Hella Sweet Lemons Car of the Week: Doobby’s Taxiola from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

We love movie cars in our goofy race series, from the many teams that have turned their BMWs or Saturns into Smokey and the Bandit “Trans Ams” to the many teams who have raced “DMC-12s” from Back To the Future. Sometimes a team nails a movie car theme exactly, such as Speedycop’s Family Truckster from Vacation or Ace Rothstein’s Eldorado Biarritz from Casino… and once in a while a team chooses to turn a race car into a gloriously obscure movie car that maybe 11 seriously cool people will recognize. This is what the heroes of Jackleg Racing have done with their 1997 Plymouth Neon.


In order to understand the majesty that is the Jackleg Racing Doobby’s Taxiola, you must watch the scene from the 1987 classic film that inspired it: Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Doobby’s Taxiola, a 1968 Bonneville taxi in Wichita, appears for just one minute in the movie, but that was enough for Jackleg Racing to learn everything they needed to know for their Neon upgrades.

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The Jackleg Racing Taxiola made its Lemons debut at the 2016 Cure For Gingervitis race in Michigan, and the team members showed us the binder full of PT&A screenshots they used as their reference guide while creating the car and costumes. They watched the film several dozen times during the build process, and we appreciate that kind of dedication to a team theme.

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The Jackleg Racing guys got their start as members of Ohio’s Zero Budget Racing team, known for such legendary Lemons cars as the SLABdoba Chrysler Cordoba, the world’s rustiest Isuzu I-Mark Diesel, and the world’s fastest 51-horsepower Chevy Chevette. As so often happens with successful Lemons teams with many members, a few racers will spin off a new team, so the family tree of Lemons teams has many multi-forked branches.

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The attention to detail in the Jackleg Taxiola is staggering. The lettering and pinstriping on the car couldn’t be more accurate, for starters.

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Inside, everything is just as we saw in Doobby’s Bonneville in the film: dingleballs, pinup pictures, nodding-head dog and cobra on the package shelf, everything. Note the correct 1987-grade graphic-equalizer display between dog and snake, and you know these guys somehow managed to find the incredibly obscure Balaam and the Angel song blasting on Doobby’s stereo in the movie and had it blasting in their car.

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Bitchin’ hood ornament? Check.

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They didn’t stop with the car, oh no. The drivers dressed as characters from the film, with their race gear in Del Griffith’s trunk.

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As you might imagine, Jackleg’s Doobby looked every bit as unsavory as his cinematic role model.

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The team’s Neon isn’t slow, but the judges of the Lemons Supreme Court love Doobby’s Taxiola so much that we put the car in Class B, rather than the Class A where most well-sorted Neons compete. Let that be a lesson to you, racers… and did we mention that we’re very eager to see a proper Sunset Boulevard Isotta-Fraschini in a Lemons race?

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Be sure to check for a new Hella Sweet Lemons Car each week!

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover