As 63 entries arrived to the fourth annual 24 Hours of LeMons: Pacific Northworst, they were welcomed by the all too common imminent rainy weekend. Saturday we sent them on their way, and continued watching as Sunday climaxed into a clash for class victories. Regardless of how poor their cars were running, or how many parts had fallen off of it in the process, most trudged on. Eventually this all resulted in all three class winners achieving there long sought after but consistently denied goal. Here’s how it went down.
Class A Awards
The Model T/GT is somewhat of a Frankenstein car: for the most part it’s a Fox body Mustang, but with Model T and Model A body parts. Aside from what you may think, just judging from the slew of parts it’s constructed with, it’s a winner. Since its introduction in 2010 it has continued to be victorious in a majority of endeavors, the most recent being a 2013 Button Turrible race. Even with the official “Shark In the Aquarium” 5-lap handicap assigned to the GT by LeMons Supreme Court (due in part to the low car count and the deficiency of the accustomed California-based racers at Northworst), the Model T GT drivers were able to wrangle the beast around the track, achieving the most laps and edging out an ’86 Ford Thunderbird of the Killer Whales by the most minuscule of margins.
After spending years chasing victory within the realm of overall and Class A, the members of TeamIWannaROC in Number 666 (a third-gen Chevy Camaro), they decided to switch to a Ford for this particular weekend, borrowing the Model T GT from its owners.
This move paid off big time for the IWannaROC crew, who, combining brilliant driving skills and the newly borrowed Model T GT was enough to grant them an overall LeMons win.
Class B Winners
Somehow class B was able to construe a battle even more exciting than what was happening in Class A. ONSET/Tetanus West Racing with their 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier took the class win by an infinitesimal four-lap margin, as well as finishing fourth overall.
In one of the more dramatic happenings of the weekend, Petty Cash Jeep Cherokee took an early class lead in B and wasn’t looking back, until disaster struck. Their Renault-sourced windshield wiper motor ceased to work at the most crucial of moments in the rain, thus the team lost its ability to see the racetrack. This repair, as small as it was, gave ONSET the opportunity to acquire the lead, holding onto it for the remainder of the race.
Class C Awards
If you didn’t think the class A and B victories were valiant enough, Class C would have quenched your thirst for impossibilities. The Car Error Panamericana team has been running their Saturn SL for years, and as many of you know, Saturn doesn’t make the best cars in the world, thus victories for such a vehicle would probably be few and far between. But alas their car didn’t break, their drivers didn’t receive an onslaught of black flags, and ultimately things were going their way. It must have been the new fiberglass body kit that gave them the slight edge for a Class C victory (sarcasm). But they somehow came out 16 laps ahead of their nearest opponent, concluding with a 29th place overall. With that we say congratulations!
Most Heroic Fix Award
When it comes to the Most Heroic Fix awards, there are the easily earned, and then there are the “having to use the firefighters Sawzall to help get your car on the track.” As for the Transcontinental Drifters bunch, the latter was unfortunately the case. Their 1960 Chevrolet Corvair was having no part of the whole “running” portion of the race, causing quite a quandary.
Most of Saturday for them was engulfed by their transmission-linage problems, which resulted in an eventual solution of just welding the linage in place, leaving them with a third gear only car. Once they thought they had put all the engine issues in the past, they threw a connecting rod; was this the last straw? Never! They were lent a Sawzall from the fire crew, sliced off the bogus connecting rod, and reassembled their engine.
I Got Screwed Award
The Barely Legal Super Lemons team wasn’t as fortunate as the Transcontinental Drifters in their repair endeavors, actually setting the track record for most trips on the wrecker for a single car during the weekend. Their 1980’s Corolla was inundated with a multitude of problems, none of which they were truly able to mend. They only managed to lay down a meager 29 laps before they called it quits, truly earning the I Got Screwed award.
You’re Not Idiots, Who Knew?
Now normally a team that has trouble registering, has problems getting through tech inspection, racks up more than one spin off, and has four offenses (in the first few ours of racing) would be listed under the “watch out for dumbos” list by the organizers. Luckily for us this wasn’t the case for Dim Sun Racing and their Datsun 240Z. At some point they decided to take things seriously, racing almost flawlessly for what was left of the weekend, and for such an accomplishment (usually once you’re going downhill, you continue on that terrible path) they earned our regional “We’re Shocked That You’re Not Idiots” award.
Our Judges’ Choice award Mazda RX-7 was quite the innovative one. It went to Trouble Brewing Racing who converted their rig into a replica of Cheech’s Chevy Impala lowrider from Up In Smoke. This whole deal came complete with drum set, primer patches, and even a MUF DVR California license plate. As amazing as this was the real reason the judges opted for giving them the award was of what happened on Saturday night.
Another RX-7 team managed to blow up there engine and Trouble Brewing had a spare in the trailer, and just decided to give the engine away to the Rotary Rooter squad. This good deed, along with their dope (all puns intended) RX-7 made for an easy Judges Choice decision.
Over at LeMons we’ve seen our fair share of “Barbie’s Corvette” attempts, including a Honda Civic, Dodge Neon, and even a Chevy El Camino, but never an actual Corvette. But this time around Silversleeves Racing found an ’84 Corvette, slapped some pink paint on it, Barbie logos, and got all sorts of dressed up. They even went so far as to convert one of their drivers into “Barbie’s Racer Friend Kate” (it even came in the original box). Such dedication is always rewarded as Silversleeves Racing received the Organizer’s Choice award. (Even after finishing in the lower half of the standings, behind the likes of a Dodge Shadow, a ’93 Subaru Legacy with automatic transmission, a Dodge Caravan and a diesel 300SD Mercedes-Benz).
Index of Effluency
When thinking of top performing racing vehicles, normally a Peugot 505 wouldn’t be anywhere near the top (not that many actually remember this car in the first place). But in the case of the French Foreign Legion Attack Team they managed to somehow battle this behemoth around the track, setting the fifth slowest lap time of any team in the process. Although they finished 35th, it was enough for them to be awarded our prestigious Index of Effluency trophy. Any team that manages to keep an almost thirty-year-old French car for a whole weekend deserves some sort of award, well done!