A Mid 70’s Mopar Bluesmobile In The 24 Hours Of Lemons? It’s Real, And It’s Awesome!

A Mid 70’s Mopar Bluesmobile In The 24 Hours Of Lemons? It’s Real, And It’s Awesome!

(All photos by the author unless otherwise noted)

Last weekend, the 24 Hours of Lemons descended upon Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the The GP Du Lac Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, and we were there to cover all of the insanity. While walking around the paddock laughing hysterically at a lot of the themes these people deck out their cars with, I saw one that made my eyes bulge out and my jaw drop.

It was a Bluesmobile! Not a Crown Vic or even a Camry dressed up as one, but a honest-to-goodness mid-70’s Mopar-based Bluesmobile!!!



While a Blues Brothers-themed car has been done many times in the past (and let’s be honest: it’s a perfect theme for the race), none have been executed using a car that actually looks like the real thing. I was so excited to see this thing in action! But first, a little backstory:

The car was fielded by Interceptor Motorsports, a veteran Lemons team that even won the Index of Effluency Award at last year’s race at Thompson with a truly awful and slow (and I mean that with all the love in my heart) Renault Fuego Turbo. The guys, hailing from Pennsylvania, wanted to build a real deal Bluesmobile for some time. After looking for a 1974 Dodge Monaco, they eventually found a similar vintage 1976 Plymouth Fury that they could swap some Monaco parts on to make it close enough to the real thing. The car itself was located in Iowa, so a plan was hatched to grab the car and some Monaco parts along the way.


As you can see, the front of the Fury is quite different. The rest of the body is near identical, so all that would be needed were some trim parts, headlight buckets, and the grille from a donor Monaco. And some black and white paint, of course. (Photo courtesy of Interceptor Motorsports)

After getting the car home, they sought out to replace the stock 360 with a power plant more befitting of the Bluesmobile: a Chrysler 440. After searching on Craigslist, they found someone scrapping an old 70’s Winnebago motor home, and struck a deal to harvest the 440 before it met the jaws of the crusher.


Man, this picture is giving me flashbacks of my first engine pull ever: a 350 out of a G20 van. I didn’t understand how to get the engine out, so I sawzalled a giant hole in the front of the van and pulled it straight out! (Photo courtesy of Interceptor Motorsports)

With the “Cop Motor” acquired, they yanked the 360 and tossed it in. They installed some headers that hit everything, causing them to have to cobble together some linkage from bits of other cars from the junkyard. They painted it with the appropriate Bluesmobile weathered black and white paint, and scored some decals off of eBay and tossed them on for the weathered, old cop car look of the movie car. The car just looked so awesome both on and off the track.


And yes, they dressed up as the Blues Brothers for the tech inspection! (Photo courtesy of Interceptor Motorsports)


So, you’re probably thinking, how did it do, right? Well, there were some teething issues with the car. These guys were thrashing on it all weekend. The car was sidelined with repairs for the entire first day of racing, and when it lined up on Sunday, it had to go right back to the pits due to a charging issue. I caught up with the team mid-thrash, trying to get it going enough to turn laps.


When I stopped to talk to the guys, they had just pulled the alternator for replacement. They were wrenching on it all weekend trying to get it out there.


Thompson, CT is a LONG way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And I’m not so sure becoming a Bluesmobile clone/race car was on the itinerary for it’s original owners, either.


Check out that big ol’ pile of Mopar goodness! While the later late 70’s 440’s have a reputation for being weaker than the earlier ones, I think this thing will be just fine. This one should kick some serious butt when it’s all sorted.


Inside, it’s your typical Lemons car, with a gutted interior, proper safety equipment, and just enough instrumentation to know what’s going on under the hood.


With a replacement alternator in place, the Bluesmobile would finally see some track time! As soon as I was done taking this picture, I hustled over to the track to make sure I got to see it!



Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity of wrenching, they made it onto the track! The car looked glorious out there, and it looked like it wasn’t too terrible in the corners!


You have to admit: Lemons is pretty awesome. Where else are you going to see a tiger striped Ford Escort, a driver’s ed-themed Honda Prelude, a damn near perfect Bluesmobile, and a turbo Civic that was transformed into a giraffe going at it full tilt into a corner? Outside of a bad automotive themed acid trip, probably nowhere!


For all their efforts, Interceptor Motorsports walked away with the Organizer’s Choice award. I mean, look at this thing; they nailed it. I can’t disagree with that choice!

While it took a while to get the car sorted enough to turn laps, they got it out there and it looked great. Teething issues with new builds are common, and with even half a race under their belts, I can’t wait to see what these guys have in store for the future. Nice work, gentlemen!

You can check out Interceptor Motorsports on Facebook right here. 





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4 thoughts on “A Mid 70’s Mopar Bluesmobile In The 24 Hours Of Lemons? It’s Real, And It’s Awesome!

  1. Eric Rood

    I love that they kept the door cards in it and all the window glass. The doors have to weigh 100 pounds each.

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