Topic: First Lemons Rally

I will hopefully be participating in the 2018 Retreat from Moscow, which will be my first Lemons event. I just have a couple questions:

1. Are the intermediate destinations the overnight stops? ie Virginia Beach, Nashville? Just trying to get some hotel reservations made ahead of time while they're cheap

2. Are there limited spots in the rally? I know there is competition to get in for the races, wasn't sure if that applied to the rally as well.

Thanks! Hope to see you all in Moscow!

Re: First Lemons Rally

You might want to wait on hotel reservations until they send you the official list.   This is a good reason to enter early, so that you will be one of the first to find out.

So far, there have been no limits on the number of cars.   Still, it is best to enter early.

You can enter with the intent of just having fun, with no intention of scoring high.
You can enter with the hope of scoring high and taking home a rusty Lemons trophy.

The former is trivial -- my wife and I did it this year in my daily driver -- a 1996 Volvo.   We had lots of fun and scored near the bottom.

The latter requires a lot more.   You have to come in a vehicle that no sane person would attempt driving across town in, suffer incredible hardships, assist fellow rallyists who are suffering ever worse hardships, get almost no sleep for four or five days, and generally do things that will convince your friends and coworkers that you should be locked up for your own good.   That is what I did last year by taking my Lemons race car (1964 Humber Super Snipe), with no parts available this side of the Atlantic, no creature comforts, and did it all solo.   I took home a trophy.

With each rally, the bar has been raised on the level of insanity required.   Come raise it again.

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!"
IOE winner in the Super Snipe -- Buttonwillow 2012
IOE winner in Super Snipe v2.0 -- Buttonwillow 2016
"Every Super Snipe in Lemons has won an IOE!"

Re: First Lemons Rally

Gotcha, I totally anticipate scoring near the bottom. I'm mostly just in it with the intention of having fun. Although my friends and coworkers already think I am crazy for wanting to spend my time off work doing this.

Thanks for the advice!

Re: First Lemons Rally

Seeing as this is your first one, allow me to give you some advice.

Show up, have fun, no one going care what you bring but will pitch in if you're broken down, and treat the scoring system like "Who's Line Is It Anyway" (where the rules are made up and the points don't matter!) Just don't be a douchnozzle and bring your drinking liver!

Hell On Wheels "Totally Not a Rental Car" Chrysler 300
Retreat From Moscow "Traded a Bar Tab for a Wagon" Subaru Legacy
Monterey Car Weeeeak -Dishonorable Mention- "Cocoa Beach A.S.S. Team" Oldsmobile Wagon
Fail Inc Motorsports Intergalactic Headquarters

Re: First Lemons Rally

I was thinking about entering the east coast rally, since it would give me another fun trip at a time when I'm supposed to be home, doing useful stuff. Then I looked on a map, and saw where Moscow is.'s just north of Tobyhanna! Back 34 years ago, my first TDY was to TOAD for a training class for six weeks, Jan-February. It was quite a shock for someone who grew up in Tucson. It gets frickin COLD there in January. Like, snow covered, freeze your ass off, cold.

The first rally last year in August through Death Valley was a cake walk. And we did it in an Edsel, and got third place, so we must have been crazy.

Anyways...I hope to see you there! actually, I hope to read that you were there. Because it gets really COLD up there.

I Survived Hell on Wheels, Car Weeeak, Route Sucky Suck, etc.

Re: First Lemons Rally

I have family in Duluth, Minnesota I have been crazy enough to visit in the middle of winter, so the cold doesn't worry me too much. Assuming the heat doesn't break in the truck I just picked up LOL.

I'm officially registered now, so I will be there even if I have to take my reliable daily driver (the truck I just picked up for the rally for $700 is indicating no oil pressure at idle once the engine warms up... haven't had time to look into it yet but since it isn't knocking I'm thinking it's just the sending unit for the gauge which is a common problem on these trucks).

Either way I can't wait!

Re: First Lemons Rally

we did the Car Weeeeaak rally in the Corvair with the oil light flickering on, or staying on, at hot idle. 5000 miles on the car on the trip, and now my brother is using it as a DD. Don't let little things like hot idle oil pressure dissuade you.

(I had installed a gauge before the trip, but removed it because it was too depressing to watch).

I Survived Hell on Wheels, Car Weeeak, Route Sucky Suck, etc.

Re: First Lemons Rally

I actually found Moscow to be pleasantly warm last year. But maybe I'm crazy... Or Canadian...
All three of the vehicles I've brought down to rally have been my daily driver at some point in the last three years. I've brought two trophies back with me. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong? Lol. Saint Jimmy (still in full rally livery) is actually my only registered vehicle right now.

But back on the advice train. The first shot I was hoping to be semi-competitive at least. I wound up taking my daily driver because the Niva wasn't roadworthy enough (er, the oil pan, um, quit working), but still hoped to be competitive. But the craziness of the route I picked south and some challenges along the way (would you know my 26-year-old/300,000mile fuel pump quit working? And it was 800 miles of rural Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta at <2000rpm before I found another?) left our team too exhausted to be quite functional. We still pulled top 20 but we missed a ton of checkpoints.
The Retreat last year (actually this year), we were planning on just having fun. But then stupidly we showed up at the starting line in a Lada. Suddenly we had waaaay too many starting points not to try to be competitive. So we hit every single checkpoint we could. After the loss of 5th gear, that meant leaving at 6 and generally getting into the checkpoint that night in the dark. This was actually pretty good fun, because it meant most teams caught up to us during the day and we actually got to see pretty well everyone. And then there was a Waffle House sign and somehow a trophy. Then I had to solo all the way home with nothing but a glasspack and 4500 rpm for entertainment.
Then this summer the Niva was still broken from the Retreat so it couldn't go as planned, and my daily driver went. Sorry, got distracted, a bull elk just cruised down my street at full gallop. Weirdo. Where was I? Right. Saint Jimmy, the $250 POS that I got to tide me through the period between Manitoba and Alberta registration on the previous two rally cars. Fun fact, in Alberta you only need a bill of sale hastily scribbled on the back of half a courthouse parking lot map to legally register and insure a vehicle. And no one even cares that the driver's door doesn't have a striker. But given the fact it was built in this century we knew we stood no hope of winning. So we just played up a theme that sorta found itself, had a blast, hit all the checkpoints, went on a couple adventures (highways are booooorrrrriiinnngg) and somehow found ourselves with a trophy.

So, moral of the long-winded story, the idea here is to have a great time. Be ridiculous, don't give up, and have a great time. The harder you try and the harder you push yourself and your team, the less fun you'll have, and the less fun you have, the worse you'll do. My daily driver now has "I'm the son of rage and love" painted down the side. #NoRagrets

Re: First Lemons Rally

Thanks for the replies everyone! The vehicle I bought for the rally is proving to be quite a worthy candidate so far. I have low oil pressure at hot idle, the frame has a quite healthy amount of rust, and now the timing chain tensioner is making noise. Perfect vehicle for a 2000 mile rally!

Unfortunately I am very new to working on cars (I understand the basics of how everything works, just haven't really had an opportunity to work on vehicles as I live in an apartment and my cars have been pretty reliable). Guess there isn't a better time to learn!

See you all in a few months!

Re: First Lemons Rally

sometimes I forget that not everyone had the luxury, as a teenager, of having to keep the family cars and the neighbors' cars running. I have led a privileged life!

I Survived Hell on Wheels, Car Weeeak, Route Sucky Suck, etc.