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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Tastefully Modified Texas Ranchero Packs Cadillac Power, Towing Package

When you’re looking at a basket-case Ford Ranchero, a Cadillac 500-cubic-inch V8 plus TH400 transmission, an ancient Mercedes-Benz hood, and a yard full of random scrap metal, do you feel optimistic? The builder of this fine machine certainly did!

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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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Trackday Diaries: Dangerous Ticks, a Descent Into Madness.

Hear the rhyme of the Tetanus Neon
See the pictures on T-T-A-C
Mesmerizing the unlucky reader
Stay here and listen to the nightmare of defeat

Well, that’s more the Iron Maiden version of “Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner” than Coleridge’s, isn’t it? And yet, this is not a dissimilar tale. There’s plenty to tell about my stint as a driver for last weekend’s 24 Hours of LeMons — misfortune, dehydration of the aqueous and fuel varities, damage, failure, and, finally, escape.

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And the Real Winner Is…

With a Mercedes-Benz taking the overall win, it only seemed fitting for another Mercedes-Benz to get the top prize: the Index of Effluency.

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And the Winner Is…

The temperature in Texas reached a muggy 104 degrees this afternoon, but that didn’t stop the BenzGay Mercedes-Benz 300E from winning the 2011 Garrapatas Peligrosas 24 Hours of LeMons by a commanding 17-lap margin.

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Garrapatas Peligrosas LeMons Day 1: 300E Leads, Everyone Else Done Blowed Up

OK, not every car other than the BenzGay Mercedes-Benz W124 fell victim to thrown rods, busted suspensions, and the usual woes that knock LeMons cars out of races, but only 21 entries were still moving under their own power at the low point of late afternoon today. When the checkered flag waved at the end of the session, the BenzGay 300E sat atop a semi-comfortable four-lap cushion.

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Trio of TTAC Hacks Lowers Tone of LeMons Race

TTAC scribes have descended on MSR Houston from all corners of the globe (actually just Ohio, Texas, and Colorado), and we’re busily flashing the TTAC gang sign and spraying our tags on fools’ whips. Left to right, Sajeev “Big Chief” Mehta, Murilee “Judge Phil” Martin, and Jack “Plymouth Master” Baruth.

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Garrapatas Peligrosas! BS Inspections, Texas Style

The 24 Hours of LeMons has been racing at MSR Houston since 2008, and so we’re used to Shiner Bock, 100% humidity, and Taurus SHOs.

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Gator-O-Rama LeMons Day One One: Celica, 280ZX, J30, SHO, E30 Make Up Top Five

As is typical for races at MSR Houston, the mechanical carnage has been quite extreme. We saw sheared axles, blown head gaskets, thrown rods, and a Jetta with its engine dragging on the pavement (the last one is a first in my experience). Still, some cars haven’t broken, and the battle for the win on laps has been cutthroat; meanwhile, the battle for the Index of Effluency— LeMons racing’s top prize, which goes to the team that accomplishes the most with the worst car— seems to have settled into your classic Tercel-versus-Camaro-versus-W110 slugfest.

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Miatas, SHOs, and a Pontiac Montana: The BS Inspections of the 2011 Gator-O-Rama 24 Hours of LeMons

The 24 Hours of LeMons has been coming to MSR Houston since 2008, and it has become one of the toughest, most competitive tracks in the series. Out of the 80 or so cars at the third annual Gator-O-Rama inspections today, at least four are former winners and another half-dozen have multiple top-three finishes.

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  • Johnster "Vale" is the [s]cheap[/s] lower-priced performance version with black trim and stiff suspension."Mist" is the "DeLuxe" version with a bit more chrome and trim. (Sort of like the "Decor Package" option.)"Magentic" is the full-on Brougham treatment (in its current state) with more chrome trim than the "Mist" and all sorts of gimmicky electronic features inside. (Sadly, it will not include simulated landau irons or a vinyl covered roof, even as an option.)"Aurora" is the Oldsmobile of Cadillacs (sort of like the old Cadillac Calais). No, that's not right. It's the top-of-the-line model, sort of a "Grand Touring" version, with not as much chrome as the "Magentic" but all of the gimmicky electronic features and a stiffer suspension.
  • Drew8MR Why can't CARB leave hobbyists alone? Maybe lay off the low hanging fruit and go after the gross polluters. Bring back the rolling exemption.
  • ToolGuy According to Americans, the very lovely and quite powerful Ford Fairmont (1978-1983) was Way Better.Source: Sales figures.
  • Goatshadow Use case: trade it in the moment the warranty is up.
  • SCE to AUX Why can't the NHTSA find or keep its leaders?