The Porsches Of Lemons Sonoma
Eight different Porsches entered the "Sears Pointless" race this weekend, we were there to check them out up-close.
The radical microcosm of automotive enthusiasm that is the Lemons paddock needs to be experienced to be believed. I have never been to any other racing weekend capable of putting over 150 cars on track at the same time, and it's the car-crazy folks that make this their hobby who are responsible for such an exciting and mind-boggling three days. For years people, especially Porsche enthusiasts, viewed Lemons as an insane collection of morons. These days, there are some entrepreneuring Porsche folks among the morons, running extraordinarily prepared transaxle cars, and EASY's oddball quasi-908 replica. Sadly, our favorite Lemon, Ferkel the diesel 911 was not in attendance.
Here is a rundown of each Porsche racing in NorCal this weekend. We were there providing live commentary on the race, and managed to slip out a few times to snap some photos when the weather wasn't downpouring and awful. As it turns out, racing for fourteen and a half hours out of 24 is pretty grueling and can take its toll on quite a few cars. The Porsche contingent actually didn't do too bad.
#22 - Duct Tape & Hammers Racing 1984 Porsche 944
This 944 features significant liveries from Porsche's past: Rothmans on the sides, Gulf on the hood, Martini on the roof. Each of these spectacular liveries is hand-crafted out of multiple colors and many layers of duct tape. Their hood ornament is the hard end of a hammer, and out back they've got some creative lemon-shaped wing endplates. Outside of a pair of free-flowing breathers added to the cam cover, the engine is otherwise stock. The Duct Tape & Hammers 944 ended the weekend in 83rd position overall on 246 total laps. They did manage to go the full 14.5 hours.
#24 - Dying Lizard Racing 1987 Porsche 924S
Dying Lizard won the Class B race here at Sonoma last fall. By Lemons rules, when you win a lower class you're pretty much guaranteed to be bumped up to the next highest class. As such, they were relegated to Class A for this event. The Dying Lizard 924S is another Porsche to have finished the race, and were the highest placed P-car of the weekend with 18th overall, and 16th in class A on 328 total laps.
#37 - Hansel & Pedal Racing 1986 Porsche 944
This car's hand-painted livery is fantastic. If you can't figure it out from the photos, The Hansel & Pedal 944 is wearing lederhosen. Very German. Very meta. Sadly, this team's 944 did not finish the race thanks to a late-race crash and resulting suspension damage. You can see the damage below. It's not pretty, but they'll be back to race again. They were scored 98th overall with 214 laps completed.
#180 - Porsche Honkeys Racing 1983 Porsche 944
The Porsche Honkeys 944 hooch distillery presented here is a mostly unmodified 944. The front bumper has obviously been crafted in a non-standard fashion, but the engine remains all 944. (All of the stuff in the rear hatch was for show only, and was removed for the race, obviously.) The team had a rough weekend, spending just over four hours of racing time in the pits, but ultimately ended up on 195 laps overall, scoring 105th position.
#848 - Verti-Gogh Racing 1986 Porsche 944
This gorgeously turned out art car from Verti-Gogh racing was only on track for about five and a half hours of the weekend. When the car was running, they were decently quick with times in near the tops of the time sheets. Unfortunately, with only 123 laps total run, they were scored at 123rd place overall.
#902 - Rooster Juice Racing 1987 Porsche 944
The somewhat nefariously named Rooster Juice 944 turned in a stellar performance at 286 total laps, and running the entirety of the race. They crossed the finish line in 54th place. Their livery isn't all too exciting, but it was a well-run car, looking like any other 944-based track car.
The 9to4 924 was a fantastic race car, fitted with a pair of twin side-draft Webers, it sure sounded fantastic. The team didn't have much luck running the car, however, as at one point it was seen in the paddock with the cylinder head removed. As luck would have it, the team was scored the same exact 123 laps as the Verti-Gogh team, but unfortunately took far more time to accomplish the task, and were placed one position lower in 124th position. They were officially withdrawn after almost 9 hours of racing.
#908 - EASY Racing Porsche "908/14"
Though it was only the second-best placed Porsche entrant on 33rd overall, the the European Auto Salvage Yard 914-based 908/14 will always be my favorite Porsche-based Lemons car. Certainly this was the most wildly-modified Porsche to attend the race, as it began its life as a standard 914. The front of the car was crafted with a pair of long-hood 911 bumpers welded together. Out back, the 914's decklid was flipped upside-down to create the gurney-flap wing the 908s are known for. Tack on a set of tail fins and some faux-intake trumpets in the middle, and you've got a convincing 908. A team of self-described 'old-fogeys' ran 309 laps in this Volkswagen 2.0 ABA-powered car, having a blast the whole time.
In the photos below, you will see one of the engine compartment featuring a pry bar stuck between the exhaust headers. Near the end of day one, they had the cylinder #1 exhaust header fail. In order to avoid melting an exhaust valve, they pressed what remained of the exhaust header up against the cylinder head with the pry bar, then clamped the pry bar in place. The car finished the day like that, then after Saturday's racing was over, they took the manifold off, welded it up right, and put it back on for Sunday's 7 and a half hour stint.
Some Porsche Assembly Required
#220 - Zitron Kommando 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon
Who would have imagined that a Volkswagen Van with a Subaru engine and Porsche brakes/wheels would finish 37th overall in a race of over 150 competitors?
#971 - Hella Shitty Racing 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle
Another Subaru-powered Volkswagen, this time with a My Little Pony theme, wheels from a 944 and a wing from a 993 GT2, finished 86th overall. This car was unfortunately crunched a bit in the incident with the Hansel & Pedal 944. Fortunately, they were able to beat out the significantly damaged rear quarter panel and get it back on the track.
For full results, check out race-monitor.com.
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