When I first became a wise and fair judge for the 24 Hours of Lemons race series, back in 2008, I got a lot of static from Internet Car Experts who noted the large quantity of BMW E30s in every race and proclaimed that any E30 in any condition was worth at least ten times more than the Lemons $500 limit on car cost. Because I spent a great deal of time in self-service junkyards and saw that—at least in California—such places were overflowing with unwanted E30s, I knew they were wrong. 15 years later, though, E30s have become fairly rare in junkyards, so this fairly complete 325es in a Colorado yard caught my eye a few weeks back.
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.
The Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons race was all about a Nissan NX2000 versus BMW 3 Series versus Honda motorcycle-engined Geo Metro battle for quite a while, but black flags on the Nissan and the Geo gave the Spin-N-Out Burger BMW E30 the chance to grab the win on laps.
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.
We didn’t have quite the 180 cars that signed up for the Arse Freeze-a-Palooza 24 Hours of LeMons at Buttonwillow Raceway Park— only 162 were ready when the green flag waved this morning— but it was still the biggest field in LeMons history. With the first session done and the racers in a frenzied all-night wrenchathon to get their heaps together by Sunday morning, we can tell you that the always-contending POSRacing F’ed-Up Express E30 sits in the lead… barely.
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- Analoggrotto I refuse to comment until Tassos comments.
- Kendahl Fifteen years ago, the GTO was on my short list of automotive retirement presents to myself. It was just a bit too big and gas mileage sucked compared to the 6-speed Infiniti G37S coupe I bought after test driving several brands. It's a pity owners of cars that are collectible the day they are bought screw them up with aftermarket modifications they don't need. I'd offer they seller top price less what it would cost to put the car back to stock. (I just traded in the Infiniti, in mechanically excellent and cosmetically very good condition with 78k miles, for a 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing.)
- EBFlex This should help Fords quality
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- Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.