You're right there is no reason that the Z car shouldn't do very well in Lemons! It's a beautifully simple sports car with a long history of racing, yet it has been shown up by Saabs, Mazdas, Geos, and Toyotas. One reason could be just how much older these cars are than most of their competitors. If you look at the cars that have won Lemons races, most are at least ten years newer than the average Z car. The Z cars that are not rusted beyond recognition have a zillion miles on them and everything is completely worn out, while the ruty ones require so much work to make them structurally sound, the mechanical parts are not prepped as well as they could be.
We hope to change all that at the Lamest Day! In our first Lemons race, we plan to field a 1974 260Z. We had planned to use a 280Z that I had stored out of state for nearly 20 years, but once we went to inspect it, it was FAR too late. The car had literally given itself back to the earth in the form of massive rust formation. There was no hope of saving it as there was no metal left to even weld to. The cage would have required casters on the bottoms!
We quickly abandoned the idea of using the 280 and headed to CL for a suitable replacement. We found our race car near Chicago. It's a '74 260Z with no chassis rust and low mileage. It's not pretty, it doesn't have a title and hasn't run in years due to what appears to be a case of the dreaded boat anchors they called carbs that came on the 260Z. Why else would it come with five of the horrible "flat top" carbs - none of which are on the engine?
We haven't actually seen this beast in person yet, but we have a good feeling about it. It will finally be in our garage next Friday and the autopsy will begin. It died many years ago, but it will once again roam the earth as a zombie.
Hopefully, the old Zed will survive the long night and show that a Z car can indeed hang with the newer cars - or it could be a long night of wrenching and swearing. Only time will tell.
BRE Datsun (Broke Racing Effluence) formerly Dawn of the Zed Racing
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