Licensed To Ill: Historically Accurate 80s Custom Minitruck Hits Race Track, Has the Boom

For several years in the middle part of the 1980s, lowered minitrucks with pastel graphics and booming sound systems were extremely popular. Then, without warning, just about every last one of them disappeared. Where did they go? We can’t say, but we’re pleased to announce that Team Licensed To Ill has brought the custom minitruck back… and thrashed it all weekend at the Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons.

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Molvo!

When you’ve got a team of LeMons veterans who have been racing a Volvo 245 wagon since the earliest days of the 24 Hours of LeMons and you want to add a second car to the stable, you’re going to face stern disapproval if that second car happens to be a BMW E30 or a Mazda Miata. Those choices lack imagination! There must be some way to make a Miata fit Bernal Dads Racing’s Volvo-wagon ethos… but what could it be?

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Make Your Screen Throw a Rod: More Sears Pointless LeMons Photos!

You’ve read Ed’s writeup of last weekend’s 24 Hours of LeMons race at Infineon Raceway, and now we’ve got more photos of the fender-bashing, engine-trashing action for you!

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A Conspiracy Of Lemons: How Racing Got Its Cool Back

“Guys, can get your attention for just one more minute?” Jay Lamm, the genial founder and “chief perpetrator” of the 24 Hours of LeMons series has just wrapped up a colorful pre-race briefing from the roof of a Fiat 600, which itself is welded to the running gear of an equally ancient and abused Mini Moke. “Guys,” he shouts through a megaphone to the packed trackside garage, “the president of Infineon Raceway wants to say a few words.”

The crowd’s volume drops expectantly as the man whose racetrack hosts everything from NASCAR to ALMS rises and takes the bullhorn. “I just wanted to say,” he intones, “that this has got to be, without question, the crappiest bunch of cars I think I have ever seen in one place.” The crowd of costumed racers and crew members explodes in thundering approval, nearly drowning out the speaker’s final words: “you should all be extremely proud.”

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And the Real Winner Is…

Does General Motors have an unfair advantage when it comes to taking the top prize in 24 Hours of LeMons racing? The General’s LeMons soldiers have taken something like a third of all Index of Effluency wins during the course of LeMons racing’s four-year history… and today another GM marque was added to the IOE victors’ list: Opel!

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And the Winner Is…

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.

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Charlie Sheen, Charlie Sheen, Tigra, and Bunny: Sears Pointless BS Inspection Gallery

You’ve seen the timelapse video of the Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons BS Inspections, but the timelapse camera didn’t capture the twisted cars and car themes we saw Friday.

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How Cute… A Six-Figure Ferrari
When the two extreme ends of the car world collide, there’s bound to be a at least a little tension. So when the first day of LeMons Sears Pointless 20…
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Endless Lines of $500 Cars Lower Infineon Raceway's Property Values: BS Inspections of the Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons

Supposedly we had 185 teams signed up for the Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons, which may be a record for road racing, but only 150 or so managed to get their heaps running well enough to make it through the pre-race inspections Friday. “Only” is a relative term, though; scrutinizing 150 terrible clunkers for safety and adherence to the LeMons $500 budget limit makes for a long, long day.

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  • Philip I love seeing these stories regarding concepts that I have vague memories of from collector magazines, books, etc (usually by the esteemed Richard Langworth who I credit for most of my car history knowledge!!!). On a tangent here, I remember reading Lee Iacocca's autobiography in the late 1980s, and being impressed, though on a second reading, my older and self realized why Henry Ford II must have found him irritating. He took credit for and boasted about everything successful being his alone, and sidestepped anything that was unsuccessful. Although a very interesting about some of the history of the US car industry from the 1950s through the 1980s, one needs to remind oneself of the subjective recounting in this book. Iacocca mentioned Henry II's motto "Never complain; never explain" which is basically the M.O. of the Royal Family, so few heard his side of the story. I first began to question Iacocca's rationale when he calls himself "The Father of the Mustang". He even said how so many people have taken credit for the Mustang that he would hate to be seen in public with the mother. To me, much of the Mustang's success needs to be credited to the DESIGNER Joe Oros. If the car did not have that iconic appearance, it wouldn't have become an icon. Of course accounting (making it affordable), marketing (identifying and understanding the car's market) and engineering (building a car from a Falcon base to meet the cost and marketing goals) were also instrumental, as well as Iacocca's leadership....but truth be told, I don't give him much credit at all. If he did it all, it would have looked as dowdy as a 1980s K-car. He simply did not grasp car style and design like a Bill Mitchell or John Delorean at GM. Hell, in the same book he claims credit for the Brougham era four-door Thunderbird with landau bars (ugh) and putting a "Rolls-Royce grille" on the Continental Mark III. Interesting ideas, but made the cars look chintzy, old-fashioned and pretentious. Dean Martin found them cool as "Matt Helm" in the late 1960s, but he was already well into middle age by then. It's hard not to laugh at these cartoon vehicles.
  • Dwford The real crime is not bringing this EV to the US (along with the Jeep Avenger EV)
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Another Hyunkia'sis? 🙈
  • SCE to AUX "Hyundai told us that perhaps he or she is a performance enthusiast who is EV hesitant."I'm not so sure. If you're 'EV hesitant', you're not going to jump into a $66k performance car for your first EV experience, especially with its compromised range. Unless this car is purchased as a weekend toy, which perhaps Hyundai is describing.Quite the opposite, I think this car is for a 2nd-time EV buyer (like me*) who understands what they're getting into. Even the Model 3 Performance is a less overt track star.*But since I have no interest in owning a performance car, this one wouldn't be for me. A heavily-discounted standard Ioniq 5 (or 6) would be fine.Tim - When you say the car is longer and wider, is that achieved with cladding changes, or metal (like the Raptor)?
  • JMII I doubt Hyundai would spend the development costs without having some idea of a target buyer.As an occasional track rat myself I can't imagine such a buyer exists. Nearly $70k nets you a really good track toy especially on the used market. This seems like a bunch of gimmicks applied to a decent hot hatch EV that isn't going to impression anyone given its badge. Normally I'd cheer such a thing but it seems silly. Its almost like they made this just for fun. That is awesome and I appreciate it but given the small niche I gotta think the development time, money and effort should have been focused elsewhere. Something more mainstream? Or is this Hyundai's attempt at some kind of halo sports car?Also seems Hyundai never reviles sales targets so its hard to judge successful products in their line up. I wonder how brutal depreciation will be on these things. In two years at $40k this would a total hoot.So no active dampers on this model?