Topic: Why is interior trim exempt?

So we're a new Lemons racing team just getting started, and we've been having a blast trying to understand some of these rules.

To my understanding, the general criteria for something to be exempt are it has to be essential to driver safety and function. This is fairly clear in section 4.2.1.

My team wanted to sell the majority of the interior of the car to deduct from the base cost of the car, we recognize we probably can't sell everything specifically the driver seat since that'd be considered exempt, but everything non-essential seems good.

Although if you look at 4.7 it states:

...exempt items—like wheels, glass, interior trim, etc.

The interior trim is essentially useless besides aesthetic purposes and feels inconsistent with the previously assumed criteria. I've also looked at some older forum posts and it seems like interior trim is a very recent addition to that list.

Why is interior trim exempt? Is it only interior trim or are things like door panels exempt too? Should we just sell the trim anyways and see what's up when we get inspected? hmm

2 (edited by Lemon_Newton-Metre 2022-03-22 01:50 PM)

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Agree the "interior trim" is not clear. But since a racing seat is required, I think you can sell that OEM seat, but wait for others to chime in.

"3.6.1     Driver’s Seat
3.6.1.1     General Driver’s Seat Regs. Driver’s seatback must reach above middle of helmet or higher. One-piece, purpose-built racing seats with properly located, factory-provided shoulder-harness holes are mandatory. Molded plastic seats of ABS or similar material are not allowed."

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Not sure why interior trim is in there.  I think it will depend on what kind of car you are building and what you intend to do with the funds on how the BS judges will look at it.  Is it a newer BMW? Expect a lot of scrutiny.  Is it an 80s American car? Expect them just to look at your sales for fun.

BS inspection is really for car classification and penalty laps.  Regardless of what class they put you in and penalty laps they dish out, you still get to race if the car passes tech inspection.

Any hint to the type of car?  Some types they are more lenient than others.

Team whatever_racecar #745 Volvo wagon

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

rb92673 wrote:

Not sure why interior trim is in there.  I think it will depend on what kind of car you are building and what you intend to do with the funds on how the BS judges will look at it.  Is it a newer BMW? Expect a lot of scrutiny.  Is it an 80s American car? Expect them just to look at your sales for fun.

BS inspection is really for car classification and penalty laps.  Regardless of what class they put you in and penalty laps they dish out, you still get to race if the car passes tech inspection.

Any hint to the type of car?  Some types they are more lenient than others.

We're currently looking at a certain 2005 BMW 525i. It's been vandalized and had some parts stolen such as the hood and a door, but we're not 100% certain it's the car we want yet.

I imagine they'd be pretty strict on that BMW so we wanted to find as much clarification as possible.

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Stratiz wrote:
rb92673 wrote:

Not sure why interior trim is in there.  I think it will depend on what kind of car you are building and what you intend to do with the funds on how the BS judges will look at it.  Is it a newer BMW? Expect a lot of scrutiny.  Is it an 80s American car? Expect them just to look at your sales for fun.

BS inspection is really for car classification and penalty laps.  Regardless of what class they put you in and penalty laps they dish out, you still get to race if the car passes tech inspection.

Any hint to the type of car?  Some types they are more lenient than others.

We're currently looking at a certain 2005 BMW 525i. It's been vandalized and had some parts stolen such as the hood and a door, but we're not 100% certain it's the car we want yet.

I imagine they'd be pretty strict on that BMW so we wanted to find as much clarification as possible.

I would email eric(at)24hoursoflemons.com with your plans and budget and see what he says.  We could speculate all we want, but he could give you better guidance. 

Personally, I would look for something older and lower tech unless you have knowledge of that platform on your team.

Team whatever_racecar #745 Volvo wagon

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

rb92673 wrote:

Personally, I would look for something older and lower tech unless you have knowledge of that platform on your team.

Not quite what the thread is about, but I want to touch on this quickly too. I know 2005 is like 17 years old now, but cars starting in the early 2000s bring an added complication of computers. If you are considering a car with a lot of computers, like BMW, do your homework on the diagnostic tools you're likely to need, and the costs associated. Most likely that car will not be happy with you just ripping out different boxes if you don't use the right tool.

