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polaris
04-03-2011, 10:26 PM
Last weekend was spent in Sonoma, CA at the 24 Hours of LeMons, with the Bernal Dad's Racing Team. Our stalwart car is The Whale, a bruised and battered 1984 240 wagon with its original B23F engine under the hood. Sears Pointless was its 8th LeMons race which it has competed in.

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Last summer we added a second car to the stable when a 1995 Mazda Miata dropped into our laps (M Edition). The transmission and driveline needed to be replaced along with several other smaller items. Knowing that Miatas are not looked favorable by the LeMons organization, the intent was to give it some character. Delays in the prep work, specifically around the roll cage meant we barely got the car ready for the race as is. The Miata held its own during that August race but towards the end of the second day, it was taken out when it was forcefully hit in the rear right tire by the other car and took out the hub & half shaft. Over the winter months BDR worked on repairing the rear drive train and then started on giving the Miata a new identity.

Last year I picked up an 1989 240 wagon off of Turbobricks to use as a donor car for my 1973 142 (heater core/blower motor assembly, wiring, dash, etc.) The interior was stripped down to the basics. The decision was to take the bodywork from the donor wagon and graft it onto the Miata so the team would have the Whale and the Mini-Whale. First tape measure were brought out and soon the Sawzall was doing its magic.

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First the rear cargo section was grafted onto the rear of the Miata. To make sure the original Miata doors could open we ended up grafting part of the rear doors to the front doors then mounting these on the Miata. We needed to keep these as is as the rules for this year stipulate the original hood and doors must be on the car. The rear cargo door was gutted of excess metal, attached & welded to the body. The front fenders were then welded into place. We decided to forgo the hood because of the time left and the work needed to cut it to fit in place. After taking pieces from two different badges, and tacked onto the rear hatch, the Molvo was born.

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Friday afternoon the Whale needed some welds redone on the baseplates of the roll cage and with that done passed tech. The Molvo went through with flying colors. When encountering the Molvo during Tech Inspection, Jay Lamm the originator of LeMons said "If you bring a Miata to LeMons, this is how you do it."

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During the race the Whale was its consistent self, so much so that by the start of the second day of racing it was in 3rd position for the Class C entries. Because of how much of the rear cargo skin extended out from the back of the Molvo, there was some concern about its overall handling, but the this turned out to be unfounded.

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The Whale soldiered on during day two slowly gaining on the leader #8 an Opel GT and in the middle of the afternoon took the #1 position. This did not last long as about 2 hours before the end of the race, then engine started producing ominous sounds and when reaching the pit, it seized. Initial diagnosis is we lost the bottom of the engine, most likely spun bearing(s). Meanwhile the Molvo kept rounding the track until the checkered flag appeared at 5pm.

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Post race, all the teams gathered for the awards ceremony where we learned the Opel GT took the top honors for C Class. As the other various awards were being handed out, is when BDR and the Molvo won the Judges Choice award for the Molvo, our teams first ever award or trophy at LeMons.

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24 Hours of LeMons pictures:http://www.flickr.com/photos/68144590@N00/sets/72157626373644916/

Molvo Construction Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/68144590@N00/sets/72157626278601477/

Coverage on Truth About Cars: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/molvo/

Telstar Logistics Coverage: Halloween Meets Gasoline at 24 Hours of LeMons (http://telstarlogistics.typepad.com/telstarlogistics/2011/03/halloween-meets-gasoline-at-24-hours-of-lemons-2011.htm)

swedishK
04-04-2011, 04:46 PM
bahahhaa that is too awesome

JohnMc
04-04-2011, 04:50 PM
WTF??!!??!!

That's just pure awesomesauce.

Xovaan
04-04-2011, 05:26 PM
Hahaha, that is insanity. Kudos to being judge's pick! I'd be terrified driving that though. mainly because I'd be terrified to have anybody see my fabulous self in a miata) :lol:

My best friend's cousin made 24 hours of lemons and I had no idea. :omg: Now I just have to get him into working on cars. :)

Poik
04-04-2011, 05:41 PM
That is just seriously so awesome.

500dollar744ti
04-04-2011, 05:44 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5064/5569069136_39035b2fbf.jpg

they really do let you run anything over there in LeMons don't they? :-P

towerymt
04-05-2011, 12:15 AM
Awesome car, awesomer result.

Good to know it went 8 races. We're driving a B230F in race #5 next weekend.

notyourspoon
04-05-2011, 11:26 PM
I'm glad the red wagon ended up serving an awesome purpose!