Low-Buck Tech: In Lemons Racing, Music Matters

Story by Eric Rood • Photography by the Staff of the 24 Hours of Lemons

If you’re reading this magazine, you likely have a well-versed understanding of race car priorities. They go something like:

1) Make the car lighter.
2) Only add parts that will make it quicker.
3) Win races/trophies/money/shouts of “cheater!” by your opponents.

We hate to say it, but that approach is all wrong. However, a few Lemons teams have gotten it really right. The real priorities should be:

1) Add a heavy sound system.
Secondly) Play really good/bad songs.
C) Win respect/admiration/notoriety.

The real innovator was Licensed to Ill’s pickup, a Chevy S-10 wearing a period-correct 1990s minitruck paint scheme. The colors, the white steering wheel, and the cabin accoutrements were great. The 300 pounds of functioning subwoofers and amps anchored firmly in the pickup bed? That’s the stuff of legend right there.

The truck itself was properly quick after a couple years of development, finishing regularly in the top 15. The Chevy 283 out of builder Jesse Cortez’s mother’s Chevelle propelled the killer minitruck for more than eight years of racing until the engine finally died at Road Atlanta in December 2019. It will return, we are assured.

In Lemons, weird cars often don’t need a good theme, but a good theme ends up on the cars anyway. Sir Jackie Stewart’s Coin Purse Racing (kudos for a great team name) themed its Ford EXP as RUN-EXP with Licensed to Ill levels of speaker setup. They bumped a playlist of classic early hip-hop as the naturally aspirated, 70-horsepower ‘80s Escort two-seater dawdled along. That’s style, and real style is really winning.

Of course, if you have an otherwise boring BMW, you can always spice it up with an ear-splitting setup. Texas racers TARP Racing, for example, fitted their E36-chassis BMW with graphics that depict Hatsune Miku, some kind of musical avatar that holds holographic concerts. That qualifies as Lemons levels of weird, and the car has a speaker setup-set for additional amperage when it returns to racing this year–to blast Hatsune Miku classics like “The Leek Dance.”

And if weaponizing your sound system to demoralize your opponents is more your style, a pair of teams running 1980s BMWs have demonstrated that nothing will ruin others’ races like putting a horrible song in their head for days at a time. The NYANCAR team blasted internet-meme favorite “Nyan Cat” for entire weekends, while the RaceBar team upped the ante with an entire weekend of cortex-wrecking renditions of “Baby Shark.”

Go ahead, google “Baby Shark” and imagine the nightmares after a full weekend of that.

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Comments
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noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
7/17/20 9:29 a.m.

Great story and this makes for a great graphic!  

Scott

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
7/17/20 9:41 a.m.

I love the car number on the truck

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
7/17/20 10:37 a.m.

I know y'all wanted that 808

Can you feel the B-A-S-S bass

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
7/17/20 12:05 p.m.

Music in LeMons? Just never pit next to them. The song never stops. Ever.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
7/17/20 12:10 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan
Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan
Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan
Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan
Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan

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