Lemons Rally: A Quick Preview of the 2018 Retreat From Moscow Rally

The Lemons Rally didn’t totally starve or freeze everyone last year on the Retreat From Moscow Rally—not even Roadkill and the Missing Linc. It was so fun, in fact, that the 24 Hours of Lemons staff has scheduled a second Retreat From Moscow Rally for January 30 to February 2, 2018. You can read the full FAQ on the 2018 Retreat From Moscow here, but let’s take a look at a few things to be excited about this year.


First off, the Lemons Rally personnel don’t want to give away anything on the route, but there is one giveaway that might come in handy: Rally team members should bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a warm blanket or two. If you’re any good at deductive reasoning, you can probably figure out why, but the particulars won’t be given out until registration on January 30.


Now, on to some of the competitors. First of all, we have at least three 24 Hours of Lemons race cars running the rally. The Honda V6-powered Subaru Baja Bug from Sinical Racing will be along again and they’ve added a second Honda V6-powered vehicle to their fleet: a 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon. Both are mostly theoretical in their existences at this point, but they’ll probably turn up in semi-running order.


In addition, The Awkward Corner’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Honda Odyssey will run the rally. This is really a best-case scenario for a Lemons racer on the road: ample room for cargo and napping. The Baja Bug and another old Beetle-based race car on the rally are both slightly more cramped.

Speedycop and the Gang of Outlaws took home the Organizer’s Choice from last year’s Retreat From Moscow Rally with their three-wheeled Reliant Regal and the now-deceased Speedycopter (RIP). The team originally planned to run a ‘73 Plymouth Roadrunner that they pulled from 12 inches of mud. The body was too rotted, but they’re salvaging at least part of the plan by draping the Mopar over an ‘83 Mercedes 300D.

We probably didn’t give these guys enough credit for keeping their three extremely janky heaps—a Plymouth Volare Wagon, a Plymouth Fury Wagon, and Fox-Body Ford LTD—alive last year. They certainly look to be responding this year, though. We don’t know what else they’re bringing, but this straight-six Impala—which last ran in 1981—features a well-ventilated floor pan and some killer 13-inch wheels. Does it run now? Kind of, but only after a month of soaking the seized engine in diesel fuel and then Marvel Mystery Oil. What could possibly go wrong?

That said, you don’t necessarily need to do something like yank an American classic out of the Back 40 or take your race car on the rally. The Team Fahrt Car crew have this BMW 5-Series Wagon that, while perhaps boring, should afford them some overrated comfort and reliability while seeing the sights and engaging in the rampant stupidity that comes with the Lemons Rally.


The Retreat From Moscow Rally kicks off again this year from AJ Auto Center in Moscow, Pennsylvania, with registration from 7 to 9 a.m. on January 30. From there, the rally heads to Virginia Beach, Charlotte(ish), Nashville, Paris (TN), and finally at Barber Motorsports Park in the paddock of the season-opening 24 Hours of Lemons Race.

We’ll post the day’s route at the beginning of each day on the Lemons Rally Facebook and Instagram pages and you’ll be able to follow all of the shenanigans on Instagram also by following or searching the hashtags #LemonsRally and #RetreatFromMoscow.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover