When You Have More Balls Than Sense: Road Racing a Dead-Stock 1971 Simca 1204

When you’ve driven your $500 Citroën ID19 race car from San Diego to Miami and raced a Mini Moke-based Apollo Lunar Rover, where do you go from there? Why, you buy a furiously underpowered, 40-year-old Chrysler of Europe product and race it for 24 straight hours at a high-altitude road course packed with BMW E30s and V8 Detroit bombs. What else could you do?

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More Weird Diecast Cars To Clog Up My Desk: Malaise Detroit, Warsaw Pact

Once the word gets out that a 24 Hours of LeMons judge has a thing for oddball toy cars, racers will scour the earth to find increasingly obscure and/or terrible examples. What goes with a Leyland P76 and a Nissan Prairie?

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Twin-Engined Toyota Racer Works Fine, Confounds Self-Proclaimed Experts

“How will you sync the engines?” whined the naysayers when they heard about the plan to weld an ’89 Corolla front half to an ’87 MR2 rear half. “How will you cool it? The handling will be terrible! It’ll never work!” If there’s one thing that 24 Hours of LeMons racing has taught the automotive world, it’s that the experts’ preconceptions can be thrown right out the window when it comes time to drop a cheap race car into the crucible of an all-weekend-long road race. For example, who would have imagined that Chevy small-block and Honda B engines would turn out to be among the most fragile in the crapcan endurance racing world? And who would have imagined that the DoubleSuck MR2olla would do so well at the notoriously car-killing Reno-Fernley Raceway?

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And the Real Winner Is…

Is it possible for a Jeep Cherokee with a 60s-technology AMC power to finish in the top fifth of a race on a crazy road course full of off-camber turns and dizzying elevation changes? No, it is not possible. And yet…

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And the Winner Is…

For most of the ’11 Goin’ For Broken race, the battle for the overall win seemed to be all about the Spin-N-Out Burger E30 and the Model T GT… but a lot can happen over the course of 24 nonstop hours of road racing. We had snow, gusty winds, dust storms, wild horses, and— eventually— a whirlwind of mechanical problems and black flags that knocked out the top two contenders. You don’t dare make any mistakes when you’ve got the winningest car in LeMons history looming in your rear-view, and Eyesore Racing’s ghettocharged Miata made its move at oh-dark-thirty this morning.

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Goin' For Broken LeMons Halfway Done, Night Racing Madness In Full Effect

The 2011 Goin’ For Broken 24 Hours of LeMons, which takes place in Nevada’s Reno-Fernley Raceway, is a true 24-hour event. The green flag waved at 10:00 AM this morning, and we’re just about halfway done now. RFR features thin air, crazy elevation changes, off-camber turns, and (starting a couple hours back) pitch darkness. The racers love it, but it kills their cars.

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Twin-Engined MR2olla Makes Debut, White Trash Barbie Goes CHP: BS Inspections of the Goin' For Broken 24 Hours of LeMons

Many of you said a twin-engined Toyota race car would never work, but the Doublesuck MR2/Corolla combo (automatic transmission in the back, manual in the front) went out onto the Reno-Fernley Raceway track for some practice laps today and did just fine!

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Two Engines Equals Twice As Good: Toyota MR2olla!

The crazy thing about 24 Hours of LeMons racers is that they actually follow through with their terrible ideas. Maybe it’s the urgency of the deadline, or maybe it’s the peer pressure to keep one-upping the last ridiculous project. Last month we admired the radial aircraft-engine-powered MR2, and now we’ve got another MR2-based team taking on one of the long-discussed LeMons Holy Grails: the twin-engined sub-$500 race car!

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  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.