Bribery Overload at The 24 Hours of LeMons

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

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 celebration s 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…

Is 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???

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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4 of 12 comments
  • Raincoaster Raincoaster on Dec 02, 2014

    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.

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    • FormerFF FormerFF on Dec 02, 2014

      @Sajeev Mehta 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.

  • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Dec 02, 2014

    Sajeev, 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.

  • CFS I can’t believe these comments aren’t 100% in favor of CarPlay/Android Auto. They don’t add much for music and other audio that you don’t get with just a Bluetooth connection, but they make navigation so so much better. Why is it better? Because inputting the destination address is so much easier. And I don’t need to think about updating my car’s maps. Plus, I can switch between Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or whatever else seems best suited for my trip. Hands-free calling features are OK, but not such a big deal for me.
  • TheEndlessEnigma I've owned a VW in the past and learned my lesson. Any kind of repair was absurdly expensive which I understand is typical of VW nowadays.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Interesting how Stellantis (and can we take a moment to acknowledge how piss-poor a company name this is - it invokes....what....MBA marketeers failing at their job) is pursuing cuts to reduce costs instead of, oh I don't know, designing-building-marketing vehicles people *WANT* to buy? What has Stella done with what was Chrysler? Suck off the cash flow generated by Chrysler brands, essentially kill the Chrysler brand by cancelling successful models, eliminate any market advantage Dodge had by killing successful models (G Caravan was the #1 minivan until it was killed, Charger & Challenger *were* profitable, etc,) and progressively and continually neuter Jeep all this while ignoring component and build quality. What's done in return? Push Fiat as the new and exciting brand then watch as it fails in North America (did you know ONLY 603 Fiats were sold in the US in 2023). All new Stellantis releases in North America are Euro designs......that then fail in North America because they are not design for our market. The Stellanis solution? Fire Fred, Hank, and Jim and replace them with Apu, Jose and Bernardo. Yup, that will work.
  • 3-On-The-Tree To say your people are total monsters is an unfair statement. You can judge the Japanese government but to say the citizens are culpable or responsible is wrong. That’s like saying every Caucasian person in the U.S is responsible for slavery or the civil rights era of violence and discrimination against African Americans and are benefiting from it. That’s 79 years ago, the average Japanese citizen born during WWII has nothing to do with what happened. Even my Japanese grandmother who was living in Yokohama whose home was firebombed was just trying to survive with 3 kids and a husband fighting in the war. Just like every war the citizens suffer, I saw it in Iraq. You can’t judge the people from the misdeeds of their government, my mom was born after the war, you really think she is responsible for what happened?
  • Irvingklaws Was a must have for my wife's new car. After years of windshield mounts, trying to keep the sun off the phone, wires running across the dash,'s been a welcome upgrade. Don't have it in my current (old) car, just a stock stereo with the aforementioned windshield phone mount and wires...which is fine enough for me. But if I upgrade the radio with an aftermarket unit, the first thing I'm looking for, after separate volume and tuning KNOBS, is Carplay. Note, I've yet to find an aftermarket head unit meeting these basic qualifications. The infotainment in my '17 GTI had both of these and was near perfect, I'd be happy with that unit in any car.