By on December 2, 2014



Though I’ve been a Judge at The 24 Hours of LeMons for over 5 years now, it wasn’t until a brush with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome that I decided to amp up my Mad Bribery Skills.

Not just with cash, that’s horribly un-entertaining unless it involves getting busted F1 style.  So like any good criminal, let me boast about my bounty of ill-gotten booty in a tale that’s sure to please.

(photo courtesy:

Food and BEvERages are appreciated as 24 Hours of LeMons Bribes. After trying gourmet jellybeans in bizarre flavors, I was hoping these bribes would rock my world.



They did: I’ve never marinated rotten meat in pumpkin spice and 90-weight gear oil, but these sodas taste like that. Sampling them didn’t trigger another attack of Stevens-Johnson, so it’s more of a character building exercise. Win.


Oh yes!  A fine scotch for a fine man.  This Ron Burgundy themed team got me something good, including the fantastic jacket.  It made my Movember celebrations even more festive. Nicely done, gents!


While not technically a bribe, one particularly horrible team running with a certain Mister Jack Baruth earned enough black flags in a short period to deserve to do my dirty work. The now three-year-old Ranger ticked over 24,000 miles, well past due for its first tire rotation…even if the tires look close to new.

While they did a better job than the average tire store jockey with an impact wrench–hammering away before “finishing up” with a pointless click of the torque wrench–and I was happy…and they were super detail oriented Porsche-like dudes…there was a problem.

And it wasn’t that Jack was MIA and not doing my bidding.  I was cool with that.


Judges don’t litigate, but you still wonder if this is legal trouble just waiting to happen.  But I did appreciate it, as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome ain’t no seasonal flu. So thanks for that!

On to more bribes…

IMG_3785Is this a malaise-y air cleaner from a 460 V8 powered Lincoln in my possession?  Oh yes.  Would you believe that a LeMons Judge gave it to me as a bribe to get my recovering self out of bed, into a robe and back to the race track?

Judge Phil actually packed this in his checked luggage.The plan is to use it for a factory looking dual snorkel intake on a modified 460 Lincoln Mark V in the Mehta fleet in lieu of the horrible aftermarket open air (hot air) intake. Fingers crossed on that plan, but an epic score for the Judge.


Phil wasn’t done, here’s something straight from his Junkyard Find series. This FoMoCo pamphlet circa 1968 is full of oft-neglected common sense motoring tips and fantastic mid-century graphics. And unfolding it led to some holiday cheer at the Mehta dining table.


Because, while you’re supposed to place this on your dashboard while looking for some petrol, it has other benefits.

More photos below.  All of which made this the most memorable time in Automotive Motorsports bribery since…well???




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12 Comments on “Bribery Overload at The 24 Hours of LeMons...”

  • avatar

    I’ve thought about what it would be like to be a judge. I would probably be stoned to death after impounding the third Camaro for NOT being a M.A.S.K. Matt Tracker replica.

  • avatar

    I’ve never been to a LeMons race, but from what you’re describing, it sounds more like performance art than motor racing.

  • avatar

    The “NEED GAS” sign would be quite entertaining on a Thanksgiving buffet table.

    That reminds me I need to ask my dad if he wants the stock stuff I took off the 289 V8 on the old Mustang. Like a single snorkel air cleaner with original stickers.

  • avatar

    I’m planning on attending a Lemons race next year as a spectator. Which one would you recommend as the most fun/interesting from that standpoint? Also best stands/services etc.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a tough question, the California races are probably the most competitive, the Texas races are the best because I am biased, but I’d really like to be a part of the next race at this facility:

      • 0 avatar

        Really nice facility, be sure to visit the bike museum.

        Also, try some Buffalo Rock ginger ale, either straight up or as a mixer. I think it would make an awesome Jack and Ginger.

        Although the race is named “‘Shine Country”, I’ve always thought of the Carolinas as being moonshine territory, though we do make some here in Georgia.

  • avatar


    I’ve made a dual-snorkel air cleaner setup with all-stock parts (20 years ago for my 1971 LTD with the fuel-injected 429) and it’s very easy to do.

    Mount a second snorkel onto the air filter housing on the driver’s side. Connect hot-air door motor directly to manifold vacuum so that side will only open under full-throttle conditions (which is the only time you need that much more air anyways). This allows the stock hot-air system (pulling heated air off of the exhaust manifold when engine is cold) on the passenger side to continue to work properly.

    The 1973-7(?) LTDs and Mercurys had plastic ducts that grabbed air from the front corners of the grille right behind the headlights that were easily modified to fit. Then use that rectangular, flexible air intake ducting (which may be harder to find these days, but it used to be available from any auto parts store) to connect the plastic ducts to the air cleaner snorkels. Done!

    I did my car in the pre-digital-camera era, so I didn’t even think to take pictures of my setup but it worked very well and what I liked the best about it: it looked like it came from the factory that way.

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