We’re back for the second annual Halloween Hooptiefest, held at NASCAR’ed-up New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and we’re just overwhelmed by some of the great race cars that are included among the 140 total entries for this weekend’s race. Because it’s New England, we have many Swedish cars (including a record four Volvo 850s), incredible quantities of Volkswagens and Audis, and the usual Teutonic E30 hordes. We’ve also got some completely unexpected racing machines, plus Halloween costumes on top of everything, so let’s take a look!
Where else but a LeMons race would you see a scene like this, with a Spaceballs-themed Datsun 280Z being inspected right next to a bunch of cannibals with a Honda CRX?
Yes, the Cannibal CRX features a baby roasting on a spit in the back.
They say the 24 Hours of LeMons is where Halloween meets gasoline, and so we’re in the ideal season for our brand of racing. Crash test dummy and Oktoberfest fräulein? Yeah, we’ve got that.
The Keystone Kops, a team that races a couple of very quick Volvo 240s, decided to stuff their team captain (who owns a couple of Volvo dealerships) into the trunk and issue him a “wooden shampoo” for good measure.
The Senior Prom Civic returned as the Zombie Senior Prom Civic.
Obviously, these teams know they’ll get better treatment during Penalty Box visits when they stay in costume all weekend long.
We’re happy to report that the values of front-wheel-drive GM sedans of the early-21st-century rental-car persuasion have now sunk below the LeMons-price threshold, and so we’ve got a Buick Park Avenue, the Hooniverse Buick Regal, an Oldsmobile Intrigue, and this Chevy Impala competing for the Class B trophy this weekend.
Class C had a sizable forced-induction contingent. We have this Turbo Daytona (which has averaged at least several laps per race during its career), a Saab 96 with a Geo Metro 3-cylinder and a Nissan March supercharger, and a Chevette with an extremely hooptie junkyard turbocharger setup.
On the subject of Class C, The Worst Car In LeMons History showed up long after we closed up the inspection lines, having taken about 40 breakdown-plagued hours to drive from Florida to New Hampshire as part of the nightmarish K-it-FWD program.
Will this ’87 Plymouth Reliant wagon finally crack the top half of the standings after a full season of humiliating failure? These guys think so… and we assume Lee Iacocca does as well.
The LeMons Supreme Court felt compelled to break out the Gavel of Stern Justice a few times during the course of the inspections. For example, after the last race we authorized this team to spend what was needed to buy a replacement engine for their Porsche 944′s grenaded four-cylinder. They interpreted our statement to mean “Go ahead and get an LS1!” Sorry, no dice: many penalty laps awarded for this effort (though bolting this monster engine up to the stock 944 transmission is a surefire recipe for busted Porsche parts).
However, adding an Eaton supercharger from a mid-90s GM 3800 engine to your 300ZX amuses the judges (especially when we realized that the team hadn’t bothered to cut a hole in the hood to make it clear the blower, and that the going rate for these superchargers is now about 50 bucks), so this team got off penalty-lap-free. Yes, this rig will kill the engine for sure.
This Prelude team took inspiration from Ben Stein‘s seminal late-70s book about methaqualone addiction and turned their car into a Honda Quaalude.
This E30 team became Cheaty Cheaty Bang Bang, complete with excellent costumes.
In honor of the local baseball team, we offered a pair of BRIBED stencils for teams giving generous offerings to the LeMons Supreme Court. First, this Babe Ruth image.
The other stencil option invoked New England hero Bill Buckner.
The Three Pedal Mafia was back with their 1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, which suffered suspension damage and some unsightly sheet-metal crunching at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey race in August, and the Roller was looking good.
Three Pedal Mafia also became militant advocates for the Coalition of Alternate Breakfast Meats. Their slogan: “Scrapple: the Other Gray Meat!”
Rusty Dragon Racing, a VW Golf-driving team that won the prestigious Judges’ Choice trophy in two consecutive races for their endearing struggles with this staggeringly unreliable car, decided to fix all their problems by swapping in a rear-wheel-drive BMW drivetrain out of a late-80s 318i.
Because all that confusing computertronic fuel-injection and ignition-system stuff on the BMW engine proved too complicated for the Rusty Dragons, they added a Holley two-barrel carburetor off a 1968 Mustang and this innovative ignition rig. That’s a Ford 302 distributor, using four of the eight plug wires to run the BMW four-cylinder engine. To locate the distributor properly, they used a hose clamp coupled with a finishing nail pounded into the engine block. We’re sure this setup will work flawlessly.
LeMons legend Speeydcop is back with a new car: the Honda Accordion.
No, really— it’s a genuine accordion! When pulled and squeezed, it plays lederhosen-worthy music!
Check in Saturday night to see how Speedycop’s “Stomach Steinway” and the other 139 entries do during the first race session of the 2013 Halloween Hooptiefest!