Drivetrain Torture Test: What Goes Wrong?

The sustained high speeds at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons proved very effective at encouraging rods to throw, bearings to spin, and transmissions to explode into a billion pieces. So, what fails when cheap, tired cars spend hour after hour with pedal affixed firmly to metal?

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And the Real Winner Is…

We were all quite impressed by the way the Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn BMW clawed the win from the grasp of the Pro-Crass-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo, but the serious battle at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons took place among the contenders for the race’s true top prize: the Index of Effluency.

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And the Winner Is…

For the second time in a row, a BMW E30 has taken the win on laps at a 24 Hours of LeMons race. Does that mean that the E30 is an inherently superior low-buck road-racing machine? Not exactly; of the 11 E30s at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey, only four cracked the top 20. What happened over the weekend was a combination of excellent, screwup-free driving by Team Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn… and a pair of lead-destroying black flags on the Alfa Romeo Milano that led for most of the race.

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Real Hoopties of New Jersey: Duct Tape Can't Fix This!

New Jersey Motorsports Park has a very fast road course that lets most LeMons drivers keep the hammer down much of the time… and that means stuff is going to break. Lots of stuff.

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Real Hoopties of New Jersey LeMons Day One Over, Alfa Romeo Milano Leads

The weather went from rainy to nice, and the high speeds seen at New Jersey Motorsports Park took their toll on the field-O-hoopties today. The engine carnage was overwhelming (more on that later), but some cars kept all their connecting rods where they belonged; at the end of the day, the Team Pro-Crass-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo Milano held the lead. A pair of BMW E30s lurks close behind the Alfa, so there ought to be plenty of excitement when the green flag waves on Sunday morning.

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Engine Swap-a-thon, Rust, and Wifebeater Shirts: BS Inspections at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons

When we come to LeMons races in the Northeast, we can count on seeing plenty of rusty race cars, and on seeing numerous dudes in maybe-not-so-ironic wifebeater shirts. Never before, however, have we seen so many ridiculous engine swaps in one race. During the BS Inspection, which serves to punish cars deemed to have blown past the $500 spending limit, we saw a (very) poor man’s TR8, a supercharged GM 3800 in a Bradley GT, a couple of Camry V6-powered MR2s, and much more!

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  • DenverMike Anyone that would have this color would wear feathers to a minister’s funeral.
  • Art Vandelay Still looks better than modern Hyundai/KIA products
  • Dukeisduke The F&I office on steroids.
  • DenverMike Yeah there’s temporarily gains, but automakers will continue to seek additional revenue streams as the auto industry will be in decline from now on, with new players taking an increasingly piece of the pie, plus weak EV profits. Prices are considered stupid, even by the rich that easily find better ways to dump cash, even on $200K Batmobile replicas. There’s never been so many (Hot) alternatives to “new” vehicles and all the BS/greed that goes along with them, including, yes better than new!Did I mention the auto aftermarket has been growing exponentially?
  • JMII I guess at one point OnStar had value but given that everyone has a smart phone these days I can't think of anything it does that I would pay for. The car has a OLM and reading the manual gives me all the other maintenance information I need. I unplugged the unit in my C7 just so the blue and red lights would disappear from my rear view mirror... I found them very distracting. Since my C7 was used I never signed up nor paid for anything, I have no idea what the data they are collecting on me but driving to and from work plus the occasionally track day doesn't seem like a gold mine.