The 24 Hours of LeMons staff has grown accustomed to Tennessee-based regulars The Knoxvegas Lowballers running some incredible multiple-car teams, but we were woefully unprepared for the depth of their team theme at the ‘Shine Country Classic . They turned up with a three-car LeMons tribute to Ken Block’s Gymkhana cars at Barber Motorsports Park. Simply put, these cars are astounding.
As this is LeMons, however, the Knoxvegas Lowballers have a few surprises under their Hooptiecorn.
Despite the exterior, the Hooptiecorn isn’t quite a ’65 Mustang.
Under the classic Mustang exterior, the Hooptiecorn is, in fact, the same Ford Contour SVT that has raced in LeMons for several years.
The fake velocity stacks look nice on the hood and the graphics are tremendous.
The body panels were actually plucked from a first-generation Mustang that had been wrapped around a tree and was otherwise headed for The Crusher.
They found the Mustang body for cheap on Craigslist (the LeMons Supreme Court doesn’t mind a team going a bit over the $500 budgetary limit for stuff like this) and did a tremendous amount of cut-and-paste involving Sawzalls, welders, fiberglass, and body filler. If a classic Mustang was going to be saved, I can’t think of a better way to save it.
We love this thing. Best-looking front-wheel-drive ’66 Mustang in the world!
Of course, being a team with multiple cars, the Lowballers couldn’t have just the Hoonicorn. They also turned their mid-engined Geo Metro into a replica of the Ford Fiestas that have starred in many of the Hoonigan Gymkhana videos.
The Lowballers’ Metro does carry some Ford lineage with a 3.0-liter Duratec V6 mounted behind the driver.
It looks a pretty serious piece of work and it is: This car is the first and only LeMons car to have won all three classes and Index of Effluency.
The big “spoiler” supports carry a great Hoonigan-knockoff logo to let other teams know the city from which they come.
What do you think?
Any good Gymkhana video needs some support and camera vehicles and the Lowballers’ Mazda MPV is perfect for that.
While the roof-mounted camera rig stands out, the real surprise is in the front and back of the car.
The MPV carries a 3.0-liter Duratec V6 in the front and— since they had an extra one laying around— another Duratec in the back. In case that’s not crazy enough, both of the V6s put down the power through manual transmissions with a neatly-fabricated double shifter.
The MPV has yet to run reliably and with the extra minivan heft and the double-unknown of a twin-engine setup, it will run in the class reserved for the slowest and/or least reliable cars: Class C.
The Hooptiecorn Contour has yet to win Class B, though it’s come close on more than one occasion. Will the Hooptiecorn finally claim Class B glory?
And the Metro that’s won the complete set of trophies? We think they’ll be competitive again in the hunt for an overall win.
The Knoxvegas Lowballers are ready for the 2016 season of the 24 Hours of LeMons to begin and so are we. Check back next week for more on this car and others from the ‘Shine Country Classic.