Congratulations to the CHP team for a valiant effort at the 24 Hours of LeMons. Given the team's penchant for diagnostics we're guessing that the LT1 has been torn down and you know that a weak spring in the oil pump did the engine in.
There has been an LT1 Chevy in the LeMons race on the East Coast for a couple of years. Rubber Biscuit Racing runs a '94 cop car that got its initiation at the 24-hour event in Detroit. After barely surviving that experience we competed at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC; the 183,000 miles on the LT1 finally caught up to us and three minutes before the end of the race a rod went through the pan and we had a dandy oil fire.
We had enough spare parts to put another engine together, so the Biscuitmobile went to Toledo for the 24-hour race. Our 4,000-lb sled was in the lead after two hours-then the engine exploded. This time there would be no rebuilding.
A donor motor kept us in the $500 bracket, and the team gathered in Tennessee to install yet another motor. Moonshine and Coors Light lubricated the process-the Biscuitmobile was again mobile and ready for action at Columbia Motorsports Park in the spring of '09.
After five laps the dreaded rod knock began-a quick and painful exit. Those of us who worked on the install were crushed, both literally and figuratively. Fortunately the organizers depreciated the Biscuitmobile to $1 so we had the resources to find a motor. Another engine swap and it's off to New Orleans for the race.
In New Orleans we had the pleasure of having our pit next to some guys with a Saturn. We raced with them in South Carolina. Like us, they were on motor number three. After Day 1 the Biscuitmobile had appointed itself well-8th place on the grid. I was in the car for the final laps on Saturday and felt some tranny slippage but we felt the car would make it through the Sunday session.
On Sunday I was again behind the wheel for the start and a group of six of us were well ahead of the pack. On about lap 10 I found Second for the sprint down the straight, but there was no Third-nor overdrive. After putting around the track like a "moving cone" I brought the car in and we called it a day.
Once again the organizers have depreciated the Biscuitmobile so we can do a clutch repair. We'll be at Columbia Motorsports Park in September!
Paul V. Troup
Thanks for sharing your LeMons experience and you're right, it was the oil pump that went south on us. Since we had plans to make The Buttonwillow Histrionics at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, we borrowed the original engine out of our Project F73 Camaro and tried our luck one more time. Our little 355ci powerplant survived, but this time we had overheating issues. No biggie, a sawzall to the front fascia brought in ample fresh air to the radiator and solved that problem. As of now, our future LeMons endeavors are on temporary hiatus, but when the budget is available and our team members can make it; we'll be back at it again!
One Size Doesn't Fit All
After reading your editorial in the October 2009 issue of Chevy High Performance, I'll relate a true story about a towing mishap that could have been avoided with some simple forethought. Back in the early 1980s, my friend decided that he wanted to trailer his Chevy to an out-of-state car show. To do this he borrowed one friend's pickup truck and a second friend's open trailer. While traveling on the interstate highway through the city, he hit a bump approaching an overpass. You can guess what happened next, as the jolt decoupled the trailer from the truck and the car and trailer went down an embankment. Fortunately both came to a stop upright, causing only minor front end damage to the car. Investigation showed that the coupling on the trailer was sized for a 2-inch diameter ball and the truck was equipped with a 1 3/4-inch diameter ball. A simple check for the compatibility of parts and the addition of safety chains on the old trailer could have prevented this accident.
North Stonington, CT
My wife Bonnie and I have attended all 16 "Roddin' on the River" car shows in Laughlin, NV, since they started in 1992.
Problem # 1, staffing issues at our office at the last minute required my wife to stay at the office through Thursday evening, so she booked an early Friday a.m. flight to Las Vegas and I would drive up and pick her up and return to Laughlin.
Problem # 2, I left home Wednesday morning at about 6 a.m. in my '66 Chevelle. I got to Phoenix for rush hour. That's when my electric fan decided to go on strike. I didn't know that was the problem, just that it overheated (and had never done that before). I sat along the side of Interstate 10 for an hour to let the car cool down, then turned around and headed back to Tucson. At speed, had no problem (other than I couldn't turn on the A/C). I decided to head for the house, load the car on my trailer, and tow to Laughlin. I've given enough people enough grief about not driving their cars that I knew I was going to hear about it.
Problem # 3, I opened up the garage to get the Tahoe out to tow with, and it wasn't there. My wife had taken it to the office. I fired up the '86 Monte Carlo SS and took it to swap with her, and went back home (a 50-mile round trip).
I loaded the car on the trailer, fired up my compressor, filled all the trailer tires to recommended pressure, including the two spares mounted on the trailer, and took off again. I made it to Phoenix just in time for the afternoon rush hour and made it up Route 93, through Wickenburg without incident. I was coming in to the little spot in the road called Wikieup, and decided to call my wife and let her know I was almost there. I told her not to worry; I wouldn't call to wake her up when I got there. It was sunset as I hung up the phone.
Problem # 4, As I left town and accelerated to the speed limit on the narrow two-lane winding, hilly stretch of road, I was a little surprised by the sound of a trailer tire blowing out. DANG! I found a driveway to pull off on. Fortunately, I had a floor jack, tire iron, and wooden blocks in the toolbox on the trailer. I changed the flat with a flashlight, loaded up the tools, and headed back out again. I called my wife to tell her my latest problem.
Problem # 5, This is when I noticed a vibration coming from the trailer. It's dark, I didn't see anywhere to pull over, and decide to keep going, at a reduced speed and prayed I could make it on to Interstate 40. It didn't feel like a flat tire, and I wondered if the spare could be that out of round? Maybe the wheel was out of balance, but the point is, I had no idea what was wrong? I made it to the truck stop, parked under the lights, and walked around the trailer. All four tires seemed OK, but I decided to swap out the spare with the other spare. As I was removing the spare from its mount, I noticed the trailer fender had a dent in it from the underside, the size of a softball. I looked at those tires again, and one of them only had tread on half the tire, the other half had slapped off from the fender.
I changed out that tire, and drove the other 40 or so miles through Kingman and over to Laughlin, again praying for no more flats. It was 9 p.m. by the time I got there and I was supposed to be there by noon. At that point, I sure was glad I had the cooler in the back of the Tahoe, had a cold one, and fell asleep for the night.
The following morning, as I told my tale of woe to the members of the host club, they referred me to one of their sponsors, a local tire dealer. I unloaded the car, and took off for the tire shop. They heard my story, mounted four new trailer tires (for cheap) and had me back out of there in 45 minutes.
The rest of the weekend went fine and I managed to pick up my wife, returning to the show for the weekend. We had fun with friends, and rode back to together in the Tahoe after the event without any incidents.
How's that for dedication to perfect attendance? Get this, we'll be back at it again for the 18th annual event.
Planning certainly helps, but sometimes, things simply whirl out of our control and all we can do is handle it the best we can. Kudos to you for not letting the trip get to you and having the courage to do it again. Seriously, that's what this hobby is all about.
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OER Unveils '69 Yenko Tribute Camaro
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Yenko Camaro, OER invited select members of the media for a grand tour of the facilities, including a special vehicle unveiling. OER partnered up with Chop Cut Rebuild and D&P Classic Chevy to build a one-off reproduction '69 Camaro to commemorate the anniversary. The '69 was full of off-the-shelf OER production pieces and to up the ante, they also unveiled a matching '10 SS/RS Camaro also built by D&P Classic Chevy. In addition to unveiling the Tribute Cars, OER CEO Jeff Leonard, also discussed aspects of the current state of the collector car hobby and made clear that current economic events would have no effect on the availability of parts and accessories through OER. Although the unveiling was part of a special treat to journalists attending the company's inaugural media open house, CHP was granted special after-hours access to the Camaro. Look for a full feature of the '69 Camaro in a future issue.
When you receive word that your best friend is getting married, a whole slew of thoughts come to mind. First and foremost is the bachelor party. We decided on a trip to Lake Tahoe for some late-night casino runs with the boys. We rounded up the regular batch of hooligans from high school which consisted of Jeff Farrington, Robbie Thuesen, Jesse Trudeau, Kyle Cannole, Kanan Wilson, Sean Butler, myself and of course, the bachelor John Gallo. By plane, train, and truck we all made the trek north at warp speed. While most of our nights were filled with stuffing our faces and emptying our pockets with unlucky Roulette spins, the days were spent bumming around lakefronts. The five days flew by in a blurry mess with the beach incident standing out as the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Setting the scene is difficult but the short version involves seven mischievous individuals pranking each other by sending one over the backs of another with a quick shove. It's all fun and games until someone gets a bucket-load of sand to the face, right? Jeff had rendezvoused with a close college friend who landed on the same beach we had. For respect, Jeff brought his friend, Christy by for introductions to the gang. She made her handshakes around the group and threw out her hand to Jesse. Unbeknownst to her Jesse had been set up. As their hands met and standing face to face, Jesse had no chance. In an instant he was shoved and gravity did the rest. Tumbling backwards sand particles filled the air as Jesse's size 13 feet acted like shovels scooping up what seemed to be a wheelbarrow amount of sand. Plus, his 6-ft, 4-in height only magnified the punishment as his long legs acted with leverage propelling sand at her face. Every grain of sand flew onto Christy like an enormous wave. In complete unison; the eight of us fell to the ground literally pounding sand. Christy stood there in total shock-blinking her eyes in rapid secession trying to remove the grit. To her credit, she was a trooper. It was only after Christy got rid of the grit that she was able to laugh about the entire incident. I only hope she's not relying on first impressions though.