Saturday, May 31, 2014

LeMons Utah Day One: Volvo 740, VW Golf, Porsche 914 Leading Classes

The quantity of race cars at the first-ever Salt Lake City 24 Hours of LeMons wasn't so high, but the quality was just stratospheric. We knew we'd be in for a good race session on Saturday, and that's precisely what we got. Here's how things stood at the end of the first day of racing at the Return of the LeMonites 24 Hours of LeMons.

Leading Class A and the entire field, we've got the Volvo 740 Turbo of Team Too Stupid To Know Better. This team ran a Volvo 740-based birthday cake at Buttonwillow a couple of years back, but that car was destroyed in a wreck last year and this bone-stock red-and-white wagon is its replacement. The Volvo 240 has been quite successful in LeMons, but the 740 has shown a very consistent record of broken parts and DNFs in past races. Things might be different this weekend.

The Model T GT, winner of three previous LeMons races, sits a single lap behind the Volvo. The T GT gets surprisingly good fuel economy, with its two-barrel carburetor and hard tires, but it can't match the stingy 2.3-liter Swede in that department.

The Too Stupid To Know Better crew took a gamble on fuel consumption as the moment of the checkered flag approached, and that gamble very nearly resulted in the Model T GT grabbing the lead on the last lap of the session when the Volvo's tank ran dry. Then a Good Samaritan, in the form of the twin-engined MR2/Corolla mashup of Stick Figure Racing, gave the Volvo a push around the track and across the start-finish line.
Photo courtesy of Judy Kiel

Dirty Duck Racing (creators of the judge-pleasing Impala Hell Project diorama a couple of years back), have been chasing a true Class B win with their Volkswagen GTI for many years now. They took home the Class B trophy from the one-day-novelty Sears Even More Pointless race last year, but they've never pulled off a proper all-weekend-long class win. This weekend, they finished the first session with the class lead and a single-lap lead over the Model T GT's Ford Pinto stablemate.

Volkswagens like to fall apart in LeMons, but then so do Pintos. Sunday's action should be a white-knuckler for these two teams.

In Class C, the Village People Porsche 914 leapt out to an early lead and just kept building on it. By the close of the day's racing, the air-cooled German owned a commanding 36-lap edge over its nearest pursuer. We've seen plenty of 914s in the series, and never before has one performed this well.

36 laps is pretty close to an hour-and-a-half at Class C speeds, which should be comfortable enough for the Village People, but a lot can happen in an endurance race. If the Village People's Porsche reverts to type on Sunday, the Iron Duke-powered Pontiac Fiero of Team Salty Thunder will be ready to make its move.

Class C always produces the most dramatic subplots in any LeMons race, and that brings us to a couple of heartbreak stories. The Maserati Biturbo campaigned by the Punk Pirates With OCD spent Friday night getting its engine fixed and turbos replaced, only to blow up its engine just two laps into the race. It should go without saying that Maserati engines aren't easy to find on a Saturday in Utah.

Still, at least the Punk Pirates managed to turn some laps; the 8-Bit Racing Subaru RX Turbo overheated and burned a couple of pistons about 50 yards into the race. Zero laps from one of our favorite cars.

Team Bangers N Mash started the day looking good in their Jensen-Healey, even contending for the Class C lead for a while… but then disaster struck.

Boom! A wayward connecting rod punched big holes through both sides of the engine block; note the "see-through" feature visible in the photo above. This means the end of your race weekend in 999,999 cases out of 1,000,000, what with Lotus 907 engines being about as easy to find on short notice near Salt Lake City as an eight-headed platypus.

However, the octocephalic monotreme in question waddled right into the Bangers N Mash pit a few hours later, with a local racer producing an intact, dust-covered Lotus 907 from his garage at the track. The swap should be finished in time for the green flag on Sunday.

Plenty of teams suffered catastrophic mechanical failures, with several punctured engine blocks among the casualties. Here's the engine of the Neon Pope Nissan; the connecting rod that did this also managed to break the starter motor nearly in half.

The Flaming A-Holes Rover SD1 suffered the expected series of problems that you get with a first-time British LeMons car, ranging from fuel contamination to an electrical fire caused by Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness. Still, the once-luxurious British Leyland machine finished the day with 130 total laps.

