Friday, February 23, 2018

24 Hours of LeMons returns to Barber Motorsports for the 2018 ’Shine Country Classic

$500 car for a million dollars worth of fun. The 24 Hours of LeMons series hit Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama to kick-off their new season on February 3-4 with the fifth annual ’Shine Country Classic. The circus of colorful, race-hungry, drivers and their makeshift pit crews brought race cars that looked as if they were built by clowns on steroids. The friendly, fun, action on the track in re-bodied, engine-contorted combos, made each worthy of up close inspection in the fan-friendly garage area. Let’s take a look.  

Deeznuts were taking a look at their Miata. On their hood, "No Goats, No Glory."

Randy Pobst, famed race car driver and Motor Trend journalist, hopped behind the wheel of the re-bodied Camaro/Cadillac Coupe SeVille at Barber Motorsports Track. Pobst was fast! The car won the Class A trophy.

The 2.48-mile course at Barber Motorsports Park is technically challenging with 17 turns and 80 feet of elevation change. Cars were often pushed passed their limits and kicking up the dirt along the edges of the 45 foot wide track.

Randy Pobst spent a couple of hours behind the wheel of the #37 Cadillac. The Camaro-based Caddy hugs the turns thanks to the super low stance of the 1984 Camaro that hides under the heavily massaged bodywork.

Big rear wing is good for spotting the car on the track. Not sure that the downforce is needed as much on the road course.

Kudos to the ’Shine Country Classic for celebrating their fifth year at Barber Motorsports Park. The LeMons series, noted for lowbrow humor and low-buck racing, is an odd pairing with the dignified, well-manicured grounds of the Barber facility. Imagine Talladega Superspeedway’s NASCAR fans allowed to race their own cars on the track. No dice, Bubba. That magic only happens at Barber.

Done Racing’s AMC AMX "Alabama Made Crapcan" spent some time working out bugs in the garage area. The car’s custom fiberglass AMX body rides on a BMW Z3 that was pulled from Copart’s online junkyard.

The Camaro-based Caddy was one of my favorite cars. At least four guys dedicated 600 hours to creating the 2-door masterpiece from a 4-door 1982 Seville.

I couldn’t get enough of the 1972 Datsun 240Z built by Nerdie Racing. I envision the 240Z project I once owned in a new light. These cars look fast sitting still.

Eagle Talon much? Don’t see these on the road... ever. I’ll say this car did eclipse all the Mitsubishi Eclipses on the track.

Walking through the pits, I chatted up up the driver/owner of the #47 TredWear Ford Pinto. The man chewing on the cigar said, "My name is Mike Hunt." Come again, I said. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. Mike Hunt races LeMons.

Sharp turn, watch out for the Nissan 300ZX cockroach, or the Mercedes with giant wing. Yellow 1995 Ford Probe (center) was the Class B winner.

Plymouth Valiant with patina in spades, gets some fuel. 

The Porsche 944 team was spotted in the penalty area.

These guys had a missile on the roof, Donald Trump, and Kim Jong Un references all over their camo race car. 

1983 Porsche 911 powered by a VW TDI turbodiesel engine was the Class C winner. 

In desert sand paint.
This Fox Body Mustang pulls off a great rendition of the tank theme.

Look close and you can see that it’s Randy Pobst in the seat of the VW, ready for some hot laps.

Class A: 1982 Cadillac Seville #37 (maroon/silver)
Class B: 1995 Ford Probe #116 (yellow)
Class C: 1983 Porsche 911 #911 (light blue)

Good times, but I need a car to race
You can bet that I will be back to Barber to watch their next LeMons race. I can pay the $30 ticket price but an even better option would be if I watched the race on the track. It looks like such a blast racing on a world-class track with a bunch of crazies. I should put in some effort and build a $500-or-less race car with a lot of help from my friends. Stay posted.

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life

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