Speedycop & The Gang of Outlaws 24 Hours of Lemons 2011Season Summary
It’s been quite a year for our gang! 17 cars entered into 8 races, with major re-themes on old cars, and some kickass new cars, like the Parnelli Jones Galaxie, the Donk, and the BMWhatever. Here’s a review of the good, the bad, and a whole lot of ugly this past season, and how we managed to achieve third overall in the nationwide points series racing mostly terrible cars.
February CMP: Parnelli Jones NASCAR Tribute 1967 Galaxie New teammate DC Doug decided he wanted us to build a “Big Guy Car”, or the BGC as it became known. I scoured craigslist and a few weeks later found the perfect donor, a rough ’67 Ford Galaxie. $600 and a whole lot of pushing later, it was on my trailer. My neighbor Don wanted the original 289 out of it, so he gave us $200 for it. I had a $100 fuel-injected 5.0 in another car that we dropped in to get back under budget. As the car owner, Doug spent two months and hundreds of hours on bodywork, filling in rust holes and straightening dented panels. It was his first such adventure, so he was learning as he went. By the time I sprayed the Ford blue paint and we applied the custom decals, it was really too nice for LeMons. Parnelli Jones himself, when signing pictures of it at Indianapolis this summer, was convinced it was in fact his actual NASCAR racer from ’67! It won Judges Choice after being slightly out-effluenced by a rusty ’62 Fury. We might have shot ourselves in the foot by over-polishing our IOE turd, but every time somebody tells us it’s their favorite car in the whole series, it makes it all worthwhile. After the race, the legendary C.C. Canada invited us to see his personal automobile collection, which was vast, and absolutely mind-numbing!
April NJMP: A three car assault, with the Galaxie, the Lancia, and a WWII airplane (of sorts) We went all-out with our themes for this race. The Lancia was completely redone with a Group B rally Martini theme, and we converted the Lincoln Mark VIII into a recognizable WWII Lockheed P38 Lightning. The NJMP track is on the grounds of an old WWII training airfield, and the two courses, Lightning and Thunderbolt, are named after the P38 Lightning and the P47 Thunderbolt aircraft that flew training missions out of there. The locals are quite proud of this heritage, and they instantly recognized our tribute to the P38. The local paper even ran a photo of the Lincoln the next day! Jay Lamm quote of the weekend: “You guys added 300 pounds to the top of your laps car? You TOTALLY GET LeMons!” The painstakingly handcrafted (no, seriously, they were a lot of work) propeller blades lasted all of a hundred yards on track before one of them flew apart, shattering the windshield! We had to get the new windshield out (we’d just installed it), and wire mesh back in.
Despite a Galaxie engine fire that took it off the track for a few hours, we pretty much ran all three cars all weekend, and had a blast. Special thanks to teammates Joe Fain (tywebb) from MD, David Mills (Caddywrecker) from NJ, John Morgan (jbl) from Philadelphia, Bob Grant from Maine, and Rob Keller (Racin Rob), who traveled quite a distance numerous times to help get these cars prepped!
Dave’s Bury the Body Penalty suggestion backfired, when he was forced to do the penalty he’d suggested to Phil!
May CMP: Judge Speedycop, AKA The Gimp Doug drove me down to CMP for this race. I’d just had titanium installed in both lower left leg bones, thanks to an exposed lip on home plate, and a VERY costly run scored for my Church league softball team. He was crewing for both rolling roadblock teams (Tunachucker’s LTD and the NSF’s beautiful 6.9 Mercedes), and I was guest judging. We rigged up a leg support on the Bar Stool Kart of Death, and I puttered around on it all weekend. On Sunday morning, after getting the okay from Jay to take the NSF crew up on their gracious offer of seat time in the big Benz, I donned their driver’s gear, carefully eased my brace-equipped busted ankle into position, and headed out onto the track. Fears of the Vicoden affecting my driving ability were quickly assuaged as I began laying down fast lap after fast lap.
Apparently, there was a bit of trackside betting going on as to how quickly my turn one drifts would become a turn one four-off, but certain race officials lost those bets after I completed my 45 minute stint with no problems whatsoever. My secret to not cooking the woefully inadequate brakes was to avoid using them as much as possible, and it worked. NSFer Josh had a memorable four-off in turn one. A sexy blowup doll had been placed outside of turn one as a reminder to drivers to slow down and stay on-track. Josh killed the “stripper” when he hit her going sideways in the dirt at about 40mph. Poor inflatable stripper never had a chance...
While we didn’t rack up any points for our own team, Doug and I had a great weekend.
(Pace quickens at around 11 minutes, nice drift at 11:50)