Example, our 2008 Saab. We couldn't remove the onstar box. Doesn't matter that there hasn't been an active onstar account in like 10 years, if you remove it the car gets pissed off because Canbus. I removed the CD changer in the trunk and same thing, super angry until I put it back and then divorced it from the car with the GM tech II tool. We managed to drown and explode the TWICE, which is the body controller, which stops the engine from starting because the immobilizer is built into that box. Only way to fix it was to use the Tech II to program in another TWICE and do the whole security dance to make all the other boxes accept it. Basically it's mandatory to own a Tech II (or clone) to race this era GM car, and I suspect there is a similar tool that would be needed with BMWs. Just a warning of something to consider when picking a car these days.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
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2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Also, Rules: 3.10.3

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

If you lookup Chris Fix's build on the Ptoob of Ewes,
you will see that he sold off most of his interior. He did not
indicate that he took any $h!t3 for it..

Capt. Delinquent Racing
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Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Topic subject: dam good question!

I didn't remember "interior trim" being exempt when I first looked at the rules several years ago, and I've had confusion over it since.

Since you brought it up, I looked back at the 'redline '18 to '19 "last big rules change" document'.

"Interior trim" is not mentioned in that section of the rules back in 2019.

It seems to be a recent addition.

With the advice to "de-scuzzify" the interior predating 2019, - presumably to reduce the flammable material in a racecar - I can't conceive of a reason to include "interior trim" other than to indicate 'you can only recoup (this much) from the sale of your immaculate interior to a restorer', so your $4000 BMW can't go to $0 by simply pointing at the rules.

Me - I don't care about penalty laps.

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:

Topic subject: dam good question!

I didn't remember "interior trim" being exempt when I first looked at the rules several years ago, and I've had confusion over it since.

Since you brought it up, I looked back at the 'redline '18 to '19 "last big rules change" document'.

"Interior trim" is not mentioned in that section of the rules back in 2019.

It seems to be a recent addition.


Ok, thank you. I thought I was going crazy. I know the rules have always said that some things do not count towards recouping costs, but I do not remember interior being called out by name. We definitely used the profits from selling the saab interior to bring the cost down on paper, and no one batted an eye at it.

Wonder if it's because of how much you can recoup on a modern interior compared to crappy 70s/80s/90s interiors that all fell apart by the time some race team bought them up.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Why? In theory, things like glass and trim aren't required to be in the car and would be exempt as a result. They're essentially considered "driver comfort" like switchgear, dashboard, etc.

Does that particular clause get exercised much? Well, it depends on how much car you want to bring. Bringing a 1991 Ford Escort Pony? Nobody is going to care in BS Inspection. However, if you buy a "crashed" Boxster or E46 or E60 (cough cough) or S197 Shelby and want to rationalize that you can make a $2500 Copart purchase into a Lemons car, expect to follow the letter of the law. That generally falls under Rule 4.1.1 and the all-powerful Rules 1.1 & 2.4:

Dang Ol' Rulebook wrote:

4.1.1     Lame-Ass Rationalizations: Cars that “should be” worth $500 don’t count; cars that “were worth $500” before you spent another $2000 to fix them don’t count; cars you’ve owned for 20 years and spent more than $500 on during that time don’t count; “it would have been worth $500 if it didn’t already have a cage” doesn’t count. Five hundred dollars means five hundred frickin’ dollars!

Dang Ol' Rulebook wrote:

1.1 Organizers Decisions: Organizers’ decisions are final. If you don’t like it, tough. Get your own race.

Dang Ol' Rulebook wrote:

2.4    Whiner Eligibility. Whiners are not eligible to compete. If you believe that you might be a whiner, please check with a domestic partner, guardian, or healthcare professional before getting the rest of your team kicked the hell out of the race.

To the OP's point, an E60 BMW is gonna get sweated pretty hard. That's A LOT of car for Lemons and especially if you're new, you can expect that you're not gonna be given much leash until (and if) you prove you're not gonna pinball off other people's cars with 3500 pounds and probably 250+ horsepower under your foot. I would recommend you bring pictures, document your parts reclamation in pretty minute detail, and give the car a really good theme.

