How Dumpster Diving, Junkyard Parts and an IKEA Hack Make a LeMons Winner

By Staff Writer
May 4, 2020 | lemons, Low-Buck Tech | Posted in Shop Work | From the Dec. 2018 issue | Never miss an article

Photograph Courtesy 24 Hours of LeMons

Story by Judge Phil • Photography as Credited

Eyesore Racing has been competing in Lemons enduros since the very early days of the series–back to 2007, when the team fielded a fairly quick Honda CRX. They switched to a Miata in 2009 because of team captain Dave Coleman, who happens to be the manager of Vehicle Dynamics for Mazda North America; it looked better for him to drive a car made by his employer.

The team added a low-budget junkyard turbocharging setup and won a bunch of races in the ensuing years, but something was missing. That something turned out to be a big Chaparral 2E-style high wing connected directly to the rear suspension via linkage made from dumpster-acquired anti-roll bar end links and steel electrical conduit reinforced with an IKEA lamppost.

Because the team has an average of 1.5 advanced engineering degrees per member–and includes one who designed the turbopumps for SpaceX’s rocket engines–the wingis based on the closest approximation to an Eppler 420 airfoil that could be constructed using backyard fabrication techniques.

Normally, such a sketchy rig could be expected to collapse within minutes of hitting the race track, but Eyesore’s low-budget, suspension-connected high wing works very well and allows the team’s drivers to enter corners in fourth gear instead of theprevious third. The team took the win on laps against very tough competition at the2017 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza 24 Hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway, and they credited their new wing for the victory.

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View comments on the GRM forums
1/10/20 11:10 a.m.

Is this the same Miata on MotoIQ that used a turbo meant for a Mexico City PT Cruiser?

ebelements Reader
1/10/20 1:09 p.m.

Effectively hideous, but hideously effective.


I dig it.

Robbie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/10/20 3:49 p.m.

Hmmm, low buck aero connected directly to the rear suspension?

Good idea!!

Duder Reader
1/13/20 5:13 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

It was a Mexican-market Dodge Stratus, but yes. Dave used to write quite a bit for MotoIQ. The turbo was an MHI TD04 and turned out to be outline-interchangeable with a US-market 2.0L WRX turbo. They have been through a few turbo "supercores" (spinny bits plus compressor housing) but the original Mexican Dodge turbine housing is still on the car.

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