And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
and the em real em winner is 8230

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!

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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.

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