Pre-Race Report: Barn Finds Racing Team

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You folks have seen a lot of our Marina over the last couple of years, and we’re at it again at the 24 Hours of LeMons at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. But one of the neat things about this race every year is that the nearby city of Camden, SC throws a parade and block party for the racers every year. I’ve just gotten back from it and thought you folks might want to see some of the “classic” cars that are racing this weekend. I’ll bet some of you are freaked out about the “AMX” in the above picture already!

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As it turns out, this “AMX” is actually a fiberglass replica built on–get this–a seriously bent BMW Z3 that raced at this race last year. The gentleman in this picture laid up most of the panels based on a very rusty hulk of an AMX that resulted from a search on the team’s part to find a classic car with a similar wheelbase to the Z3. Believe it or not, they constructed and mounted the fiberglass body in 3 weeks!

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Amazingly, those bumpers are airbrushed molded fiberglass. Great craftsmanship!

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I’m sure some of you noticed this Ranchero as well. While the paint and decals are fabulous, this was hauled out of a field after it had been there for who knows how long (they have pictures) and it was, well, VERY perforated (and still is) with rust. The team is a bunch of great folks, and they’ve strengthened it in the right places and have a terrific time running.

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Here’s the slant six in the Dart from the top picture. Another terrific group of folks that took a car destined for the junkyard and have effectively given it a new life. LeMons has been compared to a Viking funeral for cars, and the analogy isn’t far off. Almost all the cars in these events had no future apart from a junkyard.

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NSF Racing, otherwise known as artists in body filler, regularly drag heaps out of Florida swamps (seriously), slather them with filler and paint so they look good and then race them. This ’67 Pontiac (Tempest?) is their latest project. Up close its easy to see the huge amount of filler and screwed on patch panels, but from a distance it looks pretty nice. Note that all parts sold off these cars go back into the $500 budget (safety equipment and brakes don’t count) so everyone tries to sell trim and other non-racing items.

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This ’64 Fairlane (known as the Fairlylame) is another field refugee that has found a new life. I actually like racing with these folks because we can out brake and out handle them but they go by us quickly on the straights. It makes for fun racing.

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Here’s a really unusual entry: an Electrica 007, a converted Plymouth Horizon TC3 (when new) that has been resurrected in an attempt to win the Index of Effluency, the highest award given by LeMons (our Marina is a past winner). The team tells me they can drive between 5-8 laps at 50 mph before switching out batteries, which they are fully prepared to do.

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I imagine it’s going to have interesting handling considering the weight in the back from all those batteries!

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Here’s a Valiant, also sporting a slant 6, which I’m sure is the reason for their number choice.

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I captured the Firebird visible in the Valiant photograph working on their engine today. It was sounding much better by the end of the day, so I think they were able to get things working well.

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Sorry about the dark picture: you can just see the Union Jack on the top of this truly sad looking XJ6. The owner told me that there were enough “General Lee’s” in LeMons; he thought there should be a “General Cornwallis”. I had to agree!

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While this looks like a relatively rare Chevy Monza Mirage, it’s actually just a regular Monza with hand built fender flares. This car is seriously quick.

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Finally, I couldn’t leave you without a picture of the Porsche 928 shooting brake. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been terribly reliable in the past; maybe tomorrow will be the day.

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Our poor Marina got saddled with 20 penalty laps due solely to our past success–we’re still one of the slowest vehicles on the track, but we have won our class and the IOE before. We’ll see how things go. By the way, the case of beer on the hood is destined as a gift to the corner workers, the folks that enable our race to happen. It will be on ice for them tomorrow at the end of the race day. Wish us luck!

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Comments

  1. CrazyGeorge CrazyGeorge

    I Hope You Win ! I Hope You Win ! I Hope You Win ! You Great Leslie You !

    Jack Lemon from “The Great Race ” ! 1965……

    Actual Quote !

    02:25:40 Oh, Leslie! Leslie!

    02:25:59 Goodbye. Farewell, you good Leslie, you.

    02:26:02 I hope you win. I hope you win!

    02:26:06 I’ll miss him. Oh, there it is!

    02:26:10 General?

    • Bingo

      What he said!!

  2. David C

    Really Good Stuff! Good Luck.

  3. sir mike

    Great article and pictures….keep us updated and good luck and most of all have fun.

  4. OKCPHIL

    Wish I could go to one of these races. I’m pretty certain that oklahoma doesn’t have one. Good luck on the track!

  5. Rob

    I used to live in that neck of the woods over in Elgin for a couple of years. Have fun y’all.

  6. roger

    I am born and raised on south carolina coast and have never heard of that race.
    I will have to go over and check it out.
    nice cars

  7. Crazydave

    I’m in a bit of a state of shock that there is a Marina surviving and still capable of moving under its own power! It must have escaped the “Piano Movers” on Top Gear!

  8. LD

    I’ve raced st Kershaw many times, fun track, even in a Marina I’m sure! Have a great race LD71 :D

  9. chad

    Lill different than the “24 hr Lemon”, but not by much…
    Have fun, be safe AND productive !

  10. Tony Koz

    I’ll be at the 10th anniversary Race next month. Serious fun and great racing.

  11. Joe Haska

    WOW! Way Cool

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    good luck !

  13. BAA

    No mention of what appears to be a modified Rambler next to the fiberglass AMX!! (First picture).

  14. MikeH

    Man–does that look like fun!! But you guys are cheap–that’s not beer, that’s Miller Lite!

  15. CanAm

    Did the LeMons in Western Australia just a couple of weeks ago.
    Great weekend.
    Have a blast!!

  16. Patrick

    Have a safe fun day. If you win, you’ll just get more penalty points in the future.

  17. PatrickM

    Nice article. But, I had to laugh at the Rambler! Don’t know the year of this one, but I used to own a ’60 Custom.

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