By on October 3, 2011

Working in the 24 Hours of LeMons Penalty Box, the constant refrain of “Four wheels off” over the radio from the corner workers reporting miscreant drivers gets a little tedious. Hearing “Six wheels off,” however, really livens things up for us. That’s just one of the many benefits of having the Team Apex Vinyl Texas six-wheeled Toyota Hilux in a race.
This truck has been competing in Houston LeMons races for a couple of years now, but it never ran sufficient laps to qualify for the Index of Effluency (LeMons racing’s top prize) until this weekend. The problem lies in the engine; the Toyota R engine may be utterly bulletproof on the street or in a Third World combat zone, but 20Rs and 22Rs have one of the most miserable failure rates we’ve ever seen in LeMons (though the R is better than any other engine at running after a loose connecting rod has punched a huge hole in the engine block). In fact, only the Mitsubishi Astron and small-block Chevy can rival the Toyota R for LeMons futility, and we probably don’t need to discuss the handling peculiarities of a 34-year-old pickup with an extra axle. This time, though, the truck worked just fine; the Apex Vinyl ’77 Hilux did suffer a rocker-arm failure and lost an hour or two, but otherwise stayed on the track. When it was all over, the six-wheeler rolled to a 24th-place (out of 59) finish. Congratuations, Team Apex Vinyl Texas!

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6 Comments on “And the Real Winner Is…...”

  • avatar

    Holy Crap! I can’t believe we actually did it! Thanks to everyone for all your help!

  • avatar

    I once entertained a fantasy of a hyper-powered six-wheeled road car, the idea being that putting down dragster-level power without the mechanical compromises of an actual dragster results in useless and dangerous wheelspin, so… double the number of rear wheels. I’m really curious to hear what this Yota drives like. Does it understeer like a greased pig?

    I also had no idea they made a 6-wheeled version from the factory. or was this a conversion?

  • avatar

    I am amazed at the build quality and craftsmanship evinced by many of the cars in the Lemons races I can’t imagine the pain that would result from the judges exercising their “Buy” option if they so desired… MM have you ever been tempted?

  • avatar

    That was a great win for the team, who better than the disciples of Mr. Tomlin to help him get this award? Everyone did their part and I feel honored to have taken part in the weekend with everyone involved.


    Vlad the Imploder Stone

  • avatar

    Well, it may be 6 wheeled, but it is by no means “hyper-driven”!!! The rear axle is merely a 3 link trailing axle, with shocks and no springs. The only thing it contributes is immense traction during cornering! Also, the truck remains almost totally flat through the corners so you can flat foot it around the entire track while almost disregarding the brake pedal completely!


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