We didn't want a miata because it's not within the spirit of the competition, ... [snip]
(Aaaarrrgh! My whole world just came crashing down around me ;-) )
I disagree. How else are you going to evaluate your creative build _other than_ against an acknowledged standard?
Like when I followed an RC F-Sport on a twisty, rough, country road in my new-to-me (with 200k on the clock) $850 '04 Avalon.
I was impressed with how well my car handled the road (which I know very well). But just ahead of me was this magnificent machine, handling every road imperfection with such poise; so athletic, so powerful, so supple, so capable.
I could see its ["it's" (sic) was a Damm incorrect auto-correct] tires and suspension moving over the rough pavement, and yet how controlled the body was.
And right after (I was following exactly in his track), I could feel how the Avalon handled the same section. It's an excellent car, very comfortable on the road, and I kept up with him. But I knew I couldn't _keep_ up with him if he pushed it hard - which he wasn't.
Don't you feel the same way on the track? When you evaluate your multi-donor, cobbled together race car against a (not-in-the-spirit-of-Lemons?) BMW or Miata?
The satisfaction of driving what _you_ created and built, and seeing how it compares to the product of some of the best engineering, design, and constructor groups in the world, when you are actually _racing_?
I think they're critical to Lemons.
That's just my opinion.