The 24 Hours of Lemons has
depreciated values near visited Sonoma Raceway many, many times since 2011, but this year’s annual Sears Pointless race March 24 will be more special than most. Sonoma Raceway and Lemons will host the first-ever Hooptie-Con, a celebration of not-yet-classics, forgotten flops, and hopeless hoopties.
In addition to a full 24 Hours of Lemons race, the paddock will also feature shows and displays by Radwood, Billetproof, Concours d’Lemons, The Gambler 500, Arcane Auto Society, Lemons Rally, and more. In addition, Lemons will host a Crapcannes Film Festival and engine-heat BBQ. Tickets for the event are $20 for the March 24 event, which is the normal 24 Hours of Lemons spectator fee, but you get a whole paddock full of awesomeness.
Here’s what you’ll find inside the Hooptie-Con gates:
24 Hours of Lemons
The racetrack will be occupied with a 24 Hours of full Lemons race, Sears Pointless, featuring $500 all day on March 24 and 25. It should give a nice, fitting background drone to the car shows. The deadline to enter the race is January 27 so get on that.
Pictures from Roadkill’s visit to Radwood 2 tell the story really well, but in short, Radwood features all of the car and culture from the 1980s and 1990s that you can handle. Minitrucks, the golden age of Japanese sports cars, IROC Camaros, Day-Glo shorts, mullets…That just scratches the surface. Bring your period-correct dress and—if you have one—your ’80s or ’90s whip and hang out.
The World’s Least Important Car Show. You won’t find many buff-and-shine restomods here. You like rust? Billetproof has got rust. You like low? Billetproof has got low. You like class? You’re probably in the wrong place altogether then, actually. Ditto on shiny new billet and digital gauges. In short: Billetproof is badass and features some righteously cool old-school hot rods.
We know the Concours d’Lemons chaps pretty well—They’ve shared grounds with the Lemons Rally in Monterey—and it’s a real mishmash of everything from showroom-caliber oddballs to crapped-up classics. The judges will examine all of these heaps like a proper concours show. Once they’re done doubling over in laughter, they’ll award their favorites in classes like Unmitigated Gaul (French cars) and Soul-Sucking Japanese Appliances (self-explanatory).
The Gambler 500
The Gambler 500 organizers call their event an “impractical off-road navigation adventure challenge,” which may or may not mean a bunch of automotive dilettantes hanging out where they’re unlikely to be bothered by authorities. In other words, they’re the perfect crowd for something like Hooptie-Con. They’ll be hanging out in the paddock with several awesome Gambler vehicles.
Arcane Auto Society
The Arcane members’ motto is “Hey, what kind of car is that?” As you might guess, the members of the club own some of the rarest—though not necessarily valuable—cars you’ll ever see. Or not see. It’s all very, well, arcane. Either way, they’re awesome and accommodating people with some fantastically interesting rides like this all-original Honda 600 (seen with a slightly modified Lemons counterpart).
Some of the survivors of the Monterey Car Weeeeak Rally and perhaps some future entrants for the 2018 Car Weeeeak Rally will be parked in the paddock. We will see if we can have some nose plugs handy for those who dare take a look at Lemons Rally cars and participants up close. Just kidding, we know they care enough about their rides to hose them out at least once a decade.
Engine-Heat BBQ Cook-Off
The rules are still being drafted up, but we’ve seen many Lemoneers use engine heat to cook food during races and on rallies. The main rule is that engine heat must be used in some capacity to cook the food. And you should try not to poison the judges if at all possible.
Crapcannes Film Festival
The night will end with a collection of Hooptie-Con-worthy films shown on a big screen. Bring a chair, some friends, and some brews to enjoy the comedy and tragedy of horrible car ownership.
We’ll have even more details and hopefully more cool additions to the show soon. Be sure to check in on the official Hooptie-Con page, and on social media for the 24 Hours of Lemons (Facebook, Instagram) and Lemons Rally (Facebook, Instagram)over the next two months for updates. You can get Lemons’ general admission tickets through the EventBrite page right here.