Spray-painting a stenciled image on the car of a team whose members give generously to the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court has been a tradition since the first South Carolina LeMons race in 2008. The 2015 season saw the largest number of BRIBED stencils yet, with five artists cutting 27 unique custom stencils.
The racers long ago figured out that their bribes don’t actually let them get away with cheating and/or bad driving, but the stencils on their car serve as twisted LeMons merit badges and confer status upon their bearers. Or something. For the history of our BRIBED stencils prior to the 2015 season, the 2008-2011 stencils may be admired here, the 2012 ones here, the 2013 ones here, and the 2014 stencils here.
The first race of the 2015 season was the Good Effort Grand Prix at Sears Point aka Sonoma Raceway. Sears Point LeMons races always have more applicants than there is space, so LeMons HQ put this one together for the teams that got wait-listed for the previous month’s Arse Freeze-a-Palooza. Some wait-listed teams sent nice gifts to Nick and Jeff at LeMons HQ, and so I cut this stencil showing the Wait List being exploded by a powerful bribe.
I ran out of time before the race, so I cut out my stencil from a 12-pack box using a dull Stanley knife. Judge Steve McDaniel managed his pre-race time more efficiently and created this nice rubber-stamp-themed stencil. Multiple-stencil races became more the rule than the exception in 2015, so the well-informed teams made sure to get all the stencils available at a given race.
Later in February, the coldest and most miserable race in LeMons history took place at Eagles Canyon Raceway near Dallas. Actually, the race itself never took place, because the paddock was too icy for anyone to move around, so the Texas Revolution-themed stencil made by Judge Steve is one of the rarest BRIBED stencils in series history. If you have this one or the equally rare 2013 ThunderHELL stencil on your race car, don’t paint over it! Someday it will be worth millions at Barrett-Jackson.
I didn’t make any stencils for the Sears Pointless race, so Judge Steve cut two San Francisco Bay Area-themed ones. This one equates peace and love with bribery; if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair… and bribe your LeMons judges.
For teams that didn’t want reminders of dirty, stinking hippies sprayed on their race cars, Steve made this Golden Gate Bridge stencil.
I made this stately Brougham stencil for the Southern Discomfort teams looking to class up their hoopties. The font is based on the one used in the early-1990s Cadillac DeVille Brougham d’Elegance.
The kids at the ‘15 Southern Discomfort were much more enthusiastic about Judge Steve’s Minion stencil.
Did you know that the Hindenburg Disaster took place quite close to what is now New Jersey Motorsports Park? For the Real Hoopties of New Jersey race, Judge Steve made this “Oh the Bribery” Lemdenburg stencil.
The B.F.E. GP race in Colorado was all about Blucifer, the scary horse sculpture at Denver International Airport. Blucifer is just one of many signs that DIA is really the Shadow World Government Headquarters, and so I incorporated symbols for the Trilateral Commission and the Eye of Providence in the BRIBED stencil for that race.
I didn’t go to the 2015 Button Turrible race, where it was 10,000 degrees F in the shade and Finnegan and Freiburger provided yet more proof that automotive journalists can neither drive nor wrench, but Judge Steve was there. He made this circling-buzzards BRIBED stencil that captures the Spirit of Buttonwillow (or “The Butt,” as we call it) very accurately.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to use that stupid Blues Brothers image that you see all over the place, but the movie is pretty good and Autobahn Country Club (where the Doin’ Time In Joliet race took place) is right by the old Illinois State Pen. So, I cut out a stencil representing the scene from the film in which Elwood Blues comes to the prison to pick up Jake Blues.
Colorado Checker Marathon racer and New England native Rich von Sneidern judged at the Connecticut race, and he made this Bradlee’s-themed stencil for those Northeasterners with 1980s/1990s TV memories.
Because many submarines are based in Connecticut, Judge Tom Newman cut this stencil showing a submarine-launched ballistic lemon for the There Goes the Neighborhood Connecticut race.
At the 2014 Thunderhill race, the 24 Hours of LeMons set the official Guinness record for the world’s largest endurance race, with 242 teams (216, according to Guinness’ too-many-beers counting methods) participating. In honor of that feat, Judge Steve made this stencil for the 2015 Thunderhill race.
Many years ago, I threw a party at which the participants received commemorative T-shirts spray-painted using a stencil based on the design of Verigar Man, from the 1918 stamp issued by the State of Slovenese, Croats, and Serbs after the end of the Austro-HUngarian Empire. I liked this image so much that I used it for a BRIBED stencil for the 2015 South Fall race. Podkupil is the Slovenian word for Bribed.
It looked as though Chinese car company Geely had purchased Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, prior to the Return of the LeMonites race at that facility, so I created this image of The Great Helmsman with the Chinese characters for “car race graft” in honor of the deal (which appears to have fallen through shortly after our race). Red and gold paint, of course.
Judge Rich feels that voting in the country’s first primary elections is about as meaningful as stuffing your ballot right into the nearest shredder (unless you’re voting for Vermin Supreme), and so his stencil for the New Hampshire race depicted the New Hampshire Ballot Shredder in action.
November in Houston isn’t quite as cold as Dallas in February, so the Alamo-themed stencil Judge Steve made for the 2015 Gator-O-Rama was applied to many more cars than his COME AND BRIBE IT Texas stencil from the butt-freezingly canceled Eagles Canyon race.
Before the Hooniverse 1963 Ford Ranchero got destroyed in a head-on crash at the 2016 Sears Pointless race, it beat the Top Gear USA Crown Victoria at the 2015 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza race. Because I knew the Huevos Ranchero would be making its debut at the Arse Freeze, I made this Ranchero-influenced stencil for that race.
Judge Steve, meanwhile, created this Vermin Supreme stencil (referring to Supreme’s campaign promise of a free pony for every American) for the same race.
With 19 American LeMons races and five Australian ones in 2016, we’ll be seeing some more great stencils. Bribe your judges generously and collect them all!