24 Hours Of LeMons

Why I Race a Crapcan Buick Regal

Mark recently asked me a question: “Why do you race a Buick?”

No one has ever asked me that directly. Frankly, I didn’t have a specific answer. My team and I were simply playing by the strict-ish-ly simple 24 Hours of Lemons rule: “Vehicles must be acquired and prepared for a maximum of $500.”

The rest is history — but that wouldn’t make for a good story. So, to find a more specific reason, I looked back at the history of our battered Buick.

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CODE BROWN! Range Anxiety and The 24 Hours of LeMons

Or No Go?

One item that came up often on TTAC’s request for feedback on Code Brown’s review concerned its range. And while range anxiety is real for some, the P85D sports a 200+ mile range (253 according to Tesla’s website) which met my needs in a large metropolitan area.

But when I hit the road for The 24 Hours of LeMons, range anxiety was real.

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Bribery Overload at The 24 Hours of LeMons

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.

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How to Buy a LeMon (The Fun Kind)

People write buyers’ guides for fancy newfangled machinery all the time, but what if you’re looking for a hooptie to go racin’ with? Lower your expectations and enter the world of triple-digit-price-tag motoring.

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Tales of a Class B LeMons 944

It feels as if it’s finally the Year of the Porsche 944 in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Several well-organized, knowledgeable teams such as Porch Racing and Floridiot Motorsports have made the 944 work reliably and well enough to contend for an overall win on laps. “Der Porschelump,” however, is not one of those teams.

I had tried to buy my way into one of those cars by buying an ex-ChumpCar winning ’83 944, but unfortunately, my time with that car was cut short. Some of you may recognize me from Jalopnik, where my first paid article was about having my racecar totaled in the first driver’s stint. Oops.

So, I bought another one. A commenter on my banana’d 944 article responded that he had one for sale, so I jumped on it. Enter: My First Racecar Build.

Can someone with almost zero mechanical experience beyond brake pad swaps make a 944 with a busted water pump run?

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And the Real Winner Is…

The Index of Effluency, LeMons racing’s top prize, gets handed to the team that accomplishes a lap total far beyond what any sane person would have imagined possible for such a terrible, terrible car. Sometimes that means getting 10th overall in a Toyota Tercel EZ, and other times it means taking 36th out of 57 entries in a 1977 Ford Mustang II. Macaroni Racing, in their Cologne V6-powered “big Pinto,” managed the latter achievement at the Heaps In The Heart of Texas 24 Hours of LeMons today.

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And the Winner Is…

This year, the Hong Norrth Mazda MX-3 won the Showroom-Schlock Shootout in Charlotte, the Cain’t Git Bayou in Lousiana, the ‘Shine Country Classic in South Carolina, and the Southern Discomfort, also in South Carolina. Today, Hong Norrth won their fifth race in the 2011 24 Hours of LeMons season, by taking the Heaps In The Heart Of Texas race by two laps..

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Heaps In The Heart Of Texas LeMons Day One: MX-3 Leads, Index of Effluency Battle Heating Up

It’s not much of a shock to find that the most dominant team of the 2011 24 Hours of LeMons season, the seemingly black-flag-proof Hong Norrth Mazda MX-3, ended today’s race session at Eagles Canyon in P1. A lot can happen tomorrow, though, so unhatched chickens aren’t being counted yet. The day’s events featured plenty of Texas-style ventilated engine blocks and panicky trips to the junkyard as well.

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A Barracuda, Speedy Monzales, and a Luxurious W126 Benz: BS Inspections of the Heaps In The Heart Of Texas 24 Hours of LeMons

I’m still recovering from having my tonsils hacked out with pinking shears, so I couldn’t get to Texas to judge at the 2011 season-ending 24 Hours of LeMons race at Eagles Canyon Raceway. Fortunately, the LeMons Supreme Court has tentacles everywhere, and they’ve sent in some photos showing how Friday’s prerace BS Inspection went down.

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Chevy 350-Powered Lotus Elite Fails To Dominate Race, Nobody Shocked

On paper, a super-lightweight Lotus with a genuine ’68 Corvette 350 and Muncie 4-speed ought to eat up a road course; just go onto any online forum full of self-proclaimed car experts and they’ll tell you exactly that. Reality, on the other hand… well, reality doesn’t always live up to the expectations of internet car experts.

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And the Real Winner Is…

I’m in the passenger seat of the very bouncy ’97 Ford F250 LeMons Department of Highway De-Beautification Vehicle as I write this, heading up I-5 after one of the best races of the ’11 season, and I’m unable to dredge my depleted brain for the parts of speech necessary to do justice to Unununium Legend of LeMons Spank‘s achievements this weekend.

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And the Winner Is…

We’ve seen a BMW 5 Series take the overall win at a LeMons race before, but that was about 50 races back. Today, the If It’s Not Punk It’s Junk 525i put a big BMW back into the winner’s circle.

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Arse Freeze-a-Palooza LeMons Day One: E34 Leads, E30 and SE-R Close Behind

The checkered flag waved, the sun went down, the traditional delivery of lost bumpers and mufflers got dumped off the safety truck in front of LeMons HQ, and the Buttonwillow paddock went into the usual LeMons Saturday Night party mode. With the top five teams all grouped into a three-lap spread, there’ll be a long night of beer-fueled bench racing ahead.

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Occupy Sesame Street, a Quad 4, and a Lotus Elite: BS Inspections at the Arse Freeze-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons

Here we are in Buttonwillow, California, for the fifth annual Arse Freeze-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons. The judges of the LeMons Supreme Court (that is, me and one of the guys you should blame for the Passat getting Car of the Year) eyeballed 130 or so race machines in various states of cheatosity today, and it’s quite a crop this time around.

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And the Real Winner Is…

It is not possible for a Chrysler minivan to finish in the top third of a weekend-long race on the car-killing turns and hils of Infineon Raceway, which is proof that this weekend’s race never happened. That means that the performance of the Team Soccer Moms’ Caravan must have been the product of mass hallucination.

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And the Winner Is…

It’s been quite a year for the builders of the Model T GT: a feature article in Hot Rod, plus several races in which the T held the lead for quite a while before vaporizing the transmission. Finally, everything came together this weekend at Infineon Raceway aka Sears Point, and the world’s quickest road-race Model T turned more laps than every one of its 170 competitors.

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Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 Day One: BMW E34 Leads, Model T GT Close Behind

It was a long, hot, crazy, metal-crunching day at Infineon Raceway today, with cars bashing into walls and each other, shooting rods through hoods, catching on fire, and generally reducing the world’s stock of sub-$500 beaters. Still, some of the 171 Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 24 Hours of LeMons teams managed to keep running, and when the session ended we had some familiar faces in the top five.

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Fire Arrow, Twin-Stick Colt, and Devo: BS Inspections at the Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 24 Hours of LeMons

The full name of this weekend’s race at Sears Point aka Infineon Raceway is “THE SKANKAWAY ANTI-TOE-FUNGAL 500, SPONSORED BY CRUSKIN-SKANKAWAY INC., THE OFFICIAL FUNGICIDAL TOE CREME OF LEMONS,” because Cruskin-Skankaway, Inc., won the bidding war for race sponsorship. Appropriately enough, this race featured more Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler-Mitsubishi products than any race in LeMons history.

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And the Real Winner Is…

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.

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And the Winner Is…

After Clueless Racing won the American Irony race, they spent 18 months in the wilderness, leading in race after race… and then their engine would blow another head gasket or throw another rod. They did everything right, but fell afoul of LeMons Rule #11B: Hondas Blow Up. Today, however, the Clueless Racing CRX grabbed the lead early on Saturday and never relinquished it.

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Showroom-Schlock Shootout LeMons Day One: Honda Ber Alles!

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.

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Nixon, Muppets, and an Intrepid: BS Inspections of the Showroom-Schlock Shootout 24 Hours of LeMons

We’re here at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, for the first annual Showroom-Schlock Shooutout (we raced here last year, but the race was called the Rod Blagojevich Never-Say-Die 500). The track is great, the weather is perfect, and we’ve got some super-LeMonic cars among the hundred or so entries.

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Junkyard Find: 1965 Rambler Classic 770 Convertible

Many of the older cars you find in the junkyard clearly spent a decade or three moldering in a side yard or driveway before taking that final ride behind the tow truck. The project that never gets started, or the once-reliable car that needs a new transmission, or sometimes just Grandpa’s forgotten daily driver. We don’t know that this Rambler ran when parked, but we can tell when it was parked: 1986.

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Super Piston Slap: This LeMons Fiero Gets Revenge on FoMoCo

Since there are multiple TTAC Hacks on assignment here at the 24 Hours of LeMons, you’re getting into the mix from multiple angles. And, here in the Piston Slap corner of the world, the Cars are the Stars! But some whips simply have too much going on: feats of engineering superiority, a collection of creative/rare parts and a dump truck full of historical irony. That’s right, historical irony…with a touch of revenge!

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And the Real Winner Is…

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.

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And the Winner Is…

There are some fast LeMons cars that suffer from a single glaring weakness that knocks them out of the running after maintaining a lead for hour after hour. For example, the Acura Integra and Honda Prelude and their fragile head gaskets, or the Toyota MR2’s chronic engine-cooling/oiling woes. The Ford Taurus SHO, however, is constructed entirely from weaknesses; the transmissions explode, the engines throw rods (when they aren’t too busy spinning bearings and/or burning valves), the brakes overheat, and the suspensions crumble like pretzel sticks in a trash compacter. Wheel bearings, electrical components, you name it. But when a well-driven SHO doesn’t fall apart, very few LeMons-priced cars can catch it on a race course.

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Yeehaw It's Texas LeMons Day One: Rabbit Breathing Down SHO's Neck

After a grueling all-day battle of thrown rods, car fires, and busted suspensions at MSR Houston, we never expected to see a Ford Taurus SHO with a Rat Patrol roof gunner on the same lap as a bar-sponsored ’84 Volkswagen Rabbit. That’s how things sorted out after the first race session of the fourth annual Yeehaw It’s Texas 24 Hours of LeMons.

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Super Piston Slap: The Buick-infused Fiero at LeMons

Perhaps you already know a little about this car from a previous post, but let’s look a little deeper into what makes an engine swap in a Fiero so positively epic.

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Fieros, SHOs, and TTAC Hacks: BS Inspections at the Yeehaw It's Texas 24 Hours of LeMons

Here we are at MSR Houston for the fourth annual Yeehaw It’s Texas 24 Hours of LeMons race. To ensure that TTAC’s coverage of the race remains completely objective, we’ve got three of your most loyal and dependable TTAC scribes delivering hard-hitting, hammer-jack-stomping journalism for y’all.

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And the Real Winner Is…

Some 24 Hours of LeMons fans get all excited about the team that turns the most laps at a race, but the real cognoscenti know that the Index of Effluency (the prize given to the team that accomplishes a great racing feat with a car that never belonged anywhere near a race track) is the pinnacle. Only the most legendary LeMons heroes manage to win the Index of Effluency more than once, and now South Carolina’s Tunachuckers have driven their two-ton Ford to that achievement.

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And the Winner Is…

They won the Southern Discomfort race in February, the ‘Shine Country Classic in May, the Cain’t Git Bayou race in August, and now Hong Norrth has taken the overall win at a fourth 24 Hours of LeMons race this year. That run of victories makes Hong Norrth one of the most dominating teams in LeMons history.

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Where The Elite Meet To Cheat Day One: MX-3 Leads, Monte Carlo Close Behind

After a long, occasionally rain-soaked race session, it was no surprise to find that Hong Norrth, winner of the Cain’t Git Bayou race (and two others in ’11) held the lead at the end of the day.

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Randy Pobst: LeMons MGB-GT "Handles Well, Bad Brakes, Low On Power"

Randy Pobst came to the Where The Elite Meet To Cheat 24 Hours of LeMons to drive Speedycop’s MR2-chassis’d Lancia Scorpion, but we couldn’t resist seeing what would happen if we put him behind the wheel of the Goldbrickers MGB-GT. In the rain. The result was startling.

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Moonshine, Nuns, and a Six-Cylinder 510: BS Inspections of the Charlotte 24 Hours of LeMons

Here we are at historic Charlotte Motor Speedway, after a long day of BS Inspections, and we’ve got quite an interesting field of cars preparing for tomorrow morning’s green flag.

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And the Real Winner Is…

In the LeMons world, the Index of Effluency is the Holy Grail, the elusive prize that makes teams ditch their RX-7s and E30s and install cages in the likes of Hillman Minxes and Pontiac Executive wagons. You get the IOE by turning many, many more laps than anyone ever imagined your car could do, and we’ve never had an easier IOE decision than the selection of today’s winner: the Swamp Thang 1978 Ford Granada coupe.

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And the Winner Is…

The formula for taking the win on laps at a 24 Hours of LeMons race remains the same regardless of whether a race has a Sears-Point-bulging-at-seams 170 cars… or 20, as was the case at this weekend’s swampy, sweaty Cain’t Git Bayou event: you have a team stacked with drivers who turn consistent quick laps, your car never breaks, and your drivers never get black-flagged. Driving a Mazda (which, in my opinion, is the most reliable LeMons marque) certainly doesn’t hurt. Team Hong Norrth stuck with the plan that got them two wins earlier in the year, and now they’ve just grabbed their third LeMons Overall Win trophy in 2011.

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Cain't Git Bayou: Granada Still Running, MX-3 Leads

I must admit that I assumed the first-ever Ford Granada in LeMons history would fall apart on the track within minutes of the green flag, but the Swamp Thang is still groaning around the course after nearly two hours.

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Mudbugs, Gators, and a Granada: BS Inspections at the 24 Hours of LeMons New Orleans

I’m back on the LeMons trail again, this time at Circuit Grand Bayou aka No Problem Raceway in lovely Belle Rose, Louisiana. It’s so hot and swampy here in August that we’re running the race from 8:00 PM to 10:00 AM, making it more like the 14 hours of LeMons. It’s all sugar cane fields, bugs, sweat, and excellent Cajun cuisine here, and we’re having a great time.

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And the Real Winner Is…

40-year-old cars have an edge on the Index of Effluency, LeMons racing’s top prize. Chrysler products also have an edge. And, of course, French cars have a huge edge on the IOE. When you race a car that’s simultaneously 40 years old, a Chrysler, and French… well, just keep it running most of the weekend and the big trophy is likely to go home with you.

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And the Winner Is…

While today’s Arse Sweat-a-Palooza winner on laps is indeed the same Honda-motorcycle-engined Geo Metro that won the 2008 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza, it’s really a much different car now. In ’08, the Geo Player Special (then known as the Metro Gnome) had the CBR900RR engine driving the front wheels, via an ingenious chain drive that used a toilet plunger as a grease seal. Since that time, the engine— now a CBR1000— has been moved back and now drives the rear wheels.

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Arse Sweat-a-Palooza Day One: Model T GT Leads, Usual Suspects Close Behind

Were a reality show being made about the Arse Sweat-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons, the old-time hot-rodder crew and Spec Miata-champion drivers on the Model T GT team, just off their triumph of a feature in Hot Rod magazine, would be the dramatic focus for sure— the 302-powered ’27 Ford ended the day’s race session in first position. However, there are three former LeMons winners within a single lap of the Model T GT… and the T’s flimsy Mustang T-5 transmission is stuck in fourth gear and showing every sign of impending total disintegration.

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Hugh Hefner, Rod Rats, and a Tube-Framed Lloyd: BS Inspections of the Arse Sweat-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons

I came down with some sort of terrible New England vasculo-plague at the Boston Tow Party race, and so the croakers said I couldn’t travel to hot, sticky Thunderhill Raceway in California for the second annual Arse Sweat-a-Palooza. Bummer! That doesn’t mean you won’t get to see who and what are racing this weekend, however, because Assistant Perp Nick Pon was kind enough to send in his photos of today’s car inspections.

