Here’s The Stuff We Loved From The 24 Hours Of LeMons Race At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park!

Here’s The Stuff We Loved From The 24 Hours Of LeMons Race At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park!

(All photos by the author unless otherwise noted)

Last weekend, the insane racing circus that is the 24 Hours of Lemons descended upon the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, CT. This year’s race had a new official name: The GP Du Lac Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. Yes, that is a real word, and not the result of one of the Lemons organizers smashing their face into a keyboard. It’s the old Native American name for what we call Lake Webster today, and it’s not too far from the track, so it’s a perfect excuse to jam 45+ letters onto the logo for the event in the most Lemonsy way possible. It was a challenging weekend for racers and crews, with extreme heat and severe storms rolling through the area the whole time. Even though Saturday’s session was called off a few ours early due to the storms, the whole event went pretty smoothly.

As usual, there were all sorts of beaters-turned-race cars, and their crews, to keep everyone entertained. In the usual BangShift fashion, we will let the pictures do the talking!


It’s not a Northeast Region Lemons race without Sorry For Party Racing! These guys bring it every time they show up, and their 3rd Gen Firebird didn’t spit out any driveshafts this year. These guys are legendary for their after-race shenanigans, which usually involves inflatable zebras and speedos.


Also back for the event was this General Lee-themed RX7. And yes, it had a Dixie horn!


Another car I don’t get tired of seeing on the track is this 70’s BMW 2002 done up with a Van Halen-esque livery. It belched it’s way around the track all weekend. Seriously, every time it went by, it sounded like it was burping out exhaust gases.


This 280ZX, fielded by a team called One Tire Fire, was competitive all weekend, hanging out at the top of their class for a good chunk of time. And yes, there’s a flame job over only one of the rear wheel wells, so it’s not just a clever name.


This winged warrior Fox Mustang was one of two cars at the event with a sprint car wing attached to the roof. Loved the simple yet effective livery on this one.


Here is the other car that sported a sprint car wing: an early 90’s Corvette. And before you call BS on it’s ability to participate in a Lemons event (and yes, we all know that the cars usually end up costing well over $500 after the build, blah, blah, blah), this thing had some sort of Marine motor under the hood that had nothing to do with making a car go fast.


I know that at least a few of you out there have a 3rd Gen Camaro sitting under a tarp in your backyard. Toss a cage and some safety equipment in it, toss a cheap rebuild kit on the 305, rattle can it, and bring it to a Lemons event!


When was the last time you saw a Chevy Citation X-11? I know the last time I saw one was at a Lemons event. Actually, it was this very car! For the event, they re-themed themselves with what I can only describe as a possible 80’s comedy boating theme (more on this later). Anyway, it’s good to know that there’s still at least one X-11 doing what it was built to do!


These guys have the “A-Team” theme down, no question. Even though it’s not a sweet 80’s GMC van, this Dodge Daytona does a pretty good job as a replacement.


The Park Bench Racing Buick Regal GS was one of the first Lemons cars I remember seeing and laughing hysterically at years ago. That’s a real park bench on the trunk, folks! Fellow writer Kamil Kaluski (he writes for Hooniverse and a number of other blogs/publications) is one of the drivers on this team. He told me they had to pack it in early after a possible head gasket failure, which is not surprising due to the extreme temperatures at the event. Get that thing fixed, guys!


This Mercury (and for those on the other side of the pond, Ford) Capri looked like it was rescued minutes before being sacrificed to the crusher, given an oil change, and pressed into racing service. You don’t see these too often in the States these days, so it was cool to see it getting flogged out there.


Honestly, I can’t even tell what this malaise-mobile is. Maybe a Plymouth Arrow? A weird Isuzu? Some obscure Datsun? Whatever it was, it was turning laps all weekend.


Another one of my all time favorite Lemons cars is this Saab, known as the Carbecue. Not only does this thing slay apexes, it cooks delicious BBQ while doing so! It has been said that they can change out an underhood meal faster than they can change drivers. And every time it drives by, you get hungry from the smells. Multitasking at its best!


One car you’ll see a lot at various Lemons events across the country is the Panther platform big Fords. They are plentiful and cheap, and their police and taxi chops mean it’s perfect for this sort of thing. The guys that run this Crown Vic know how to hustle the portly beast around the track. You’ll hear this thing coming and going, as the tires howl for mercy at every turn! It’s truly a sight to behold.


Giant killer tomato themed Mustang? Yup. Because Lemons.


Lemons veterans Three Pedal Mafia brought a few cars to the event this year, including this Toyota Cressida. For those that don’t know, the Cressida is a rear wheel drive luxury sedan with an inline six similar to the ones found in similar vintage Supras. They are also legendary for their durability, making it a nice choice for crapcan endurance racing. This one, which looks like someone hit the Racing Modification button on Gran Turismo 2, took the Class B overall win!


Three Pedal Mafia also brought out their venerable turbo Civic to the event, which they re-themed as a parody of Sorry For Party Racing’s Firebird. The Giraffe-skinned Not Sorri For Parti Racing Civic kicked butt as it usually does.


Although the Speedycop himself, Jeff Bloch, was not in attendance, his Gang of Outlaws made it with this bat-winged Honda Civic.


Straight out of Great Aunt Mildred’s garage came this Ford Pinto. The thing looked great on it’s Mustang 10 hole wheels, and it did well enough to earn the illustrious Index of Effluency Award, which is basically an award given to the crappiest car that places the highest. Pintos are a shoe in for this category, and this one kicked butt all weekend.


This freak of a Beetle is nuts. Speaking of Pintos, it started off with a 2.3L Lima Ford 4-banger out back, which wheezed its way around a few races. Then, someone tossed what appeared to be a Honda V6 in the back. While it was quite the upgrade, the Beetle got squirrelly at speed and crashed into a wall at a previous event. Instead of giving up, the team widened the front track a few inches to give it stability at speed. And it worked, because this old Bug was ripping it up all weekend!


The Nuthin’ But A Z Thang guys should be familiar to you by now, but the car might look a little different. In the last installment of our series here on BangShift, they had crashed the car during a race in NH. Spoiler Alert: it’s all fixed up and better than ever! The car got painted with the finest Rustoleum and hardware store spray paint, and they fixed up the bent chassis. Man, it looked good out there, too.


Talk about tough luck. This team fielded a Ford Probe GT sporting the duds worn be the recent class winning 2016 LeMans Ford GT, but they were having issues with the engine. After taking it apart and stuffing rags down a cylinder bore to make it a 5 cylinder, it barfed out way too much smoke, and they were called back to the pits. Understandably, they went home with the “You Got Screwed” Award.


Oh, the things you’ll see in the Lemons paddock. I have never seen a real Pinto Cruising Wagon in person, so this was a real treat.


Chevy Hatin’ Mad Georgie, this is for you!


Only in Lemons will you find a racing livery based on a “deez nuts” joke. Nailed it!


Now THAT is a Lemons camping rig right there. I was too scared to ask questions.

DSC_0999 (1)

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you: that’s a Bluesmobile leading the charge into that turn! It’s 440 powered and all of the awesome. You’ll see more on this one later!


A Step Brothers-themed Subaru? Again, only in Lemons….


At around 3:30PM on Saturday, Mother Nature decided that it wasn’t gross enough out and the sky got very dark. They let people race until they saw lightning, and it got pretty dicey for a little while.


After the rains came, many parts of the paddock had been transformed into little Lake Chargoggaggoggmanchoggagoggs! With the race called, people invented a new sport: who can make the most waves on their pit vehicle!


This guy struggled a bit on his tricycle…


This guy made the most waves that I saw, so I think he was the winner of the impromptu contest.


The one vehicle that would have been the most useful in Saturday’s flood would have been this boat, but someone had the bright idea of cutting holes in the hull and turning it into a pit vehicle! Yes, this boat drove itself around on its own boat trailer. The guys that fielded the Citation X-11 were responsible for this creation.


In the end, the top placing team in Class A was The Massholes, who field this lovely Ford Escort ZX2. It was probably the first time a Ford Escort won an endurance event! Congrats, dudes!


Oh, hey, it’s our very own Eric Rood! He served as a Lemons judge for the event, and helped hand out the awards.


You might drive your race car to work every once in a while, but driving a modified Chevette with a Subaru boxer engine mounted in the back to a Lemons event, flogging it in 100 degree heat for 3 days straight, and driving it home afterwards is another level altogether.

So, despite the heat and storms, The GP Du Lac Chargoggaggoggmanchoggagogg was awesome. What do you think of the stuff we saw? What is your favorite out of this menagerie of cheapness? Do your thing in the comments below!

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

8 thoughts on “Here’s The Stuff We Loved From The 24 Hours Of LeMons Race At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park!

  1. Patrick Shea

    The “lovely” yellow Malaise era compact is a Buick Opel aka Opel Isuzu, Opel Gemini, Holden Gemini etc. He did run all weekend though and at New Jersey in May, too! Not fast by any means but they stayed out there and finished a respectable 53rd. The name of the team is “Great Globs of Oil”, lol!

  2. JudyV

    My husband and I enjoyed every minute of it! We will definitely be at NH, hopefully with the whole fandamily.

Comments are closed.