Laissez les Crapheaps Roulez! 24 Hours of LeMons hits Louisiana once again Wednesday, Nov 17 2010 

You heard right, it’s the time of year again: the 24 Hours of LeMons is back in full force!

If you haven’t heard of the series, well, shame on you. I’m here to help, though.

Many moons ago, LeMons Chief Perpetrator Jay Lamm decided to take all of the glitz and glamour of the classic 24 Hours of LeMans endurance race… and flush it down the proverbial shitter. Just like LeMans, this is a 24-hour endurance race, testing not only the drivers’ skills but also their pace, their stamina, and their ability to keep a car running for an entire day.

Except that these cars can’t cost any more than five hundred dollars.

The result, of course, is a race filled with miserable clunkers festooned with hilarious decoration. Combined with two badass judges with even badasser facial hair and with a penchant for hilariously humiliating penalties, it makes for an utterly hilarious weekend.

In the words of the LeMons perps—and I may be paraphrasing: “Racing isn’t just for rich idiots anymore. Now it’s for all idiots.” Well, if these “idiots” are anything like the Cajun Jihad team from last year, pictured below, then I say let ’em run wild!

I bought a fancy 3G plan for my fancy new iPad, and my friend Derek is bringing his fancy camera. I’ll be covering the race, from the race, all weekend, and I’ll be doing so over at The Hooniverse.

See you there!

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Stickshifts & safetybelts, bucket seats have all got to go… Saturday, Jan 31 2009 

I started this blog without any direction.

I’m a fan–no, a connoisseur–of a lot of things.  Cars, cigars, movies, music… to varying extents, I love them all.

I can’t really review them all, though.  Music?  Easy enough.  Movies? I have a Netflix.  Cigars? Well, yeah.  But cars?

Cars were my first love.  Evidenced by late ’80s video footage of me behind the wheel of mom’s Mazda 626, I’ve had the driver’s itch (no, not that one) probably since birth, or conception.

I started to fulfill that urge on a daily basis five or six years ago with a 1996 Toyota Camry V6, in white.  I loved the hell out of that car.  Roary, torque-steery fun off the line, no-ABS fun all over the place, it was a solid ride.  Through friends, parents, and jobs, I’ve driven a smattering of cars ranging from the Pontiac Grand Am to the Porsche Cayenne S, from the 1965 Studebaker Cruiser to the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser, whether for half a minute or half a week, and I have at least vague impressions of them all, but there isn’t a whole lot of content to write about.  And rarely have I been able to drive the version of the car I wanted to drive: my dad went from an automatic IS 300 to an automatic G35; the first may well have been on rails and the second accelerates like it has a few fiery twigs up its bottom, but neither were as rewarding to drive as they could, or should, have been.

 

Alameda, explained

Alameda, explained

Some backstory: the best blog on the interwebs has been gracing us with a feature entitled Down on the Street, in which legendary minx Murilee Martin brings us photos of a different interesting old car every morning, all shot on the streets of his native island of Alameda.  He calls Alameda the “island that rust forgot”; the combination of old, no-garage construction, always unsalted roads, and somewhat wacky residents means the island is home to myriad largely unrusted vintage iron parked, well, down on the street.

 

Uptown New Orleans is a similar place.  No road salt (we never need it), no garages (most of the houses were built before or near 1900), and no dearth of interesting folk create a perfect environment for the same kind of thing Murilee finds in Alameda.  And I’ve been inspired.

So, one of the functions of this blog, at least, is going to be the exposition of certain interesting and/or old cars I see around the neighbourhood (and elsewhere).

We open tonight.