We have so many great cars in the 24 Hours of LeMons that we overlook quite a few seriously cool machines once they’ve been around our tracks for a few years. The Team EASY Porsche is one of the real veterans of West Coast LeMons competition, having been around since the 2010 Sears Pointless race and competing in 21 additional races since its debut. It started life as a beat-up Porsche 914, but a great deal of creativity and fabrication skill resulted in its conversion to an amazingly accurate Porsche 908/3 replica. Here’s the story of Team EASY and their 908, which looks like it’s going 200 mph even when it’s getting passed by stock Dodge Neons with automatics.
The guys who made this car happen are “Muffler Mitch” Parella, the proprietor of one of the best exhaust-fabrication shops in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Jim Breazeale, owner of European Auto Salvage Yard, where you can score impossible-to-find Porsche parts.
The car has run a couple of versions of the 908/3’s 1971-season Gulf racing livery over the years (normally, we roll our eyes when we see yet another Gulf-ized Escort or Probe, but it’s all right when the car has proper 908 bodywork).
The EASY 908/14 started out with the original
VW Bus 914 air-cooled boxer-four engine, but— as is all too often the case with air-cooled VW Porsche engines in LeMons— that engine blew up early and often at the race track. So, the EASY guys made an adapter plate and bolted a 2.0-liter, water-cooled VW Golf engine to the VW Bus Porsche 914 transaxle. Lots more power, lots more reliablity!
The best performance for this purebred German racing automobile came at the 2011 Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 at Sears Point, where the EASY team finished 20th out of 164 entries.
Since that time, the EASY 908/14 has had the distinction of finishing 165th, 166th (twice), and 187th, but the team has also taken home the Most Heroic Fix trophy (for performing even more engine swaps than usual) and a Biggest Reduction in Suckage trophy (for improving from P104 to P29 in successive races).
LeMons Porsche 914s have won more than their share of the top prize of the series, the Index of Effluency, and the bar over which the EASY 908/14 must leap in order to take home the IOE just keeps dropping with each triple-digit-number ranking in the final standings the car achieves.
Would the drivers of the EASY 908/14 finish higher in the standings if they fed their car into the cold steel jaws of The Crusher and replaced it with a boring BMW E36 or Acura Integra? Probably. Will that ever happen? Nein!