LeMons New Hampshire: ‘Power-assisted’ Audi boggles our minds

The 24 Hours of LeMons has traveled to Loudon, New Hampshire, this weekend for its annual “Halloween Hooptiefest” race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This race typically brings some great Halloween-appropriate themes and while there is no shortage of that— with the right-hand-drive, Datsun-powered Mustang Doof Wagon replica obviously grabbing plenty of attention— we were pleasantly surprised to find one of the most bizarre LeMons cars of all time roll through tech Friday afternoon.

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LeMons has seen dozens of Audis and nearly all of them claim that rain shall be their saviors when the Quattro systems on their battered old hoopties can give them the grip to get around all of the spinning Mustangs and BMWs. What usually happens instead is that the overly complicated German engineering creates a hundred unsolvable problems throughout a race. To date, only one Audi has ever won and it was a front-wheel-drive car.

So we thought nothing particularly special was in store when this dented pink A6 Quattro pulled up to tech. The Stinkin’ Schinken team were new and new teams tend not to go too crazy with their initial builds. Easy inspections were in store, surely.

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At first blush, it has the ubiquitous Audi V6 under the bonnet. The Quattro system remains intact and ready to vex the team. The Team purchased it for $200 with a blown transmission, which represents real-world Audi depreciation. Everything looks normal, except…What’s that in the backseat?

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Oh, this old thing? Just a snowmobile engine running a chain drive affixed to the driveshaft as a “power assist.” And by “power assist,” the team mean “device designed specifically to nuke the differential in no time flat.” Like most of the best LeMons builds, this one almost certainly answers those haunting “What if?” questions that come up after a sudsy beverage or two. Normal people forget they ever had those ideas, but these clever lads didn’t let this terribly pointless idea get away.

2040RK_BudgetOr maybe we’re being too harsh and this is the greatest modification-per-dollar possible. The Stinkin’ Schinken geniuses haggled for a beat-up Yamaha Exciter 570L from some “Vermont hillbillies” (their words, not ours) and towed it home for $75. By affixing the engine in the former backseat and adding in $100 in sprockets, belts, and chains, they have made the most puzzling performance modifications in LeMons history. 

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If the whole system performs flawlessly—and how could there possibly be any failure anywhere in this plan—we’re sure the drivers will all have just one thing to say when they get out of the car: “What?! No, no I can’t hear anything you’re saying!”

Check back here on Roadkill to find out what rotten luck or tremendous fortune befalls this truly innovative Audi hybrid race car and the rest of the 110 Hooptiefest hoopties at LeMons New Hampshire.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover