The Volkswagen ID R shattered the previous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record by nearly 16 seconds and it’s probably the only model to ever attempt the feat after being charged with the help of lemons. Before you invoke the lemon law, we’re not kidding as Volkswagen enlisted YouTuber Mark Rober to build a unique charging system for the model. While the company used generators during their record breaking Pikes Peak run, Rober decided to go with something a tad less conventional. Since Volkswagen didn’t layout any plans, Rober thought it would be cool to “charge it up using one of those science fair lemon batteries.” Since charging a car would require a significant number of lemons, Rober decided to go all out and build the world’s largest lemon battery. After building an assortment of specially designed racks, Rober and William Osman picked up 1,232 “class two” lemons which couldn’t be sold in stores. After installing the … [Read more...] about When Life Gives You Lemons, Make A Charger For The VW ID R Race Car
Lemons race cars
Alright, what’s wrong with the picture above? It’s from last weekend’s Great Lakes NASA race at Mid-Ohio, but like the song says–one of these things is not like the other, and one of these things just doesn’t belong. Maybe it’s more correct to say that three of these things don’t belong, because the tide in club racing has turned away from true race cars like the lovely NP-01 prototype and very slick Thunder Roadsters in this shot to converted street cars like my Honda Accord coupe. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below It’s a change in sentiment that was very much on my mind this past Sunday, because my nine-year-old son clearly preferred the “cool cars” to my 3,150-pound winged wonder. He really digs the Thunder Roadsters and he’d like to start racing one ASAP. That makes two of us. I’ve spent the past couple of days browsing through the classifieds for one. Right now I’m telling myself that it would be … [Read more...] about Why Doesn’t Anybody Race An Actual Race Car Anymore?
Get a rolling BMW E36 shell for $200, add the V8 from a Chevrolet Suburban and cobble together parts you can’t afford or that don’t exist on your own. There’s a pie plate in the front to keep the cold air intake in place, anatomical doodles in the trunk, and did we mention the camper top? Behold vehicular perfection. Black Iron Racing kludged this BMW camper van together to race in the 24 Hours of Lemons, a series for sub-$500 cars—allegedly, anyway. “The more weird you make the car, the less they look at your budget.” (Protip: you can also smooth over a lot of dumb stuff by if you show up drinking beans out of a shoe. I’m just saying. I got a “that’s disgusting” and a wave on through with my Porsche 944. This looks less likely to give you hoof-in-mouth disease, though.) Perhaps the best part of this car is that it’s a replica of one team member’s own camper that he brings to race weekends. The shower works. … [Read more...] about This Janky BMW E36 Camper Van Race Car Is The 24 Hours Of Lemons In A Nutshell
When a 24 Hours of Lemons team offered me a free Volkswagen Type 4—the largest air-cooled car VW ever made—I had to haul it more than 2,000 miles from California to Texas. Seemed like a perfect opportunity to find out if the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas can haul families and one of its ancestors, right? It can, by the way. In fact the Atlas really stole the show on this adventure, as it’s a supremely comfortable road tripper’s dream and absolutely up to the challenge of pulling another car a very long way. My new-to-me 1971 Volkswagen 411 wasn’t anywhere close to street legal, especially after it started marking its territory with oil. The previous owner hadn’t had time to track down the necessary cooling tins, so it overheated badly, leaving a trail of lubricant and sadness wherever it went. The only way it was coming home to Austin, Texas from California’s Buttonwillow Raceway was on the back of a U-Haul trailer. That trailer was about to embark on … [Read more...] about The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Towed My Classic VW Race Car Across The Country
Out of all the cars I’ve driven for Jalopnik, the one I wanted to give back the least was the Toyota 86. When Robb Holland asked if I wanted to drive a flooded 86 he was turning into a race car, I jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did, even if I was our slowest driver. It was extremely good before. It’s amazing as a race car. [Full disclosure: IAA and Autosource—two entities that sell salvaged cars—chipped in substantially to sponsor Robb’s project, hence the big banners all over the car. This project where Robb resurrected a car flooded in Hurricane Harvey to help drive donations to a local charity probably couldn’t have happened without them.] When I say that I didn’t want to give back the Toyota 86, I didn’t mean it in that wistful, if-I-won-the-lottery kind of way that automotive hacks talk about G-wagens and Lambos. I meant it in the way that it needs to be my next car. This is a normal little car that regular people can … [Read more...] about There’s Nothing Like Driving A Race Car Version Of A Car You Love
“But he’s like a six-time national karting champ!” said Robb Holland of our teammate Jordon Musser, whose lap times were a full twenty seconds under mine in the same car. “That’s no excuse!” I said. I’ll be honest: the other cars in our class were raining shame down on my times as much as the pros were, anyway. Robb graciously invited me along to run his rebuilt Toyota 86 flood car at the World Racing League’s Texas Fandango at MSR-Houston, which is one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven. Having mostly done Lemons-style events in old beaters, this was so much faster than any car I’ve ever driven on that track that I kept laughing out loud whenever I figured out new places to carry more speed. More throttle in many places worked better than being delicate, as the car just planted down on its rear wheels and made it work. This 86, with a handful of simple mods, made it brilliant and perfect in a way that I now know what my … [Read more...] about What It Was Like Running The Charity Hurricane Toyota 86 Race Car With Two Pro Drivers
With the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric cars, the number of cars that you can buy with two independent motors capable of turning some kind of energy into spinning tires has increased dramatically. Even so, all of these current multiple-powerplant vehicles owe thanks to the addition of electric motors. If you want to talk about cars with two internal combustion powerplants, there’s really only two that were built in any quantity. And you have a right to know what they are. Keep in mind I’m talking about cars built in some sort of quantity here. There’s been a number of amazing twin-engined one-off cars, like the bonkers Fittipaldi racing Beetle or the Twini Mini or that Corolla/MR2 monster that used to show up at LeMons races, but this is about the incredibly rare factory-built twin-engine cars. So, if we’re only considering cars built in some numbers by a factory, then that leaves us with just two options: the Tempo 1200G and the Citroën 2CV … [Read more...] about These Are The Only Two Factory-Built Twin-Engine Cars
So we solved the throttle-linkage problem on our V8-ized Volvo race car, but what about electrical stuff? The factory wiring, switches, and instruments weren't going to work with our new engine. In fact, we'd torn out every scrap of wire in the car, preferring to start with a blank electrical slate. As the creator of the Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox, I figured whipping up an all-junkyard instrument panel on a shoestring budget wouldn't be too much hassle. I was able to scrounge up an old Auto Meter temperature gauge and a few toggle switches in my Boxes-O-Car-Crap™, and a street sign nice piece of sheet aluminum materialized in the garage, but what about the rest of the stuff? really important gauge in this kind of race car is the tachometer. Sure, we could clamp a big ol' aftermarket tach on the steering column (and, in fact, the team members were able to produce a couple of high-quality tachs from their personal stashes), but we'd get dinged for such an extravagance by the … [Read more...] about Welcome To Low-Budget Race Car Wiring Hell!
Ethan Tufts, the host of the Hello Road video series on YouTube is an extremely rad guy. He has built his video channel around his exploits with obscure 80s cars that most people have forgotten, including the late-1980s NUMMI-built Chevrolet Nova Twin-Cam that is the focus of this episode. He drove that Nova from the Los Angeles area up to Sonoma Raceway to attend a Radwood show at HooptieCon. HooptieCon was an automotive convention hosted around a 24 Hours of Lemons race, including the 80s and 90s show Radwood, as well as a few other tongue-in-cheek gatherings like Concours d’Lemons, Billetproof Hot Rods, and the Gambler 500. Ethan joined the Radwood group of nearly 300 cars to celebrate the raddest era, and his Nova was a hit. He spent his time talking to other enthusiasts, checking out the 24 Hours of Lemons race, and taking his car for a paced lap of the track. Ethan’s particular style of video editing is particularly rad, with quick change wardrobe cuts, quick … [Read more...] about Watch This Rad Guy Road Trip His Obscure Rad Car To Radwood
It finally happened, the semi-satirical 24 Hours of Lemons, a “racing” series for “cars” that cost less than $500, used to be funded by the entry fees of starry eyed racer-wannabes… and by the bribes paid to their scrutineers, including Lemons chief justice and Autoweek regular Murilee Martin. It was a simpler time back then. No one had any money and every performance part was made of either PVC pipe or of something someone found in the backyard under a tarp.But not anymore. Now the 24 Hours of LeMons has a sponsor. Sure, it’s just a tire sponsor, but this is the start of the slippery slope where race winners will thank Wonder Bread and Pepsi instead of doing something crude but humorous on the victory podium.Yokohama, a perfectly legitimate tire company, has become the official tire sponsor of the 24 Hours of LeMons.“Imperiling decades of customer trust and the goodwill of countless race victories, Yokohama has just become the … [Read more...] about 24 Hours of LeMons sells out to the man!