eBay: LeMons Would You Rather – Juggalo Neon or Renault R10?

eBAY_LeMons_Ratherjpg2 People race in the 24 Hours of LeMons for many different reasons. It’s cheap, you get lots of seat time, and they actively encourage bizarre and strange vehicles (so long as they’re safe). Today, I present two bizarre LeMons up for sale on eBay that represent opposing ends of the LeMons spectrum: Skid Marks Racing’s three-time-winning Juggalo-themed Dodge Neon and the one-time kind-of-running, pretty-much-a-Dacia-1100 Renault R10 from LeMons Legend Mike “Spank” Spangler that our resident Mad Scientist Tim Odell posted yesterday. Make the jump for the scoop on these remarkable heaps. [Edit: Spank’s Renault sold, but that doesn’t make this exercise any less fun. Read on!] [sc:ebay itemid=”291228955676″ linktext=”Skid Marks Racing 1995 Dodge Neon Lemons racecar” ]   [sc:ebay itemid=”301293056761″ linktext=”1969 Renault R10 Awesome Vintage Race Car! Goats & Chickens Extra” ] SMR_FrontSkid Marks was, at one time, one of two LeMons juggernauts in the Midwest (The other, twice-winning Clueless Racing, sold their Yellow Submarine Honda CRX to some hapless fools in California last summer). Skid Marks’ three wins are the most for any team in the region and they did it with a single-cam Neon, smart driving, and a little luck. The astute will notice details like the NACA duct for the brakes and lexan quarter windows, little things indicative of the car’s quality. SMR_Rear_Quarter The car comes well-prepared and with a vast quantity of spares (including a nearly complete turbocharged ’98 Neon R/T as a really fun swap candidate for the adventurous), but perhaps most striking is its Insane Clown PosseHatchet Man” theme. Ironically, the Juggalo paint scheme came at the insistence of LeMons’ Judge Phil (aka Murilee Martin); the Skid Marks team knew nothing about ICP or Juggalos before that suggestion. Neverthless, they showed up at Gingerman Raceway (prime Juggalo territory in Southwest Michigan) with a supply of Faygo and accurate Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope makeup. SMR_Cockpit Skid Marks, perhaps more than any other LeMons team, have shown that LeMons really does improve racing ability. The team are selling their winning crapcan because the driving forces behind the team, Ryan Roberson and Jon Wilson, have graduated to club racing, where they’ve been successful. In his rookie season 2013, Roberson nearly won a NASA regional championship in Spec Miata, finishing runner-up. To date, Roberson’s video from the Neon chasing the Alfa V6-powered Fiat X1/9 (the “Launcha Splatos“) remains one of the greatest pieces of onboard footage in LeMons history. SMR_Engine Bidding on the Neon starts at $2,500 with a reserve and a Buy It Now of $5,400. For a proven and set-up LeMons car with a ton of spares, that’s not a bad deal to a new LeMons team or a veteran team taking a crack at an overall win. Renault_Snipe On the far, far opposite end of the LeMons spectrum comes the 1969 Renault R10, a car built in Romania as the Dacia 1100, which is why LeMons madman Spank showed up to the Buttonwillow race with livestock, a bad Romanian accent (which stuck all weekend), and blue jeans and American cigarettes as judicial bribes. Spank, if you’re unfamiliar, is the West Coast eccentric behind the cross-country Citroen crapcan journey, the Olds 350 diesel V8-powered Corvette (the CorVegge), and the Harley-powered Prius (the ToyoHog) among many pieces of otherwise-derelict British Leyland products. He’s been at it for five years and had his hands in more than a dozen LeMons builds, most of those solo efforts. Renault_Paint The Renault is a strange and amazing find; few of them were imported to the United States and it’s a small miracle that any survived. That said, no one will argue that a Renault R10 falls within a quarter-million miles of the Collectible side of the automotive Rare/Collectible dividing line. Spank let his son’s Kindergarten class paint the car in a technicolor dream coat, which could only partially mask the incredible (and totally expected) rotting French iron. Renault_Cockpit While Spank’s cars themselves are usually a motley assembly of unparalleled CraigsList scouring ability, the real beauty comes from the details: Spank as used car salesman “Spank Worthington” and Spank as a Romanian Dacia/Renault mechanic, explaining to his driver in broken English not to exceed 120 kilometers per hour. The eBay copy leaves out few of these details and while it’s too long to post in its entirety, the Item Condition field gives an excellent preview to the post’s effluence. That field is filled out thusly: “‘Condition’ Hmmmm. ‘French?’ Or maybe ‘Dangerous?’ How about ‘HELLA SWEET!’” Just go read the ad. Read the ad. Have you read the ad yet? It’s almost certainly the best car sale ad in the history of car sale ads, better than that stupid Grand Am infographic, even. Renault_Engine The pricing is very similar to that of the Skid Marks Neon, actually, with a $2,000 starting price and a $4,500 Buy It Now price. However, as explained in the ad, the Buy It Now price (and only the Buy It Now price) includes transportation to and entry in the 24 Hours of LeMons race at Thunderhill in two weeks, a race that will likely be the largest in history and perhaps even be registered as such in the Guinness Book of World Records. (More importantly for Hooniverse readers, the Mad Scientist and this writer will both be serving on the LeMons Supreme Court at Thunderhill.) Renault_Renault This car is a survivor and when I emailed Spank to elaborate on the car a bit, that survivor instinct was mostly his impetus for dredging up the sap-covered French heap from under a tree where it sat for decades with ripped-up space-saver tires mounted on the factory Renault wheels (“Ran when parked,” of course). He and another LeMons regular (and occasional Hooniverse commenter who can identify himself is he so chooses) dragged it home, made the engine run for 10 seconds with starter fluid and called it good enough to build up the rollcage and brakes and other ancillary systems with a last-minute thrash to winch it onto the trailer for its first race. The car never moved under its own power until after technical inspections at Buttonwillow. Nevertheless, the car ran fine in completely stock configuration for most of the weekend to take home an Index of Effluency trophy. The obvious uncertainty about the car might render a potential buyer a bit tepid, but it’s all part of the Spank experience, according to the man:

“The goal [for my builds] is to try and make it last longer than anyone ever imagined it would, at least that’s how I see it. There’s no mention of performing preventative maintenance; there’s no talk of race-preppping it. Sure, all of that stuff has naturally evolved as the stakes are raised and the investment in safety equipment has increased overall buy-in costs, but I still try to hold true to what I feel is the most exciting part of LeMons: Will it or Won’t it make it? This Renault is done enough and being sold cheap enough so that you can make it into your LeMons. Just because I ran it as a bone stock hooptey doesn’t mean the next person has to subscribe to the same philosophy.”

Renault_Handcrank SMR_Profile Both cars are race-ready as they sit and while the Neon ad doesn’t directly say so, I suspect that the team would offer trackside support at a first race if their schedule allows it. So which crapcan beds down in your stable? A thrice-winning Neon or a Dacia-esque Renault R10 with the original hand-crank (in the likely event of starter failure)?   [Sources: Ebay Skid Marks Neon, Ebay Renault R10]

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