And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

To those of us in LeMons HQ, GM cars have that extra-special something that gives them the edge on the Index of Effluency. Sure, we thought that the Bangers & Smash ’00 Dodge Intrepid had the edge starting the race, but Chrysler products tend to be a little too effluent to keep running all weekend (in fact, the Bangers & Smash car ran exactly two laps before nuking its 24-valve V6). In the end, the Murph and the MagicTones-themed Racing 4 Nickels ’89 Olds Cutlass Ciera drove straight to another General Motors triumph.

48th place out of 98 entries (many of which were A-Class Integras and E30s) is startlingly good for a car that shouldn’t have been allowed on the race track in the first place. It wasn’t an easy decision for those of us in LeMons HQ, though; a three-cylinder Geo Metro came in 21st, and a ’92 Olds 98 finished 29th (note the GM Effluence Advantage once again). In the end, the Ciera came out on top. Congratulations, Racing 4 Nickels!




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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  • AMC_CJ AMC_CJ on Oct 10, 2011

    The more these cars age, the more appealing they seem to be. A nice wagon version would make the perfect daily-beater to keep miles off the new cars. Right now a 78' Malibu is fulfilling that role, and it's a great car, but I'm lucky to break 20mpg, and that's with the 90hp V6.....

    • See 1 previous
    • Texan01 Texan01 on Oct 10, 2011

      I had an '86 Pontiac 6000-STE at one point in my life, and I would actually like to find another in decent shape. It's more roomy than your A-body Malibu, and with the 145hp 2.8 I got a dead consistent 23mpg no thanks to the 3 speed automatic, but in town it got 17mpg.

  • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Oct 10, 2011

    You can't assume that an engine with good street reliability will be reliable in this kind of endurance racing. In a LeMons weekend, I'd say the 2.8 V6 has about a 60% chance of failing during a race. That's a lot better than, say, the Mitsubishi Astron or small-block Chevy, but not nearly as good as the Chrysler LA or Mazda B.

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
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