LeMons New England Inspections: Honda-Powered VW, Saab-Powered Nissan, Suzuki-Engined Saab
We have returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the third annual Loudon Annoying 24 Hours of LeMons, where legions of BMW E30 3-series and E28 5-series race cars provide a sort of bland backdrop for the more brain-hurtingly weird hardware. Let’s see what we’ve got lined up for this weekend of wheel-to-wheel action.
Three Pedal Mafia, the team that turned a 1971 Sea Sprite boat into a credible road racer, is now preparing a 1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for the Real Hoopties of New Jersey race. As you’d imagine, a Roller that you can build on a LeMons budget might have some, well, issues, but this one drives well enough for the LeMons Supreme Court to use as a Judgemobile. On Saturday, we will be enforcing on-track discipline by using the Rolls as part of the Milton Friedman Unfettered Capitalism Penalty, in which the LeMons Supreme Court justices sit in the Silver Shadow, eating caviar, while the offending team drags it around the pits while harnessed to the car like draft animals. One more reason to drive cleanly!
The Three Pedal Mafia will be racing their boat, which has been re-themed with a Gilligan’s Island motif, this weekend.
This photograph is presented without comment.
Last time we raced in New Hampshire, this MR2 team was accused by others of dive-bombing. Rather than get angry about it, they decided to re-theme their Toyota as a dive bomber— an Aichi D3A “Val”, to be exact.
One of the best examples of junkyard/backyard fabrication we’ve ever seen showed up in the form of a “Tow Mater” Chevy S10 pickup, built by a group of Pratt & Whitney engineers. All the tow-truck gear is built out of safe and lightweight plastic (we frown on heavy decorative items flying off on the track), there’s a 350/T-5 drivetrain, and cheap-but-effective touches abound. Plus, the costumes!
Northeastern LeMons racers love Audis, and this team brought a matched pair of Coupe GTs.
Speaking of Audis, this team managed to replace their car’s very unreliable factory-installed engine with the even more unreliable (and not much more powerful) turbocharged engine out of an A4.
Yes, the recipient of the blow-uppy Audi engine is a super-fragile Porsche 944. Sure, this setup threw a rod about 17 minutes into the last race, but there is no way this plan could fail this weekend..
This VW Golf team suffered from constant engine problems at their last race, so they decided they’d make some changes under the hood…
…by swapping in the complete A20 drivetrain assembly out of a 1985 Honda Prelude, then dropping a random Ford 2-barrel carburetor on top. Why? Well, they had a Prelude!
The Rust In the Wind turbocharged Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX is back, this time with a quote from Haynes Chapter 2B Verse 3 on the hood. This car seemed like a very bad idea for its first couple of years of racing and now Rust In the Win is the team to beat in the LeMons East Region, so it’s possible that the Honda-ized Golf will turn out just as well in the long run.
Some teams install enough gauges and switches to rival the cockpit of the Space Shuttle. This BMW team, on the other hand, decided that gauges only deliver bad news, so they got rid of everything except for the charge warning light.
Cinco de Mayo wasn’t long ago, so here’s the “Lemono Eschoolo de Auto” team.
We’ve seen a few Spaceballs themes before, but this 280ZX may be the best yet.
Even the engine has gone into plaid!
And the 280ZX’s radar has been jammed.
We’ve got many more intriguing cars set to race when the checkered flag waves on Saturday morning, so check into the inexplicable C/D-LeMons homepage later for updates.