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Blimp or Rented Rustwagon? The Toughest Organizer's Choice Decision in LeMons History

The Organizer’s Choice, which goes to the team that most epitomizes what LeMons racing is all about, is one of the trophies that many teams chase for years. You can take the Org Choice home by racing a monstrous piece of rolling sculpture, dressing the team up in ridiculous costumes and having them stay in their bewildering roles all weekend, slogging through an all-weekend death march to keep a never-belonged-on-a-race-track car in semi-trackworthy condition, or some combination of all of the above. The LeMons HQ staff chooses the Org Choice recipient via a highly scientific procedure involving a lot of shouting and hand-waving during the panic-stricken, million-things-to-get-done 20 minutes before we drop the checkered flag on Sunday; sometimes the decision is an easy no-doubter, but other times we’re ready to tear out our spleens using rusty bottle openers, so agonizing is the choice. The Organizer’s Choice decision at the Detroit Irony 24 Hours of LeMons, a few weeks back, was definitely of the latter type.

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And the Real Winner Is…

The Index of Effluency, the top prize of LeMons racing, goes to the team that accomplishes a feat far beyond the apparent capacity of their horrible, never-belonged-on-a-racetrack “race car.” Sometimes the IOE goes to a team that climbs way the hell up into the standings in a moderately terrible car (e.g., the Exhibition of Slow Tercel EZ grabbing 10th overall in Texas)… and sometimes it goes to a team that somehow keeps an apocalyptically terrible car on the track all weekend and finishes well inside the top third of the field. We have no idea how such a thing could be possible, but the Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws 1980 Pontiac Bonneville donk managed 16th place out of 52 entries this weekend.

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And the Winner Is…

With perhaps the biggest margin of victory in 24 Hours of LeMons history, the Scuderia Limoni Alfa Romeo Milano took the win on laps at the Boston Tow Party and Overhead Cam-Bake by 96 laps over the second-place Near-Orbital Space Monkeys Mustang. It was a textbook performance for the second-ever Alfa Romeo LeMons victor: no black flags, no mechanical problems, almost no driver changes or fuel stops.

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Boston Tow Party Day One Over, Alfa Leads Big, Everyone Else Throwing Rods

True, not every entry scattered its engine all over the track at Stafford Motor Speedway today, but it sure seemed like it; by late evening, I counted only 21 of the 60 or so cars still moving under their own power. Meanwhile, the Scuderia Limoni Alfa Romeo Milano will begin tomorrow’s session with a vast 68-lap lead.

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A Peugeot 405 Mi16, Plus Some Other Cars: BS Inspections of the Boston Tow Party 24 Hours of LeMons

Actually, the full name of this race at Stafford Motor Speedway is the Boston Tow Party & Overhead Cam-Bake, and tonight was just Part One of the BS Inspection (the track has some sort of event going on, so we’ll have to do the bulk of the inspections early Saturday morning). As far as I’m concerned, however, we can all go home happy right now, because a genuine Peugeot 405 Mi16 has finally entered a LeMons race.

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And the Real Winner Is…

If you want to contend for 24 Hours of LeMons racing’s top prize, the Index of Effluency, choosing a terrible Malaise Era subcompact gives you a big edge. Choosing a General Motors product also helps. Going with a diesel or, even worse, a Chevette Diesel, means that you pretty much have the Index of Effluency nailed down if you can manage to keep the thing on the track for most of the weekend. Easier said than done, of course, but Zero Budget Racing managed to do just that with their ’82 Chevette Diesel.

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And the Winner Is…

Zero black flags, zero mechanical problems, and consistent quick laps around Gingerman Raceway’s track all weekend: the formula for the Skid Marks Racing Neon’s victory in Michigan on Sunday.

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Detroit Irony Day One Wrapup: Neon Leads, Chevette Diesel Still Running, Rent-An-Impala Hits Track

By the end of the day’s session at Gingerman Raceway, fewer than half the entrants’ cars were still moving under their own power. Hot weather and a punishing race course spelled doom for head gaskets, transmissions, brake calipers, and other critical components, while dehydration and fatigue led many drivers to make errors in judgment that sent them straight to the LeMons Supreme Court Penalty Box. A few teams are now poised to take advantage of the harsh attrition rate, both for the win on laps and the Index of Effluency trophy.

