Cruz. To me which he asked how I liked my EV. I responded, nope this is a turbo 4. He looked very confused - granted it was dark 'o clock in the morning so maybe his coffee hadn't kicked in yet because a Rivian and SC look very different. Both have a futuristic lighting setup so maybe that is why (again it was dark).