LeMons Chrysler Cordoba Becomes a Houston-Style SLAB

The Decade of Disappointment 24 Hours of LeMons race, celebrating ten years since the very first LeMons event, took place at Gingerman Raceway in Michigan and featured some of the greatest racing machines we’ve ever seen (and we have seen plenty). We had a 1,000-cubic-inch Cadillac Eldorado, a Porsche 935 replica based on a Ford Taurus SHO-powered Geo Metro, and a flathead-powered 1948 Plymouth sedan, and a Honda Del Sol turned into a Calvin & Hobbes Radio Flyer, for starters. You want more? How about a 1975 Chrysler Cordoba converted into a thoroughly credible, Houston-grade SLAB? Meet the SLABDOBA!

What is a SLAB? The name stands for Slow, Loud, And Bangin’, and this style of automotive customization originated in Houston, Texas. We have been racing in Houston since way back in 2008, and since that time the LeMons organizers have become obsessed with SLABs and SLAB culture, an obsession even deeper than what we hold for Bosozoku, Dekotora, and even epa-traktors.

A proper SLAB should have beautiful, brightly-colored paint, custom interior, thumping audio system, an illuminated custom sign inside the trunklid (which the driver must be able to pop while the car is moving), and— most of all— wire wheels with a great deal of “poke.” In the video above, legendary Houston rapper Paul Wall explains what SLABs are about. Keep in mind that Paul Wall is crawling similar to an ant because he’s low to the earth and he uses SLABs for daily transportation, so he’s the expert.

We have been asking— in fact, pleading— with Houston LeMons racers for a real LeMons SLAB, for eight long years now. If East Coast racers can build a racing donk and West Coast racers can build a perfect 1980s-style custom minitruck, you’d think that those Houstonians could pull off a halfway convincing SLAB. But no— it fell to a team from Ohio, of all places, to create a racing SLAB, a fact that should fill all Texans with richly deserved shame. Zero Budget Racing debuted the first LeMons Cordoba back at the 2014 Alabama race, and we thought any Cordoba in our series was pretty great.

Then we saw this at Gingerman last weekend.

The team converted some “wire wheel” hubcaps into very convincing “elbow” wheels, complete with a good foot of poke. A little paint to make some “whitewalls” completed the effect. Note the lemon-shaped center spinner.

In the trunk, amps and speakers for the likes of Three Six Mafia and Big Moe.

And when it comes time to pop trunk on some mark, there’s this illuminated sign. SLABDOBA!

Most SLABs have trunk-mounted “spares” with additional poke. The ones on the SLABDOBA may be based on trashcan lids, but they still look great.

The elbows weren’t so suitable for hour after hour of endurance racing, but the team ran them for a few laps to start the race.

The 318-cubic-inch engine in the SLABDOBA ate its timing chain early in the going and didn’t return to the track until late on Sunday, but the judges of the LeMons Supreme Court awarded the team the prestigious Judges’ Choice trophy. Well done, Zero Budget Racing!

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover