Likely due to some grave oversight (or perhaps a clerical error?) we just received notice that our entry for the 24 Hours of LeMons was accepted. Its now time for some serious planning and preparation.
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May have an inside lead to this beaut of a support vehicle. Well, OK our team member Joe is already holding the title. Its a recent veteran of the Big Apple to Big Easy (BABE) Rallye — believed to be (or at least once was) a 1954 Plymouth Belvedere. For 24 Hours of LeMons, let’s get this gussied up (in flat black natch) and with a couple of coshi riding “shot gun”, you know, just for gas and oil runs to and from the pits.
Found and fetched the whip on Wednesday. Its a 1987 325is with 287,000+ showing.
The Good: Still a looker from 20 feet away. Morning dew actually made the paint glisten in the spring sun. Protruding rear lip spoiler is something else. No huge dents (but did someone sit on the hood?) or rust spots. Almost new, matching BF Goodrich rubber. Fluids all there. Engine and tranny feel strong – I guess we’ll be finding out their limit.
The Bad: Needed jumper cables to wake up dead battery (common trait for all E30s left sitting). Gray leather seats look like they starred in a slasher movie, even have that “dried blood” brown patina. Seat back mechanism and handbrake lever broken. Puffing blue smoke like a Castro refugee. Oil spots on engine neer front plugs. Water-filled left rear tailight creating some awesome visual effects when you step on the brakes (maybe that’s good?) Rest of electrics (lights, wipers, windows, moonroof, blower, A/C) all functional. But whose really gonna need any of those – eBay here we come!)
Test drive 1: Bus-like handling and fluky shocks revealed at the first corner. Religious moment at the first stop sign. So the brakes are definitely going to need some attention. Don’t know about the rest.
Next — we need an install plan for the cage, seats and harnesses.
Truth be told, we’ve had a lead to a great LeMons car for a while. Its a 1987 BMW 325is with 287,000+ miles on the odometer (who really knows). A recent Massachusetts emissions inspection failure due to prodgious oil burning. We’ve forked over some cash and have title in hand but haven’t actually seen it yet – not even pictures. At least the price was right. “James Dean, James Dean…he bought it sight unseen”.
Being a BMW it will need the full Counterfeit MINI redo to suit our purposes. But other E30’s seem to have held up well in LeMons competitions past.
Team Italian Job, a.k.a. “the MINIfisti”, are a group of MINI Cooper enthusiasts hoping to enter the 24 Hours of LeMons in August 2008 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. That’s right, a $500 car. Drivers with no actual racing experience. 24 hours long.
There is no truth to the rumor that we have convicted counterfeiters on staff. Or that we are financed from the remains of a Venetian gold bullion heist.
Drivers expected include (of course): “Charlie Crocker” “John Bridger” “Handsome Rob” and “Left Ear”.
We’ve got a $500 car in mind, but not in sight or hand just yet.
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