Project Car Hell!

October 14th, 2011

When I left Jalopnik and took writing gigs at The Truth About Cars and at Motor Authority, on top of my job as Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court, I thought that the run of Project Car Hell episodes would be over… but now Autoweek has talked me into bringing the series out of retirement! Let’s go back and look at the original three-year run of the series. 
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All this post needs to complement the 1997-style animated GIF is some blinking text!

More than 1,000 photos from the action at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I’m back in Denver, which means I now have time to go through some of my photos from last weekend’s Where The Elite Meet To Cheat 24 Hours of LeMons. Much coverage of the race may be found in my TTAC posts from the weekend, but my traditional post-race “winner posts” only cover the overall winner and the Index of Effluency winner. What about the rest of the teams that took trophies home? 
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I, Fish Driver

September 6th, 2011

I mentioned my 1993 experience as a Fish Driver in the latest installment of the ’65 Impala Hell Project series, but didn’t want to clog up the gallery with too many Fish Driving photographs. While I was grinding it out at this unpleasant delivery-truck gig, I had an idea that I would record a Murilee Arraiac album entitled “I, Fish Driver,” with a musical piece representing each stop along the Fish Route. For the album artwork, I’d need a self-portrait, and so I took many while driving my route. Nothing ever came of the album idea, but I still have the photos of me piloting an Econoline, a Mitsubishi Fuso, and an Isuzu diesel pickup. Read more »

As I write the latest installment of the Impala Hell Project series (in which I drive the Impala to Los Angeles to look into a gig building bondage equipment out of car parts), I realize that some digressions take too much space and/or don’t belong on a car website. Of course, everything belongs on, so here’s an excerpt from Torment, Incorporated that shows what I learned from that 1993 road trip. 
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In the end, the desperate Honda Prelude/Ford Tempo/random parts car mix-and-match attempt to get Team Swamp Shack onto the race track (as documented here was something of a disappointment. Actually, it was a heartbreaking, miserable failure… right up until the moment when the team got both the I Got Screwed trophy and the Organizer’s Choice. I had a timelapse camera shooting the first portion of their engine-swap attempt, so let’s check it out. Read more »

When it’s hot and muggy and the race goes on all through the night, some teams pack up and go home when something big breaks on their car. Others, however, keep thrashing; such teams become potential Heroic Fix winners (or, if the repair doesn’t work, I Got Screwed winners). We’ve got some of each type here at the 2011 Cain’t Git Bayou 24 Hours of LeMons.  
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las11-808-600pxI couldn’t make it to the Arse Sweat last weekend, due to some sort of terrible plague I picked up at the Boston Tow Party race, making this the first time I’ve ever missed a LeMons race at arse-freezing/arse-sweating Thunderhill Raceway. Assistant Perp Nick Pon was on the job, however, and he’s been kind enough to share his photos for the traditional Über Gallery. Enjoy.

The second-annual B.F.E. GP, which takes place somewhere in the wasteland between Denver and Kansas, starts today. It’ll be a day of BS Inspections in the blazing sun, driving rain, and/or tennis-ball-sized hail. Best of all, no airports for me!

I approve of the all-steel body kit, and just about everything else, on the Van Buren Boys G-Body Cutlass, but I’ve had some questions about them boys’ so-called 500-buck budget in the past. Unless they’ve found a magical 1/4-price junkyard in their hometown, something about the numbers ain’t quite addin’ up. With my skepticism in mind, they provided a handy illustrated guide to their latest upgrades at the ‘Shine Country Classic a couple months back. 
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Impala Hell Project!

July 4th, 2011

The 1965 Chevy Impala sedan I owned from 1990 through 2000 was the most significant motor vehicle I’ve ever owned— more miles driven, more hours of wrenching, more junkyard trips, more everything than any other car or truck. Finally, I’m writing its story. Head over to TTAC to read the first five parts. Read more »

Three tries with the PillarCam™ produced zilch (the CHDK settings had become corrupted), but I still got over 1,000 shots with human-operated cameras. Check it out!

Heading to DC!

June 16th, 2011

In the same way that Buttonwillow is really Los Angeles and Stafford is really Providence, Summit Point, West Virginia, is really Washington DC! Read more »

When you drive a terrible second-gen Camaro (yes, they’re all terrible) and you spin out repeatedly at a 24 Hours of LeMons race, the LeMons Supreme Court tends to rhyme “donuts on your lawn” with “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” Read more »

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