You're very likely to end up in Class A and unless you're a BMW motorsports shop preparing a car with very experienced endurance drivers, you're not going to be competitive. That's a learning-curve problem, nothing personal. So if you get some laps—it's hard to say ahead of time if you will without seeing the car in detail, which is why we do BS Inspection at every race onsite—say "Yeah, I figured as much" and then go run the car and have fun. So long as you pass tech, you get to put your car on track all weekend and have fun. If you don't really care too deeply about the standings—and your first 2 to 42 races should be spent learning and not caring about lap times or position, honestly—it's not going to drastically affect any part of your fun.

All that said, if you want some opinions on it pre-race, shoot me an email. We have our first E60 (actually an E63 645i) coming to race this weekend so I'll be curious what their story is.

Slightly off-topic: TheEngineer is right that there seems to be a sweet spot of performance from the early 2000s before CANbus was widely adopted (except Mercedes, lol). People are already finding that late-model cars (that term used pretty loosely here) got mechanically complicated in a hurry. At least it's not an Audi?

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

DelinquentRacer wrote:

If you lookup Chris Fix's build on the Ptoob of Ewes,
you will see that he sold off most of his interior. He did not
indicate that he took any $h!t3 for it..

He also blew up an hour into the race, spent all night trying to swap in a junkyard engine, then ended up putting it back in the trailer because new BMWs are hard.

Back to the original poster...

If racing a 5 series BMW is your dream, do it.  If you get some penalty laps, no big deal you still get to race.  I would suggest the 80's E28 would be easier.  Several have taken overall wins and they are much less complicated.

Team whatever_racecar #745 Volvo wagon

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

Stratiz wrote:

So we're a new Lemons racing team just getting started, and we've been having a blast trying to understand some of these rules.

To my understanding, the general criteria for something to be exempt are it has to be essential to driver safety and function. This is fairly clear in section 4.2.1.

My team wanted to sell the majority of the interior of the car to deduct from the base cost of the car, we recognize we probably can't sell everything specifically the driver seat since that'd be considered exempt, but everything non-essential seems good.

Although if you look at 4.7 it states:

...exempt items—like wheels, glass, interior trim, etc.

The interior trim is essentially useless besides aesthetic purposes and feels inconsistent with the previously assumed criteria. I've also looked at some older forum posts and it seems like interior trim is a very recent addition to that list.

Why is interior trim exempt? Is it only interior trim or are things like door panels exempt too? Should we just sell the trim anyways and see what's up when we get inspected? hmm

Our 1st car was an L69 (fresh air) 84 Trans Am. we bought the car (running driving/solid) for $800. We sold over $1600 in parts, we sold A LOT of interior parts. So if it isn't trashed, sell it. Try and get you car down to $0

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

It's a BMW, you'll get sweated in BS no matter what.  And you know what?  It doesn't matter.  Just sell the stuff, document it with pictures of money changing hands, etc, keep it stock and come race.  You'll take a hit until you prove you're not a sharpie trying to pull one over on people.  We brought the 2nd (by a week) Lemons E46 that was advertised right here on this forum for an honest $500 and still got sweated.  After a couple times of it breaking that went away.  It will take you that long to get your feet under you anyway so just grin, bear it and have fun.

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Gone bye-bye
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Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

cheseroo wrote:

It's a BMW, you'll get sweated in BS no matter what.  And you know what?  It doesn't matter.  Just sell the stuff, document it with pictures of money changing hands, etc, keep it stock and come race.  You'll take a hit until you prove you're not a sharpie trying to pull one over on people.  We brought the 2nd (by a week) Lemons E46 that was advertised right here on this forum for an honest $500 and still got sweated.  After a couple times of it breaking that went away.  It will take you that long to get your feet under you anyway so just grin, bear it and have fun.

Honestly, the early E36s and E34s seem like they hit the sweet spot between complexity and performance. And I mean like an untouched M50-powered or (even better) M42-powered E36. If I was feeling compelled to race a BMW, I'd be looking for a hammered '92 E36 or E34. I've seen the E46 and newer stuff be a complete horror show (which Cheseroo has been first-hand witness to).

All that aside, if you get some heap that falls into your lap and you want to run it, then run it. Cheseroo's been doing this long enough and run maybe the craziest swath of performance to know what he's talking about.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Why is interior trim exempt?

therood wrote:

If I was feeling compelled to race a BMW...

The wheelbase is 83.5" and I'm fairly sure nobody will care about the purchase price:

https://images.craigslist.org/00k0k_hof3dDafNJaz_0CI0im_600x450.jpg

https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/ … 20094.html

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