I said in my last post that I might create a dedicated site for my family’s motorsport hobbies and decided to do just that. The only content so far are some picture galleries and a write-up about last October’s 24 Hours of Lemons. More to come, though. Check it out if you’re intrested at CleaverMotorsports.com.
Remember that ugly BMW that I wrote about in November? Well, last weekend was the race, the 24 Hours of Lemons Houston Gator-O-Rama.
I may write some detailed posts (or start a dedicated new site) about the journey the car has taken from an almost-junkyard-heap to an almost-race-winning performance machine. As for now, I will spare the details and give you an overview with pictures.
Yes, you heard that right, an almost-race-winning car. There were 96 other cars running in the race and after going nine laps down at the very beginning of the race and falling to around 67th position, we clawed our way back up the standings to finish 6th. The car, which is essentially a stock 1986 BMW 325e ran flawlessly (once we made our quick fix at the start of the race) for thirteen and a half hours of racing action.
Not only was it reliable, but it was quick. My brother Drew set the 6th fastest lap of the race. We think we have a shot at winning the next race if the car can hold up and be as reliable as it was this go around.
More later, but as for now, check out the pictures below on CleaverMotorsports.com.
The blog has been dormant for about a week due to a special project I’ve been working on. This October my younger brother Drew was a driver in the Houston race of the 24 Hours of Lemons, an amateur endurance race for cars that have been bought and race-prepped (excluding “safety” items) for $500 or less. After Drew participated in the race with some random guys nice enough to let him jump on their team and finished 26th out of 77 cars he, my dad, and I decided we would like to give it a go ourselves.
So we decided that if the race came back to Houston in 2009 we would try and put a team and car together. On November 15th the 2009 schedule was released and Houston had a race scheduled for February 28, which is a very short period of time to find a decent $500 car, get it race-ready, and find a team of drivers (each team must have 4-6 drivers). So when November 15th hit and we realized the race would be happening in just three months we went into car-finding mode. We scoured Craigslist, eBay, Autotrader, and any other website we could think of for any usable car in Texas, Olahoma, and Arkansas. We eventually decided we wanted to pursue a 1986 BMW 325e that was in the Dallas area. Since dad is in Houston and Drew is in Arkansas I was the one who had to handle looking at and buying the car.
As you can see, the car is a piece of work (click on the picture to be taken to a Flickr photo set). The body is in pretty rough shape, the windshield has a pretty big spider crack in it, the power steering pump has been ripped off, the interior is an absolute mess, and the transmission linkage is broken and the car is stuck in second gear. But it runs! I drove it around the block after it got towed home. Hopefully the transmission will be a pretty easy fix and then for the most part it will be drivable.
For the next month and a half we (and by “we” I mean my dad and brother) will work on getting the car race-ready, mostly over Thanksgiving and Christmas break while Drew is home from college. Dad and Drew will be two of our four drivers; the other two will be guys they know who have some good driving experience. I will be the crew chief and work on race and pit strategy.
So, now that we’ve got a car in-hand I can return to some more regular blogging and podcast activities (next podcast is tomorrow morning). I may provide some more random updates about the car as things happen, but will definitely post after March 1st when the race is over.
Wish us luck.