The Shine County Classic is an annual event held at the world-class Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL. The 24 Hours of Lemons is a rain or shine endurance race. The weather was ideal for a weekend at the races with temperatures around 70 degrees and plenty of sunshine. Numerous teams came from all over the country to attendant this year’s race. One team even traveled all the way from Washington state. The event was an absolute blast and we plan on returning next year.
The Shine County Classic took place from February 2-3. Race teams arrived a day prior for testing and tech inspections. The weekend pass cost $30.00 which was reasonable because it offered so much for the event. Kids under 16 years old got in for free. Spectators also had access to the paddock and pit areas.
Video Edited By Pat J. Moon
Rob Delhamer of Handover, PA and his 1984 Porsche 928 are no strangers to Lemons racing. Rob and his family have run in the Shine County Classic for the last few years. The car has the factory 4.7L V8 and it makes around 240hp. Unfortanly; Rob and his team encountered a problem with the car and weren’t able to finish the race.
Random Information: Despite the fun atmosphere and the crazy appearance of the cars, this style of racing is extremely hard on the vehicles. This is a legit competitive racing series.
This is a 1991 Mazda Miata/Buick Roadmaster creation. The car came down from Richard, VA and suffered a mechanical mishap that kept it from finishing.
Underneath the goal post spoiler and the astroturf exterior lies a Kia Sophia. This race team is based out of South Carolina and they had the 2018 NCAA Football Championship game score on the car. We can assume that they didn’t make a lot of new friends here in Bama country.
Random Information: Clemson and Alabama have faced each other for the championship in the last four years in a row.
The team that had the 1989 VW Cabriolet are from Oklahoma. The custom “Poorsha” badge on the hood is a cool addition.
Bruce Jansen from Thin Blue Swine Racing is the owner of this 1986 Ford Thunderbird. Bruce is a Bill Elliot fan and decided to model his T-Bird after the car Elliot drove in the 1980s. The main sponsor on the car is the Thin Blue Swine Competitive BBQ Team. Recently, Bruce received an invitation for his car to be featured in the upcoming Carlise Ford Nationals in Carlise, PA.
The car is powered by the factory 5.0L engine. It came with an automatic transmission, but they swapped it to a T-5 manual. The team had an uphill challenge while facing a mechanical issue that made the car stall every 45 minutes. During the final lap, the Thunderbird cut off on the very last turn. The car had just enough momentum to cross the finish line before it rolled to a complete stop.
Random Information: The 24 Hours of Lemons has 3 different classes that share the track at the same time (Class A, B, and C). This 1986 Thunderbird currently races in the “B” class.
The D-Team is a rookie race team out of Chattanooga, TN. They had this hooptie of a C4 Corvette that ended up being the 4th slowest car in the race. The D-Team didn’t win any positions on the track but they did win the Organizers Choice Award.
The 1965 Ford Ranchero was a hit among fellow racers and spectators. Frank Williams and his team are known as the “Old Dudes”. The team is based out of Buford, SC and run the car in the “A” class. The Ranchero has a Ford small block and a 5-speed manual transmission.
The story of the Ranchero and Frank Williams is bittersweet. Frank decided to hang his racing helmet up after the 2019 Shine County Classic. This was his 25th race and he wanted to call it quits at the iconic Barber Motorsports Park. Frank’s last race will definitely be one to remember because they took home the Heroic Fix Award. They received this award because the motor broke and they managed to do a full engine swap while finishing the race.
The guys with the 1978 Camaro had their drive shaft break on the track. Even though they were out of the race, this group still had a good time. The Camaro has a 406ci small-block and competed in the “B” class.
The “turd” Toyota Celica was one of the most outlandish vehicles in the race.
Cousin Eddie wishes his RV was this sweet. Looks like the owner may have swapped the engine to a late model GM Vortec.
The “Lemons Police” Maxima spent some time in the penalty box for a track violation. Seems like the Lemons Police Car wasn’t above the law.
The team with the 1987 Saab 900 Turbo received a black flag penalty. Track officials made them write 200 sentences on the car before returning to the track.
Random Information: Lemons officials will hand out penalties ranging from dumping sardines on your exhaust manifold to making you paint a picture on your car like Bob Ross.
When approaching a Lemons car you never know what kind of random humor you may see.
Besides the Lemons cars, there were some real gems scattered among the paddock area. Justin Tela is the owner of this 1999 BMW 8.50i. This car has a V-12 engine that makes over 300hp. The engine design is unique because it’s basically two I-6 motors joined. There are two separate ECU’s for each side of the engine. You can easily say this is a fairly rare car.
The Ferrari 308 was so clean. The 308 was one of the hottest sports cars in the 1980s. This body style is famous because Tom Selleck drove one in the hit TV series Magnum P.I.
Burp Racing out of Atlanta, GA competed in the race with a BMW. They also brought along this wicked customized Aston Martin.
Here is one of the many cars that you can drive when you enroll in the Porsche Driving Experience at Barber Motorsports Park.
At the end of the event team members and spectators gathered around the track entrance to welcome the cars back into the paddock area.
The awards presentation was held inside the paddock building. The awards were ruckus, fun, and entertaining.