The most shocking development of the day, however, was what happened with the Grumpy Cat Racing 1950 Dodge pickup. This truck, which not long ago was a long-dead abandoned heap in Denver, ran all day long without a single problem (unless you count a loose throttle cable, which took all of 45 seconds to fix) and racked up 149 very slow but glorious laps. This sort of performance from a first-time LeMons racer of this vintage is utterly unprecedented in the history of the series, and we believe that the Chrysler flathead six-cylinder engine, based on a 1929 design and built well into the 1970s, must be considered the most reliable engine in human history as a result of the Grumpy Cat Dodge's amazing day at Miller Motorsports Park.

Once all the cars rolled into the paddock on Saturday night, the cooking began. The Dirt Poor-sche Racing team chipped in and hired Salt Lake City's best taco-cart operator to prepare hundreds of his savory creations for throngs of hungry racers.

As the sun went down behind the mountains, the sounds of Sawzalls, ratchets, and hammers were just starting; we hope to see all the broken cars patched up and ready to race in the morning.

from Car and Driver Blog


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Return Of The Mazdaspeed 3? Sorta


To my mind, there have only been two truly committed "sport compacts": the Dodge (Neon) SRT-4 and the non-smiling generation of the Mazdaspeed3. Everybody else, from the original GTI to the Focus ST, has diluted the "more power" formula with additional refinement or equipment or Euro-style panache.

The current Mazda3 has already gotten plenty of props from us and from others. Will there be a turbo model to marry the big-power attitude of the original MS3 with the refinement and room of the current car?

According to the folks at CarsGuide, who presumably can read Japanese, the home-market Holiday Auto is reporting that there will be an MS3, and that it will be:

* Turbocharged! (Woo-hoo!)
* Six-speed manual (Alright!!!)
* All-wheel-drive


Ain't that some shit, man. That will likely push the weight to 3200lbs or so. With that much jelly in the jam, and the additional driveline drag of AWD, the proposed 300hp from a turbo/Skyactiv combo engine is unlikely to set the world on fire, or particularly trouble drivers of the original MS3 in a straight-up 40 roll.

Let's hope that Holiday Auto (pronounced "Holiday Aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-to") has it only partly right, and the next Mazdaspeed3 will follow the same FWD, no-frills format as its predecessors.

from The Truth About Cars


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But Does He Live In A Glass House?


Alright, so that's one way to deal with people driving Aventadors quickly through your neighborhood…

I'd suggest that just painting yellow accents onto an Aventador justifies the throwing of multiple rocks at the thing. (Cue the angry comments from our more literal-minded readers.)

Alex Nunez at R&T offers a fairly complete analysis of where the rock-throwing took place (a 25mph zone down the street from a school) and what laws might have been broken. All I can say is this: only in California.

from The Truth About Cars


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Eyes On Design Announces Aliterative Show: Mustangs, Maseratis, Mass Market, Military, Muscle & Movies – Cars and Pop Culture


The Eyes On Design car show, held every Father's Day on the grounds of the Eleanor and Edsel Ford estate in Grosse Pointe Shores, just north of Detroit, is a unique event. While many, perhaps most, of the cars on display there are of concours level quality, the show is not about perfection, authenticity or preparation. In fact it's not actually called a show but rather an "automotive design exhibition". Eyes On Design is run by the Detroit area automotive styling community so what judging is done and the awards that are given are based on design. The Father's Day show is the major fundraiser for the organization, which holds a number of other events throughout the year (including design awards at the NAIAS aka Detroit auto show in January) to benefit the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, part of the Henry Ford Health System. That's the hospital system that's grown out of Henry Ford Hospital, founded by the automotive pioneer. Seventeen vehicle categories for this year's exhibition, to be held on June 15th, have been announced to complement the overall theme of the event – "Automotive design's influence on popular culture".

Over 250 cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on display, chosen for those that "provoke a nostalgic reflection about cars that have, through their design, affected the popular culture of their day". In addition to the general theme of the event, 2014 will mark four important automotive anniversaries, Dodge celebrates its centennial and this year is the golden anniversary for both the Ford Mustang and the Pontiac GTO. It's also been 50 years since the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, where automakers and many suppliers had elaborate displays. Motorcycles will be represented at the show with a selection of Indians. Perhaps the category with the strongest connection between cars and pop culture will be a display of movie and tv cars. While some will be replicas, the authentic Monkeemobile from the tv series and the real Black Beauty from the 1966 version of the Green Hornet with Bruce Lee, both built by the late, great Dean Jeffries, along with a real Smokey & The Bandit Trans Am, will be on display, as will be a few fictional cars made for movies. The complete list of movie and tv cars follows the category listing below.

As part of the publicity runup to the event, the organizers recently revealed the poster for the 27th Eyes On Design exhibition. The artist is Nicola Wood of Los Angeles and it features a blue 1936 Cadillac "Aerodynamic Coupe" in front of the swimming pool on the grounds of the Ford estate. In the foreground a woman's eye is seen in the reflection from a cosmetic compact's mirror. Seven other eyes are hidden in the background. The symbolism expresses the charitable goal of the show, medical treatment for eye disorders. Though it's a commissioned work, the painting was also labor of love for the classically trained Wood, a member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), who continues to paint after losing vision in one eye due to macular degeneration.

The poster was revealed by General Motors former assistant chief designer, Steve Pasteiner, who discussed the origins of the car on the poster. Originally a show car that Harley Earl created for the 1933 Century of Progress world's fair in Chicago, the Aerodynamic Coupe established what today we'd call the design language for many GM cars in the mid and late 1930s. Pasteiner, whose AAT shop builds concept cars for automakers, is a big fan of the rolling sculpture era of the 1930s. His Buick Blackhawk, which was built to celebrate Buick's centennial and sold at auction for more than a half million dollars and AAT's Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk, which sold for $269,500, were heavily influenced by the Aerodynamic Coupe.

I'll be covering Eyes On Design this year, God willing and the creek don't rise, so if there's a particular car or category you'd like me to check out, let me know in the comments.

Here are the categories for this year's Eyes On Design exhibition:

50th Anniversary of the GTO – celebrating 50 year's of Pontiac's muscle car
Classic Era – high culture becomes pop culture, from the mid-20s to WW2
100 Years of Dodge – a century of survival and success stories
Color, Chrome and Fins – symbols of post-war American optimism
1964 New York World's Fair – 50-years on from the event in Queens
50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang – the original pony car
Tuners – the evolution of car personalization from 1967 to today
Muscle Cars – high horsepower straight from Detroit
Working Class of 1928 – American car culture is born – the birth of Plymouth and Ford's Model A
Pure Michigan – a celebration of some of the lesser-know makers from Flint, MI
Personal Luxury Coupés – a look at the high-end mid-size coupés of the 1970s
Movie & TV Cars – including four-wheeled stars from the big and small screen
Maserati – highlights from 100 years of the Italian maker
Stock to Rock – standard models paired with their heavily customized twins
Collector's Circle – supporting car collectors and their hobby
Military Vehicles – from war-torn roads to off road heroes
Indian Motorcycles – an enduring and endearing tribe founded back in 1897

The movie and television cars will be:

1965 VW Beetle ("Herbie") from "The Love Bug" (1969). The anthropomorphic Beetle with a mind of its own and the number "53″ racing number, which starred in six Disney productions through 2005. This is a correct replica owned and put together by a Lynn Anderson, who's a contributing editor for Hot VWs magazine.

1966 Pontiac GTO from "The Monkees" (1966). California car customizer Dean Jeffries built the original highly-modified GTO convertible, known as the "Monkeemobile," for use by the pop rock band during their NBC TV series, which originally aired from 1966 to 1968. This is the actual car from the tv series, as "restored" by George Barris' shop, currently owned by a Detroit area collector who paid more than $300,000 for it. Pics here.

1975 Ford Gran Torino from "Starsky & Hutch" (1975). A replica of the red-with white stripes car driven by the two California detectives in the TV cop series, which originally aired from 1975 to 1979. A "Starsky & Hutch" movie was made in 2005.

Winton Flyer from "The Reivers" (1969). Designed to look like a 1904 car, this one-of-a-kind fictional vehicle driven in the movie by Steve McQueen and owned by him. It was created by the legendary artist and car craftsman Kenneth Howard, aka Von Dutch.

1966 Chrysler Imperial ("Black Beauty") from "Green Hornet" (1966). Originally created by customizer Dean Jeffries, this modified Imperial rolling arsenal starred with Van Williams and Bruce Lee in the 1966-1967 ABC TV series.

Leslie Special from "The Great Race" (1965). Driven by good guy Tony Curtis in the Warner Brothers movie, this gleaming white roadster was loosely designed to look like a 1907 Thomas Flyer, which actually won the real "Great Race of 1908″ from New York to Paris.

1977 Pontiac Trans Am  from "Smoky & The Bandit" (1977). This special black "T-top" Trans Am was driven by Burt Reynolds in the smash hit Universal Pictures movie, which made $300 million and almost doubled the sales of Trans Ams

1982 Pontiac Trans Am ("K.I.T.T.")  from "Knight Rider" (1982). A replica of the advanced supercomputer in a bullet-proof body on wheels. The robotic KITT could communicate with humans, drive itself and shoot flames and tear gas in the NBC TV series which ran into 1986.

Nissan 240 SX  from "Fast & Furious IV" (2009).One of the many customized cars used in scenes from the Universal Pictures action movie starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don't worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

from The Truth About Cars


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Review: 2014 Accord EX-L Sedan CVT


Earlier this year, the most important car purchase question in human history was answered by a Accord EX-L V6 Coupe with six-speed manual transmission. Having cleared the 6000-mile mark in said coupe and having put everything from a wheelchair to a Rainsong JM-1000 to a BMX bike in the trunk in the past four months, I've learned a lot about the Modern Steel two-door. At some point, I'll sit down and write up a long-term report.

Today, however, we have an Accord of a different feather. The trim designation is the same: EX-L. The engine, transmission, and body are all from the other half of Honda's all-too-frequently binary choice matrix, however. A 125-mile trip in a mix of local and freeway conditions gave me the chance to answer the question: What's the Accord like in a configuration that normal people actually buy?


Our test car was loaned to me for a rather quixotic mission involving Volkswagen replacement parts. For a destination-included MSRP of $29,070 against my Coupe's $31,415, you get a choice of eight exterior and two interior colors. This one was "Champagne Metallic" with the beige interior. With just over 8,000 miles on the clock, it made for a very appropriate comparison with my Coupe.

In exchange for parting with about twenty-three hundred fewer dollars, you get:

  • An extra set of doors and a longer wheelbase
  • Seven cubic feet more passenger space and five inches more rear legroom
  • The 2.4L, 185-horsepower EarthDreams inline four
  • A continuously variable transmission
  • No Homelink, but you do get an auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power passenger seat
  • Deletion of the LED running lamps
  • Seventeen-inch wheels instead of eighteen-inch ones
  • A forty-pound weight savings

The four-cylinder/CVT combo is, by far, the most popular Accord, and this is the nicest way to get it in the United States.

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advance.

Honda has the CVT thing totally dialed.

Unless you're a disaffected middle-aged man who is basically 50% Hank Moody and 50% a post-Minute by Minute Michael McDonald, the four-cylinder is more than powerful enough and it returns economy the six can't think about touching.

In all other respects, the Accord continues its reign as America's best mid-sized sedan, a reign that was horrifyingly interrupted by the chunky eighth-generation mistake-mobile but otherwise stretches back at least as far as 1982.

Okay. Feel better now? I certainly do. Let's start with all the things this Accord sedan does very well, for those of you who have no experience with the 2013-up model: The beltline is lower than it is in any of the competition, sightlines are better, there is an airy, light feel to the cabin that cannot be had for love nor money anywhere else in the segment. You can argue that the Fusion, in certain trim levels, imparts a more convincing premium feel both in its interior aesthetic and the Germanic, lead-lined way it smothers external interruptions from noise to big bumps.

The Accord's rear seat is simply enormous in precisely the same way that the Malibu's is not. While in Las Vegas recently I saw a few of these in taxi service. You'd be lucky to get one; it's spacious in all respects. The two-tone black-and-cream interior of our test sedan isn't quite as convincing as the all-black interior of the V6 coupe is; if you want a top-notch light-colored cabin, you have to spend more money on the effort than Honda's willing to do. This is where the Accord falls tangibly short compared to something like an Audi A4, but that will be small consolation to the German entry-luxury buyer who finds that the big Honda makes more friends on couples' date nights.

All of that matters less in a market like ours where cars are owner-driven and frequently occupied by a single person. The Accord made headway in the Seventies as a dynamic proposition, a little low-cowled race car in a vast field of 204-inch personal luxury coupes. It was so good at replacing those bigger American cars that it eventually became a bigger American car. (See: "The Descolada", Speaker For The Dead by Card, Orson Scott.) In a perfect world, the 2014 Accord would combine the thrift of the 1976 original with the effortless thrust of a 403-powered '77 Cutlass Supreme Brougham.

Amazingly, it sort of does. Your humble author was impressed by the way Nissan used the CVT to make the Altima 2.5 acceptably quick, but trust me: compared to the CVT in this Accord, that Nissan was about as sophisticated as an episode of Friends. This one does the business. Around town, it responds to the typical half-throttle-in-a-mild-hurry by letting the engine rev immediately to 3500 or so, at which point it allows the revs to slowly creep as the ratio unwinds. The impression thus created, that of an engine accelerating mildly while the car sprints along, is exactly why people used to buy a big-block and pair it to a 2.73 axle ratio. Simply brilliant.

Once on the freeway, the four-cylinder Accord pulls a trick the six can't touch: it drops the revs to a mildly astounding 1950 or so at eighty miles per hour, keeping the 2.4-liter on the very edge of lugging along. The result: over the course of seventy-plus fast freeway miles, the EX-L reported 36.4mpg. In the same conditions, my Coupe wobbles between 29.0 and 31.0. That's outstanding economy that works in the real world. "Do you ever check the fuel economy?" I asked the car's owner.

"I don't know how," was the response. So I pulled up the screen in question:


Consistent 30-plus, in mostly urban driving, with someone who couldn't care less about economy behind the wheel. In those same circumstances, the V6 Coupe is lucky to return 25. (My Audi S5, just to put this in perspective, would return between twelve and fourteen miles per gallon when driven the same places in the same way.)

When it's time to accelerate for a pass or to facilitate a merge, the Accord simply swings the ratio high again and provides near-instantaneous acceleration. It fairly leaps for the fabled 100mph mark and just as quickly drops the revs into the basement when the throttle is eased out again. How could you want any more powertrain than this, in the real world? Alas, but the four-cylinder isn't likely to be nearly as magic without the rubber band transmission, and in any event it fails to deliver the VTEC rush of the single-overhead-cam six.

It's common among the journalists to praise the four-cylinder variants of midsized sedans for their superior balance and scale-friendly GVWR. In Accordland, there's barely any weight penalty for choosing the faster coupe. A few pounds on the nose is it and in daily use you wouldn't be able to tell which engine your car had if you weren't allowed to floor the throttle. Still, it's easy to see why the six doesn't account for many Accord sales. Indeed, the true question is why Honda doesn't offer the loaded Touring model as a four-cylinder here, the way they do in Canada. It would sell, no doubt. Perhaps such a vehicle would be too murderous a sibling to the similarly priced but nontrivially less roomy Acura ILX.

On the other hand, I seem to recall that the ILX has decent stoppers, which the Accord doesn't. The rotors in our tester are already warped, and during testing at Putnam Park in March I quickly learned to interpret the mixed messages coming back through the middle pedal of my Coupe as carefully and fearfully as Indiana Jones examining temple hieroglyphs for warnings of rolling stone boulders and whatnot. These cars are simply underbraked, perhaps even for street use. Yes, the one stop you really need will probably be fine. It's the thousand freeway off-ramps that will drive you crazy.

The reason this Accord works when the previous car didn't is simple: Honda returned to some of their original virtues in this generation. Weight was shed, the engines were improved, the transmissions were finessed, and the interior electronics were brought as far up to date as Honda customers could comfortably handle. About the only un-Honda thing you can point to in this car is the strut-front suspension, but having double wishbones didn't make the previous car a good one. Not only is this a major improvement on its predecessor, it's truly better than the seventh-generation V6 in every way that counts and many that don't, really, but continue to satisfy.

I'd spend every dollar of the difference between this solid-citizen Accord and my immature, overpowered coupe again, but compared to the rest of the mid-size field this remains the one to have. Assuming, that is, you can resist the Fusion's siren song — but if it helps, just lie back and think about the ten-year-residual. In a month or so, we'll evaluate the new Sonata to see if it can knock the Accord off its perch. Don't bet on it.

from The Truth About Cars


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Most-Watched Videos of the Week

In this week's list of most-watched videos our 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Exhaust Note video roars into the No. 1 spot. Check out what else was popular.

1. 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat — First Listen
2. 2015 Subaru Outback — First Look
3. 2014 Audi A6
4. 2014 Kia Soul ("MotorWeek")
5. 2014 Jaguar F-Type Exhaust Note

from KickingTires


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Friday, May 30, 2014

24 Hours of LeMons Utah Inspections: Rover SD1, Jensen-Healey, and a ’50 Dodge

19 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
We're here in lovely Tooele, Utah, for the first-ever Return of the LeMonites 24 Hours of LeMons, held at Miller Motorsports Park. The air is thin, the weather is warm, and we've got just 67 intrepid teams willing to brave the long hauls from places like San Francisco, Denver, and Phoenix. The good news is that the proportion of spectacular cars is much higher than at your typical race, and now we're going to share some of them with you.

25 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
The BRIBED stencil (actually a TITHED stencil) featured a design inspired by the Utah state highway symbol.

14 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Judge Rich, who runs the Rocket Surgery Racing Checker Marathon when he's not wearing the robes of the LeMons Supreme Court, also supplied a LeMonites TITHED stencil. A rare two-stencil race— collect them all!

04 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
For reasons that nobody can explain, we've got a good half-dozen GM F-bodies at the Return of the LeMonites race. Our favorite, by far, is this exquisitely detailed second-gen Trans Am reproduction.

07 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Made from parts too horrible for even the most hooptified 100-footer "restoration," this faux Trans Am, with its Frankensteined details such as this riveted snout, fits in perfectly with the LeMons ethos.

11 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
The hand-painted "Screamin' Chicken" hood looks even better than the original.

12 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Who needs a decal when you can paint like this?

29 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
The last time we saw this BMW 320i, it was wearing nondescript rattlecan black paint at the 2011 Goin' For Broken race at Reno-Fernley. Now just look at it!

30 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
This is all pure fiberglass, just like the real box-flared deal. Sure, all the running gear is bone-stock E21 and the car will be slower than most 25-year-old Camrys on the race track, but we love it all the more for that.

26 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
We've got other German cars that look fast but go slow, such as this Mercedes-Benz S500.

27 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
The most successful Chrysler K-car-based racing machine in LeMons history? The Soccer Moms' Grand Caravan, which now features a van Gogh theme, including severed-ear hood ornament.

21 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Because we're in Utah, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provided inspiration to several teams. Dirty Duck Racing and their VW GTI became missionaries for the weekend.

15 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Stick Figure Racing, one of the few teams actually based in Utah, turned a Toyota MR2 into a surprisingly accurate replica of the Mormon Meteor, a car used by to set land-speed records in the late 1930s.

16 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
This is the team that built two
twin-engined LeMons Toyotas, so we expect a lot from any Bonneville-inspired car they build.

17 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
It may not match the speed of the original Duesenberg-powered Mormon Meteor, but it looks just as good.

13 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
For reasons we've never understood, nobody had ever raced a Jensen-Healey during the first six years of LeMons racing. We've seen so many British cars in this race, but never the eminently terrible affordable Jensen-Healey. That changed today, with this car. Class C, of course.

10 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
No purity-destroying engine swaps here— this is a genuine Torqueless Wonder under that Jensen-Healey's hood.

22 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Going toe-to-toe against the Jensen-Healey is another fine British racing machine: this Rover SD1. This V8-powered brute has the torque advantage over the Jensen, but won't be quite as nimble.

03 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
We're pretty sure that every SD1 came with scorch marks on the hood's underside.

35 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Speaking of Class C British cars, here's Spank Worthington's Mini Moke, modeled after a land-speed-record bicycle.

08 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Can those Brits beat a frighteningly stock Pontiac Fiero, complete with Iron Duke power? We'll see.

24 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Some say the key to winning Class C is good old-fashioned Detroit reliability, and by that we mean really old-fashioned. Yes, this is a 1950 Dodge pickup truck, complete with legendarily bulletproof Chrysler flathead six engine.

23 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
This truck's Denver-based owner thought about racing a BMW 3-series at first, but the bad influences on the LeMons forums talked him out of that boring idea and he picked up this thoroughly decrepit Dodge. The engine turned over but that was about the one bright spot. With two weeks to go before the race, the truck had no suspension, no brakes, no rear axle, no safety equipment, no nothing.

02 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
Then the generous captain of Speed Holes Racing (the team that runs a Swiss-cheesed Rambler Marlin in Colorado races) jumped in and orchestrated an astoundingly productive last-second thrash session on the Dodge. Other Denver LeMons racers joined in with parts and labor. Soon, the truck had a Jaguar XJ-6 front suspension, a Camaro rear axle, a fuel cell, roll cage, and everything else.

01 - 24 Hours of LeMons Return of the Lemonites
700 miles of towing later, the 64-year-old truck passed the tech inspection on the very first try. How will this vastly underpowered machine fare during the course of the weekend's racing? Check in Saturday night and see!

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