The 24 Hours of LeMons hasn’t always been the stomping grounds of people chasing the most absurd automotive concepts in the world. For a long time, peak insanity was achieved through spectacularly ill-advised engine swaps, but somewhere in the middle of 2010, entire chassis swaps started to come around. These aren’t particularly uncommon in the restoration world, but one of the biggest game-changers in LeMons came at the 2010 “Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez” race at Louisiana’s No Problems Raceway. The unnerving Azz Backwards “pickup truck” set a high bar for crapcan body swaps.
At first glance, this just looks like the kind of used-up Ford F150 you’d find just anywhere in the United States. However, as you start to look closely, things seem more and more amiss. Everything just looks somehow wrong and you can’t necessarily place it at first until you realize…
…this is actually a Ford Crown Victoria police interceptor chassis over which has been draped backward a Ford F150 body. Yes, the driver looks forward out the truck’s back window.
In front of that, the bed cover cleverly hides the Crown Vic’s 4.6-liter Modular V8.
This came only a month or so after Jeff “Speedycop” Bloch had put a Lancia Scorpion over a Toyota MR2 chassis so it wasn’t totally unprecedented, but the sheer unexpectedness of the “F150” was the remarkable part. Nobody knew anything about this remarkable machine until it showed up (late) for technical inspection with just one guy, Nick, attending to it.
The rest of Nick’s team had bailed at the last minute, as the “truck” wasn’t quite finished. Nick spent hours and hours trackside finishing up the last things to pass tech, but eventually, the Crown Vic’s tired engine powered the insane contraption onto the No Problems track.
Some drivers reported that coming up on the Azz Backwards truck on the racetrack was the most disorienting visual they’d ever experienced in a car. At a glance, the truck seemed headed directly at them. Looking at it on the track longer led one to think the truck was ripping away in reverse at ludicrous speeds.
Nick and the Azz Backwards truck took home the Organizer’s Choice from No Problems and, just a few weeks later, they were at the season-ending race at Palm Beach International Raceway with a fresh paint job. The truck was considerably quicker but didn’t finish the race with a failed transmission.
The Azz Backwards truck was eventually sold and supposedly raced a couple more times in another race series, though we’re not sure where it is these days. It remains one of the Greatest LeMons Cars of All-Time and it even inspired Speedycop to build the Upside-Down Camaro—a car that was plastered all over the internet and inspired its own copycats—as a means of one-upsmanship.
The 24 Hours of LeMons returns to racing this weekend at MSR Houston in Angleton, Texas. If you’re not racing, you can attend as a spectator and you can check back here on Roadkill for more coverage from LeMons’ penultimate round of 2016.