The ‘Shine County Classic 24 Hours of Lemons event took place from February 3-4 in Birmingham, AL. The race was held at the world-class Barber Motorsports Park facility. This is a fun-filled event that is designed for the average racer. What is so unique about a Lemons event is that the cars are customized with a theme. This was the first time we have ever attended a Lemons event and the atmosphere was laid back and FUN! Don’t let the wackiness of these cars fool you, this is legit action-packed endurance racing.
One of the main requirements for your Lemons race car is that it has to cost $500 or less when you originally purchased it. If your bill of sale shows you paid over that amount you can still race it but you will be penalized laps. Items such as the roll cage, brakes, wheels and tires, and other miscellaneous safety gear will not be included towards the $500 limit. There are no limits on performance mods for the car, but they will be included towards the total cost of the vehicle.
The team that owns this 1991 Ford Thunderbird is based out of Dallas, TX. Mark, is one of the drivers and he told me they chose this car because it has independent rear suspension. It has a manual 5 speed Tremec transmission that is bolted up to a 5.0L/302ci engine. I was told that the current tune on this motor makes around 300hp.
The racing team of this 1983 BMW 528e is all from around the country. The German word on the side of the car translates to “driving school”. I asked one of the drivers why they chose that theme, he replied, “because we are student drivers of racing”.
The crew of this Napa themed delivery truck is based out of New Orleans, LA. Its a 1990 Mazda B series with a Kia Sportage 2.0L engine under the hood. The truck has a 5-speed manual transmission and made 101 RWHP on the dyno.
‘Shine County Classic clip from the paddock area.
Jeff Bloch, also known as “Speedy Cop” is the owner of this 1973 Plymouth Roadrunner. It may look like a Roadrunner on the outside but the body sits on a 1982 Mercedes 300 SD chassis and drivetrain. The Mercedes powered diesel put down 84.1 horsepower on the dyno.
There is no limit how far a Lemons racing team will go to personalize their vehicles and equipment. When I walked up to this trailer I was stunned of the complete randomness of it.
The Wonder Woman themed car has excellent rooftop downforce.
This race team gave me some advice about buying a Mazda RX-8 for road racing. They told me to avoid getting one with an automatic transmission and make sure the previous owner drove it hard. Because of the design of the rotary engine, they are more likely to cause problems if they have been babied verses being ridden hard.
In the paddock area, there was an insane amount of late model Porches. Barber Motorsports Park has a Porsche Driving School and these are the cars you drive once you get enrolled. I must say, that this Porsche corral made for an excellent backdrop during the Lemons race.
The Bay Area-based organization held its very first event in October of 2006 at the Altamont Speedway. The 24 Hour Of Lemons Race, currently holds the world record for the most participants on a race at once.