Let’s play the What If Game:
You’ve just signed the paperwork on a brand new car. All excited about dropping some of your hard-earned dough on a new daily driver, you go out fo a spin after taking delivery. You notice it hiccup slightly as you move through the rev range. You don’t let that kill your joy but decide to take it to the dealer the next morning.
You drop it back off at the dealer service department and get a call from the service advisor that the issue has been fixed with new spark plugs. You pick your shiny new car up that night and as your driving it home the hiccup happens again. Frustrated you pull a Vin Diesel’esque U-Turn and head back to the shop. It’s closed so you leave your car in the lot and decide to call the Service Advisor in the morning.
The service dept. agrees to take another look at the vehicle and shortly thereafter you get another call from the advisor saying it’s all fixed and it’s ready for pickup. You pick it up and the same thing happens. That pesky hiccup is back. You call the service department irate at this point and start the cycle all over again for the third and fourth times.
At this point, you might be starting to think you have yourself a Lemon.This might be true depending on your state. It’s always best to call a specialist on the Lemon Laws in your state for advice. These laws, like many, can be tricky to navigate. But, as Lehto’s Law does below, it’s not impossible, especially with the right help.
We’ve shared several videos with you guys over the last couple months. Some of them good, some of them pointless. Until recently I was fairly confident that we were batting with a winning average (I have no idea how baseball works), that is until I found this video.
I feel obliged to share it because its a piece of crap flying through the air, but part of me is at a loss for words as to whether a junkyard heap of this level even counts as a beater or not. You guys watch it and let me know because I’m super confused here.
Wherein, Matt Farah drunk-buys a CRX for $500:
I don’t think this one needs much more explanation. I mean I’ve bought weird stuff shopping Amazon after a late night out at the bar too. So, is this really that bad? At least it’s a beater we love!
Take Your Hooptie To The Track
Every once in a while I think to myself, “Why can’t I track my beater?” The easy answer is that its stupid and my beater will most likely grenade itself at the apex of Turn One, no matter the track or conditions. I’m also broke, don’t own a decent helmet anymore and econo-suck tires, although only $20-a-pop at the used tire bin, wouldn’t make for a fun outing. Not to mention I wouldn’t pass tech at any arrive and drive drag night or autocross, let alone a big scary racetrack like Sebring.
That’s where LeMons and ChumpCar come in.
When Life Hands You LeMons…
Lemons and ChumpCar exist for the beaters, the hoonigans, and the almost broke. They’re a fantastic way to have fun racing on a budget and a great way to pass tech just enough to take your hooptie out on some seriously iconic tracks (Daytona, Barber and VIR anyone?). Despite requiring its participants to adhere to a “strict” budget they do require top notch safety equipment because even though you say your rust bucket is safe, nobody wants to fall through the floorpans on the racetrack.
Even though you will be shelling out some hard earned dough on safety equipment it doesn’t matter what engine fits in what, so long as you can keep it running for 24hrs. Chrysler powered E30 or Saab powered Nissan 300zx anyone?
Our Japanese brothers have taken the concept of cheap racing and “Missile Cars” to a whole different level. They’ve figured out a way to make an old Dodge van stick to a racetrack well enough to make it fun and exciting instead of stupid and dangerous. Alright, I’ll admit Brembos and sequential transmissions aren’t exactly cheap, or beater-ish; that these vans are more rat-rod or missile car than hopped up hooptie, but they’re still cool right?!?!
Check out the short documentary below to learn more about these bad-ass vans!
It doesn’t run, or does it? For quite some time I had assumed that just about every car in a junkyard could not, would not start. It just made sense to my naive self. After taking out a ridiculous student loan and pledging my income for the next 10 years to mechanic’s school I learned that simply wasn’t true. I also learned how to get those crap-heaps running and how to keep them that way.
Auto museums are old and rare and one of a kind and fast and fun and art and innovation. Car museums are great places to learn about cars and tech you didn’t know about. They’re like immersive pop-up books. You normally pay just a bit and you’ve earned you tuition to some of the coolest day-classes you can take on automobilia. Junkyards are better, though.
Junkyards aren’t just a place for cheap parts and a place to take your car long after its dead. Junkyards are full of unique and interesting models that you won’t necessarily find out on the road. Many of the best and unique cars to come out of the 20th century won’t ever make it into a nice air-conditioned museum. Many of those cars weren’t built well and aren’t reliable enough to stay running on the roads. Many of the best cars ever made (I’m looking at you Volvo 240) are sitting in some muddy yard somewhere ready to be explored.
I used to head over to the nearest junkyard to practice on a forgotten beater before I would tear into my own at home. If I had to do a job on my Sentra or Datsun that I hadn’t done before and wasn’t confident about being able to do it in the driveway, I’d just call up LKQ, see if they had a model in their yard and then go to town!
Here’s the first start of a Mercedes-Benz 407D in 12years. It takes some cranking and some innovation to get the old girl fired up again, but she eventually gets going around the 9min mark.
Check it out: