For those of you not in the know, The 24 Hours of LeMons has achieved cult status as a race wherein old beater cars race for primacy. One big catch: The race is only for cars "purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of 500 dollars or less."
Prior to achieving a place on the starting line, each vehicle must make it through a bevy of trials such as "the Personal-Injury-Lawyer Anti-Slalom, the Marxist-Valet Parking Challenge, and the Wide Open Throttle Rodthrowapalooza." As you might imagine, plenty of $500 junkers take their last gasp just trying to qualify.
Halfway through the 24-hour enduro, a competitor voted People's Choice is awarded a cash prize. And to keep the yin and yang in balance and the Gods of Racing appeased, a People's Curse is also elected, and promptly destroyed by a mob wielding baseball bats, tire irons, and other instruments of automotive torture.
Maybe I should enter in my own beater, the 1982 Mercedes 300TD turbodiesel I'm prepping to take from Atlanta to L.A. in December running on nothing but used veggie oil. I did buy it for $500 two years ago. But I've put in probably 10 times that amount in repairs, so I guess that makes me an instant DQ. Besides, the thought of angry mob with baseball bats would keep me awake at night.--Colin Mathews