By on October 8, 2011

So many 24 Hours of LeMons teams have their still-beating hearts torn out by the Civic and Integra, race after race; the little Hondas are very quick around a road course (which is the evil lure that makes teams want to race them), but the B and D engines have this terrible head-gasket-blowing problem. When they’re not losing the head gasket— usually 15 hours into a 20-hour race— then they’re shooting connecting rods in all directions. Who cares? When today’s race session was over, Honda products sat in the top three positions.
In first, we have the Clueless Racing CRX. Clueless won the 2010 American Irony race 18 months ago, but since then they’ve gone through about 1.5 engines per race. They’ve even won the I Got Screwed award, partly thanks to my cruelty in mocking their agonies. Maybe Clueless will still be on top when the checkered flag waves tomorrow! Their car is quick, their drivers fast, and they have a four-lap lead when they start tomorrow. I don’t want to open myself up to charges of jinxing these poor bastids yet again, so I won’t emphasize their car’s big weakness any more.
You’d think that the Integra would be more reliable than the Civic in LeMons, but they may be even more fragile then their econo-siblings. So many times, an Integra has built up a seemingly insurmountable lead, only to puke the engine with an hour to go. Today, the Holy Rollers ’88 Integra managed to knock out a best lap a full five seconds quicker than Clueless Racing’s quickest trip around the Autobahn Country Club’s course. If they can match Clueless in black-flag-free driving and pit-stop times, they should catch up sometime early on Sunday afternoon. That is, if the h–d g—-t holds out.
Here’s a car that we’ve seen contend for a LeMons win in races going back at least two years: the Free Candy Racing “Pedobear” Civic. They’ve got a guy in Pedobear costume roaming the paddock and handing out candy, they’ve got horrifyingly offensive Pedobear aphorisms all over their car, and they’re on the same lap as the Holy Rollers. What could go wrong? Do I need to spell it out? There’s a BMW E30 and a Chevy Caprice in third and fourth place, respectively, but it’s unlikely that all three of the Hondas will have catastrophic… well, you know.
Meanwhile, the owner of the famous LeMons ’65 Impala Wagon showed up late Saturday afternoon instead of the promised Friday morning, after being unreachable by the Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws crew that flew from Maryland to Illinois to meet him… and the car wasn’t quite ready.
That means the Outlaws will spend all night installing a new exhaust system, racing seat, harnesses, and probably a bunch of additional time-consuming stuff, in the hopes of making the green flag early Sunday morning. Such drama!
Since Halloween is approaching, we’ve been making teams carve the manufacturer logos of their race cars into jack-o-lanterns. This Integra-driving team’s “Pumpkin of Shame” was by far the best (though watching an Alfa Romeo team struggle with their car’s complicated logo was more entertaining).
Looks like the Tricky Dick effigy on the roof of Team Resignation’s Escort could use some more Dilantin. Check in tomorrow for more Showroom Schlock action!

Leader photographs courtesy of Sideline Sports Photography

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11 Comments on “Showroom-Schlock Shootout LeMons Day One: Honda Über Alles!...”

  • avatar

    These articles always make me worry about my Civic’s B15 engine which recently rolled over 350k km. It’s my daily driver, so I’m not racing it, but I still worry. The head gasket was replaced recently, but the connecting rods are original.

    I’ll feel better if one of the Civics wins!

    • 0 avatar

      with daily driving you’ll be fine.

      The stock rods are fairly strong. There are hundreds of turbo’ed daily driver civics out there.

      The reason Hondas throw rods is because of oiling problems with the D/B series oilpumps. The D16Y8 oil pump is a known problem in the Honda realm.

  • avatar

    Those weaksauce open deck blocks will get you every time.
    I’m surprised no one has done a partially filled block to improve reliability. Then again, if they didn’t blow a head gasket someone would probably figure out that that Honda had a cheater motor.

    • 0 avatar

      I think that the conventional closed deck solutions, block guards and the weld in filler types, are two expensive for a lemons budget.

      I think the block guards alone are $200 not including machine work, gaskets ect.

      But there is an epoxy I’ve seen used where you fill the lower portion of the block with salt, or sand and then pour an epoxy in on top to the rim of the cylinder liner. (I want to think you can even use JB weld) Then you flush out the block with water to remove the salt. That + a new gasket from some questionable used head bolts you could have a winner on your hands.

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Is it just me or has this LeMons bit meandered on longer than a Saturday Night Live sketch?

    • 0 avatar

      This site is now the semi-official LeMons “news” portal…if a post doesn’t interest you, don’t click on it!!!

      Oh, and I dragged home a running XR4Ti with crates of parts in it for $300 yesterday. Loudon Annoying 2012, here I come (if the whims of Jay and company allow it)!

      • 0 avatar

        LeMons seemed like fun when it was new, but now I’m bored with it. That joke isn’t funny any more. Show us some serious grassroots motorsports. Just saying.

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Roger that-already done.

  • avatar

    The articles about LeMons and Murilee Martin’s 65 Chevy Chronicles are the best things written in the modern age. I mean since the GM bankruptcy. Maybe since Gordon Baxter. Only a dolt would not appreciate them. Bertel Schmidt is too good for you too. You should read Road and Track. Sorry to be so harsh.

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