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ThunderPorsche, Rent-an-Impala-Wagon, and a Blimp: BS Inspections at the Detroit Irony 24 Hours of LeMons

Two months after our last visit to Gingerman Raceway, the weather is hot and muggy instead of a howling blizzard. Even without the character-building weather, however, the current crop of entries have managed to raise the bar. How about a Porsche 924 with Thunderbird Turbo Coupe drivetrain? Or Unununium Legend of LeMons Speedycop renting a rustbucket ’65 Impala wagon to turn into a race car… starting tonight?

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And the Real Winner Is…

When a first-time 24 Hours of LeMons team finds some ancient hooptie that’s been rusting in a field for a decade and makes a “race car” out of it, most of the time that team spends the entire weekend thrashing on fuel-system components, shriveled transmission seals, and rodent-gnawed wiring. This did not happen with Team NASA’s Space-Shuttle-themed 1978 Ford LTD wagon.

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And the Winner Is…

At the end of yesterday’s race session, it appeared that we had a Stealth-626-Supra battle for the B.F.E. GP win on laps. All day today, however, the Ghetto Motorsports Mazda RX-7 (winner of the 2010 B.F.E. GP, not to mention the LeMons Mountain Region championship) kept creeping up on the 1-2-3 cars.

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B.F.E. GP LeMons Day One Roundup: Dodge Stealth Leads, 626 and Supra Close Behind

Today’s race session ended about an hour earlier than planned, thanks to a wild Great Plains lightning storm that threatened to vaporize and/or float away the corner workers. Some LeMons races have a team that grabs and early lead and never relinquishes it, while others feature a three- or four-way battle with endless lead changes. Today was the latter type, with the Ghetto Motorsports RX-7 dueling with the Marvin Martian Saab 9000 for the first position for most of the early going and a trio of Japanese machines swooping in when the Saab popped an oil line and the RX-7 caught a few black flags.

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Space Shuttle LTD, Sullen French Rebels, and Endless Audis: BS Inspections of the B.F.E. GP 24 Hours of LeMons

The second annual B.F.E. GP, which takes place at High Plains Raceway (located somewhere in the Great Plains between Denver and Kansas), kicked off today with the traditional Friday tech and BS inspections. This weekend’s field may have the highest concentration of German iron ever seen at a 24 Hours of LeMons race, with what seemed like about half the entries bearing Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, or Audi emblems.

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And the Real Winner Is…

The Killer Bees MGB has participated in just about every West Coast 24 Hours of LeMons race for the last couple of years. The Bees have done quite well, generally finishing in the top half of the standings, but somehow another entry managed to take home LeMons racing’s top prize in each of those races; even a British Leyland product has a tough time when submerged in a field of 150+ entries. This time, however, the yellow MGB finished well into the top 10 of the standings and claimed the IOE in a no-doubt decision.

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And the Winner Is…

A BMW has taken the overall win at the Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons, but it wasn’t yet another dime-a-dozen E30. Nope, the winner this time was the bigger and more dignified E28 5 Series.

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Pacific Northworst LeMons Day One Over: 5 Series Leads, Cherokee In 4th

The reports from Oregon LeMons HQ are in, and we’ve got some very interesting results for you. Sure, a BMW E28 in the lead is on the cool side, but a Jeep not far behind? Not only that, a British Leyland product is in the top ten, a feat long considered possible by, well, everyone.

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A Duster, a Roller, and Cubicle Ennui: BS Inspections at the Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons

I’m not at Oregon Raceway Park to judge the Pacific Northworst LeMons race this weekend, because I just had to stay in Colorado to watch a bunch of freaks race to 14,115 feet. However, LeMons Assistant Perp Nick Pon has sent in some photos of yesterday’s prerace BS Inspections.

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And the Real Winner Is…

We’ve seen some Volvo 240s do very well in the 24 Hours of LeMons, but never before has a 240 this terrible managed to crack the top 10 in a 100-plus-entry 24 Hours of LeMons race. This hacked-up ’92 244 has a creaky, squeaky much-worse-than-stock suspension and an octillion-mile non-turbo B23 engine, but it still beat up on most of the E30s, 190Es, and Integras in the Capitol Offense race over the weekend.

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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.