Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Concours d'LeMons / 24 Hours of LeMons

My friends know me too well...

I received this in an e-mail last night from Jeff. He titled the e-mail "This Is Right Up Your Alley".

Yeah, it is.

From the Concours d'LeMons flyer...

"Brought to you by the same miscreants behind the 24 Hours of LeMons and Billetproof, Concours d'LeMons lowers the tone for the Monterey Weekend. Tired of paying $150 to see 150 identical Ferraris? Concours d'LeMons costs 20 bucks and has 20 Pacers and Pintos. Bored with the same old collector-car canon? Our Warsaw Pact Class should be shot from a cannon.

From mint-condition shag vans to Honey Bees, Bricklins, Skodas, and Edsels, Concours d'LeMons is all about stuff that you haven't seen every damn August! The fact that we actually know our cars suck is just gravy. Lots of free parking means no shuttles out to East Jabib. Optional "Small-Wiener Corral" so your Maybach won't have to sit near a Yugo."

I've known about the 24 Hours of LeMons "race" for several years. It's a real event which the promoters describe like this:

"The crowd. The spectacle. The pall of blue smoke and roasted clutch discs. In all motorsport, no event captures the universal human need to whale on old crapcans and hoover down greasy barbecue like the 24 Hours of LeMons.

Each LeMons race is for cars purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of 500 dollars or less. But before reaching the grid, you'll have to survive trials like the Personal-Injury-Lawyer Anti-Slalom, the Marxist-Valet Parking Challenge, and the Wide Open Throttle Rodthrowapalooza. Twelve hours into the race, the car voted People’s Choice is called in and awarded a cash prize; simultaneously, the car voted People’s Curse is called in and summarily destroyed. At the end of 24 hours, a gala awards ceremony plies the survivors with trophies, plaques, and four-figure purses in canvas bags full of nickels. What's not to like?"

Their disclaimer states the following:

And get real: The 24 Hours of LeMons is not associated with any other car race or group. Especially not any car race from someplace in France, where (from what we've heard) the ladies don't even wear pants.

This is something I plan to participate in at some point in my life. There are now 10 "races", including one in Stafford, CT, just a 45 minute drive from my house. (See complete schedule here). If I don't participate this year (the entry deadline, May 2, may be too soon for me to get it together), I will certainly be in the crowd. As they said, "what's not to like" about an event like this?

The Concours d'LeMons is new. So far there is only one and it's happening August 15, in Monterey, CA. I am a notoriously poor flyer, but if I have to I'll probably take a trip to Monterey at some point in my life to see this event.

Sometimes we take life and our cars too seriously. These guys have the right attitude.

Click here to see the Concours d'LeMons website (read the whole thing, it's pretty amusing)


Richard Burgess said...

Ah, I am going to go to the Concours d'LeMons, its a three hour drive for me, well worth it. I will make sure I take plenty of pictures.

Interesting you should bring up the 24 hour race with the $500 limit. Before I left the UK I was serious about the Mongol Rally, a trip from the UK to Mongolia (about 10k miles) in a car that had to have a 1000 cc displacement or less. There was also a price limit on the car, although, now I cannot find that information, I think it was 500 GBP in 2004. However, its a four week drive and I could not get the time off work.

I think the US need more events like this, motor sport on a budget for charity. I am surprised there isn't a cannonball style race from coast to coast in the US with $500 limit on the cars....hmmm, if not I think I need to start something like that, I wonder how difficult it could be to organize...hmmm

Just A Car Geek said...

You'll have to e-mail some of those pictures for me to post.

A $500.00 Cannonball Run is a great idea! I'm in.