We’re just about to pack our bags for the first winter-edition of the LeMons Rally, which starts next Tuesday in northeast Pennsylvania. The Retreat From Moscow Rally starts in Moscow, Pennsylvania, and runs through Paris, Tennessee, over four days. That wouldn’t sound quite so bad, except the intermediate stops are Buffalo (NY), Pittsburgh, Asheville (NC), and Memphis before finishing up at the 24 Hours of LeMons season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park. Make the jump for just a couple of things to expect from us and some of the other 46 registered rally participants
When we say “rally,” we should clarify that this isn’t sideways-through-the-woods-in-a-hatchback rally. This is more like an extended roadtrip with planned intermediate stops. Check out this post for a quick FAQ on the Retreat From Moscow Rally.
Roadkill editor Elana Scherr will be co-driving with Eric Rood—aka the fool writing this—in a rental car—
(Eric is helping organize the rally and needs to get places, hence no crapcan) and you can expect plenty of live updates on Roadkill social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) from the road and from some of the rally checkpoints.
Of course, most of you will be wondering what Freiburger and Finnegan are driving and here’s your answer: We have no idea. Roadkill’s Los Angeles crew fly to the East Coast on Saturday, where they’ll buy a heap and then the Dynamic Duo will attempt to run it the distance on the rally. What will they drive? How far will they make it before the first wrenching session? Will we see Homeless Dave? We’ll be around to answer these questions and more.
You can view the whole Rally entry list from the LeMons Rally Motorsport Reg page (see top of the right column) and you’ll see a whole lotta junk. One thing we’re excited for: Wagons! There are more than a few great long-roofs registered and we’re pretty pumped for it. Here is The Sloppy Mechanics’ ‘77 Plymouth Volare Wagon. Slant-Six? Check. Malaise Era-interior? Check. Hooptie wiring? Check. Yep, this one looks good.
Jeff “Speedycop” Bloch should have the market cornered on “craziest entries,” which is quite a feat when the entry list also includes a diesel Cadillac Eldorado, a Yugo, and a Renault Encore. Bloch will bring the “Speedycopter,” a retired OH-58 Kiowa helicopter perched atop a mid-engine Toyota Van chassis with an Audi engine. He debuted the chopper at the 2016 24 Hours of LeMons race at New Jersey Motorsports Park and has repaired the busted engine and registered it for street use. But that is not his crazy entry.
That title belongs to his three-wheeled Reliant Regal, which is the “upmarket” version of the Reliant Robin that Top Gear famously tipped over repeatedly and, of course, attempted to launch into space. Speedycop and his Gang of Outlaws acquired the trike just a couple weeks before the rally and have been thrashing on it non-stop.
It hasn’t run in a quarter-century and when they pulled off the engine’s valve cover on Thursday (five days before the rally start), they found a wee bit of sludge. I’m sure that’s fixable, right?
Our friends from Jalopnik and Kinja will also have an entry. Stef Schrader writes motorsport news for Jalopnik’s Black Flag site; she’ll be using vacation time to co-drive a Porsche 944—though not her LeMons 944—with American stage-rally co-driver Steven Harrell (above on the first LeMons Rally in 2016), aka Dusty Ventures. If you haven’t read Dusty Ventures’ tales of rally co-driving, check that out. We’re assured their Porsche’s identity will be secret until they turn up for the rally.
Since there is a 24 Hours of LeMons race at the end of the LeMons Rally, several teams have opted to take their street-registered LeMons cars on the rally itself. The Knoxvegas Lowballers will have two Rally entries; one is some old hooptie that will also be a surprise, but the other will be the team’s Mercedes-Benz 560SL. Overly complicated 1980s personal luxury coupe? No problems possible.
The Team Fairlylame ‘64 Ford Fairlane will also make the trip to the Rally’s start from Georgia, then drive the distance to Barber to race. This team drive their Fairlane regularly on the streets and occasionally appear at local car shows, where the show-and-shine crowd look down upon it with revulsion.
Sinical Racing put a 250-horsepower Honda Odyssey V6 into the back of their ‘73 Volkswagen Beetle. These intrepid souls have done just about everything with this Beetle, including taking it to the drag strip where it ran 12.95 with an open differential (though they think it’ll run 11s with its new limited-slip setup). Now, they’ll try their hand at a long-distance road trip.
Follow along with the rally on the official LeMons Rally Facebook page and, of course, stay tuned to Roadkill.com and Roadkill’s Facebook/Instagram/Twitter for more from the Retreat From Moscow Rally!