The Turtle Eclipse of the Heart Mitsubishi Eclipse that showed up to race at 24 Hours of LeMons’ Summit Point Raceway race in 2013 was really a trifecta of goodness: a first-rate team name, a man dressed up as a woman to make a forgettable pop-culture reference, and a truly, truly terrible racecar. And sometimes a good team name is all you need to be a Hella Sweet Lemons Car of the Week.
The Eclipse and its Chrysler cousins (Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser) have historically unreliable in a way that only other Chrysler products—like K-Cars—can claim. This particular Eclipse’s 17th-place finish represents a rare solid outing wherein they were defeated in their class by an Oldsmobile Delta 88, a Pontiac Fiero, and a Ford Escort (all finely honed road-racing instruments).
We didn’t see the Turtle Eclipse for a couple years, but it returned in 2017 to the Real Hoopties of New Jersey, where it finished an impressive 12th place and third in Class B (behind an AMC Hornet). Maybe a sopping-wet New Jersey Motorsports Park was all they need to (almost) dominate.
Well, at least the name was great. Well done, Turtle Eclipse of the Heart.