The year 2021 has been over for a couple weeks and our season wrapped up about a month ago. In 24 Hours of Lemons’ time, that means we’re probably about due to wrap the 2021 season for good here. We will run down the winners via text below, but you can also watch Nick and Eric wind down the season in our YouTube wrapup here:
Championship? I didn’t even know that was a thing.
Believe it or not, Lemons keeps tracks of points. While you can read about it in Section 5 of our rules page (It’s a short read), here’s how teams and drivers score points in our completely made-up championship(s):
- 3 points for showing up, applicable to both teams’ and driver’s championships.
- 1-10 points for a Top 10 finish overall (10 points for first, 9 points for second, etc.), applicable to both teams’ and driver’s championships.
- 2 points for each rookie in the teams championship.
We crown, such as it is, champions for each region and for a national title because many teams race in more than one region. Regional teams champions get a free entry to the season’s final race. Driver’s champions get called out in the video and get a hearty pat on the back.
National Team’s Champion – The Gang Ruins the National Championship
Well, there you have it. It’s possible to “rig” the national championship by banding a whole bunch of teams together under one entry, which is exactly what “The Gang” did in 2021. Comprised of Three Pedal Mafia, Ran When Parked, the League of Legitimate Nigerian Businessmen, Rust Belt Racing, Sorry for Party Racing and probably some more), The Gang managed to put up 120 points for the year. Congrats, the National Championship is properly ruined.
Ginger Race Team, the 2020 champs, finished runners up in spite of three outright wins. That just goes to show that winning and trying are both totally overrated.
Zoom Zoom Kaboom’s stable of first-gen Mazda Miatas finished third in the standings.
National Driver’s Champion – Christopher Blizzard
Longtime Lemons racer Christopher Blizzard (right) drove heaps all over the country in 2021—the ONSET/Tetanus Racing Volvo 544 among them—in addition to his “normal” Hella Shitty Racing BMW E30. That gave him a final total of 58 points and his third Lemons driver’s championship. Amanda Tully finished second, but we’ll get to here momentarily.
Third place was Southern racer Vince Keene, one of those fantastic Lemons racers who has been around forever and does everything right. He registers without issue, shows up with the Team Westerfield Brothers Acura Integra, drives cleanly so we never see him in the Penalty Box, and regularly ends up in the Top 10. That’s how it’s done.
Constructor’s Champion – BMW
Undefeated Constructor’s Champions…neat.
Deconstructor’s Champion – BMW
…yet soundly defeated on a regular basis. The BMW 3- and 5-Series isn’t the magic bullet that results in an automatic Top 10 the way some people think it is. They break. A lot. In 2021, BMWs finished DFL four times and piled on three I Got Screwed trophies to boot. Race the Ultimate Driving Machine at your own peril.
Actual Constructor’s Champion – STELLANTIS
January 2021 brought Lemons the best gift we’ve never asked for: A merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group (Peugeot’s conglomerate) with a name that sounds like pills for erectile dysfunction. We are talking, of course, about Stellantis.
And wouldn’t you know it? Stellantis has a banner year in Lemons. Not only did Stellantis brands rack up eight Index of Effluency trophies (Chrysler x2, Plymouth x2, Dodge x2, Alfa Romeo, Lancia), but Stellantis also took over the all-time IOE count in Lemons from General Motors. Sure, you have to include all of the legacy brands once associated with Chrysler and Peugeot—moving Opel’s IOE wins from GM to Stellantis just nudged the scales—but that is just the Stellantis aura for you.
And speaking of Stellantis’ aura, we mention this in the season-wrapup video (Watch that here), but Judge Phil recently stumbled over the fact that our Cameo pal and former race namesake Rod Blagojevich was a guest of honor at the launch of the Dodge Caliber production line at Illionois’ Belvidere Assembly. As such, we expect to see a Dodge Caliber F****ing Golden Edition in 2022, which means gold-painted and running about 90 pounds of boost through a Caliber SRT4 engine.
Honorable Mention, Actual Constructor’s Champion – Ford
We should mention the (distant) runners up to the Actual Constructor’s Champion. Sure, Ford racked up five IOE victories in 2021, but none were more impressive than the pair of Ford Tempo IOEs from Cheesebolt Enterprises (top) and Little Enos Racing. They’re both about as stock as you can make a car and both of them kicked the crap out of dozens of cars with 88 horsepower and a three-speed automatic. Lemons always needs more Tempos (and Topazes, of course) so get in on that sweet, sweet IOE action.
Coppa di Bondo – Amanda Tully/Mome Rath Racing & Tom Tully’s Buillac
Lemons’ top honor for the season is the Coppa di Bondo and this year it goes to Amanda Tully for pulling the ol’ Lemons Double. Regular East Coast racers know of Amanda’s diligence and fantastic racecraft, which earned her an overall victory—her fourth of all time—with her BMW E36 (below) and regular co-driver James Mansour (plus a rotating cast of third drivers). She also finished second place twice and was leading a fourth race when the E36’s rear subframe broke.
But that alone isn’t Coppa di Bondo territory. In 1991, Amanda’s father bought a ‘37 Buick Century Sedan from its original owner and slapped in a Cadillac 500 cubic-inch V8. That car was last registered in about 1996 and was put in a shipping container. In 2020, Amanda pulled the ‘37 Buick out and started rebuilding it for Lemons duty. And what could be more practical than a pre-war car with an 8.2-liter V8 from the 1970s?
The ‘37 is the oldest original chassis to race in Lemons and its maiden voyage at the Yokohama Tires Real Hoopties of New Jersey earned it an Index of Effluency. That IOE makes Amanda one of two team captains—along with the famous Speedycop in 2014—to build and prep both an overall and an IOE winner in the same season.
Honorable Mention, Coppa di Bondo – Team Eaux/Cleverly Hillbillies
We should mention a couple of stout contenders for the Coppa di Bondo, as well. Louisiana resident Stephen Hebert pulled together a pair of completely dissimilar machines in 2021, the Team Eaux ‘77 Dodge Monaceaux and the Cleverly Hillbillies’ highly depreciated Mercedes-Benz S600. We know he has at least two more cars in the pipeline for 2022 and we’re excited to see those.
Honorable Mention, Coppa di Bondo – Detroit Student Racing Team
Regular Lemons judge and Famous Packard-Plant Tiger Spotter Andy Didorosi has spearheaded an effort to put Detroit high school students behind wrenches and, ultimately, behind the seat of a Lemons car. The DSRT Lexus ES250 raced twice, competed for a class win, and was featured in National Geographic to boot. Their next big task is to convert an old ‘55 Buick circle-track car to electric power for Lemons duty.
Each of the five regions has its own teams and drivers championships, which accrue points the same way as the national champions. Here are those five regions’ winners:
It could be you! We’ve got a really amazing 2022 season lined up featuring all-new shirts from blipshift, the $1,000-per-race Halloween Meets Gasoline Trophy, the Yokohama Road Mangler Cup, Lemons’ Hella Sweet 16th Birthday, and so much more. Find your first (or next) race on the Lemons schedule here and find teammates via OkStupid. We’ll see you at the track!