In less than two months, Lemons will run its first Florida race in seven years at Sebring International Raceway. Unlike that first 2014 foray to Sebring, we’ve learned our lessons and booked a the Yokohama Southern Discomfort race so it’s not in the middle of summer. This date falls on Mother’s Day weekend, however, which means that not only are we giving free team entries to Chrysler Sebrings, we’re also giving free driver entries to any mothers who are racing.
For now, let’s look back at some memorable machines from the 2014 Humidi TT at Sebring. Let it serve as inspiration for you to sign up and show us you can do it better/worse.
Yes, our initial trek to Sebring International Raceway included free entry for anyone brave enough to run a Chrysler Sebring. We could expound on the absurdity of naming the World’s Least-Sporty Convertible after the famed racetrack, but if you’re reading this, you already understand irony. Anyway, we got two takers, both long-running Lemons legends: Speedycop brought a red Sebring while NSF Racing brought a silver Sebring. While they didn’t win outright, both Sebrings beat several other teams. Does that mean you should bring a Sebring in May? Yes. Yes, it does.
Bizarrely, both of these 1964 cars debuted at the same race in April 2013. The two have intersected several times over the last eight seasons, including at Sebring in 2014. While the Slant Six-powered Dart finished higher (though not well) in that first ‘13 race, the Fairlane and its extraordinarily tired Ford 289 finished a few laps ahead at Sebring despite nearly rolling onto its lid. Both cars clocked laps slower than Speedycop’s Chrysler Sebring. Hey, maybe a Sebring isn’t so bad.
Speaking of slow cars, Idle Clatter’s Planet Express-themed, diesel-powered Mercedes W116 was the race’s absolute slowest car. Nevertheless, they walloped Class C by 14 laps (almost a full hour at their pace) and finished 11th overall.
Forget that this car finished absolutely last in the race. That is totally inconsequential because racing a Lincoln Versailles is its own kind of reward. Comfort and style represent the ethos of the Malaise Era, largely because performance was unattainable. Nevertheless, the Ford Granada-based Lincoln (and its Mercury cousins) are absolutely perfect for Lemons. Was it just a Granada with Lincoln badges? Maybe. Does that make any less of a Lincoln in the grand era of badge engineering? Nah.
On the subject of American panache, Team Sputnik ran NSF Racing’s old ‘71 Plymouth Fury at this race. And when we say “ran,” we mean “trundled around for a minute until it got banned for being too hooptie.” Yes, Lemons actually banned a car for excessive jankiness. Yes, that means it was utterly as bad as you would imagine it to be. Yes, we are writing this entire post like we’re answering questions you definitely aren’t asking. Undeterred, Team Sputnik’s intrepid team captain drove it around Maryland after its Lemons racing retirement.
We’ve had two Simcas in Lemons, a 1204 and this pseudo-Simca 1000. We’re assured of the 1204’s return sometime in 2021, however we know the team had the Gall to give this “French” car the Crusher treatment. As you may notice, it’s only a Simca in appearance. When early Lemons adopters TARP Racing picked up the Simca, it essentially fell apart from rust. Instead of trying to reinforce non-existent metal, the team simply bolted the sheetmetal onto a Toyota MR2. This was in no way less hooptie than when Simca assembled it to begin with.
Where’s Waldo? After a brief foray in Lemons, we think he’s probably trying to recover what little dignity he retains.
Watch our recent #LemonsWorld episode on the 2014 Sebring race right here:
Get your entries in for the 24 Hours of Lemons’ (maybe) triumphant return to Sebring International Raceway. You can sign up for Southern Discomfort 2021 right here.