Topic: Sacramento International Car Show

We've been invited back. I know. It's a trap or something.

This will be our, third, or fourth, I forget, time and I think for our first show I mentioned a big motivation was to provide contrast with and balance to the Euro Sunday exhibit. Well, I think we were successful because last year they got their exhibit moved far, far away from us.

Sometimes we even get ourselves on TV, on Sunday at 6:00 AM.

It's actually kinda fun, telling unsuspecting innocents what "real racing" is really like then trying to convince them we do it in the cars they see around them.

Every half hour or so Adrian (Faster Farms Belvedere) gets into a rev-off with the vintage motorcycle guys. Adrian always wins.

Last year someone suggested we build a car at the exhibit. Imagine it - welders a-firing, sparks a-flying, oil a-spurting, little Johnny and Janie asking their handlers if they can do that to the family minivan. Limited power is available. Should we?

If we arrive early we can sneak out onto the autox course set up by Toyota, Dodge, etc. They are narrow courses marked by virtual walls of cones, so we'd have a chance to turn in impressive negative-time runs.


Link to last year's thread on this: … 1850174360

2 (edited by Spank 2018-07-25 03:39 PM)

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

I can probably find you some Austin Americas to resurrect there on site...

What's the date?


Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Spank wrote:

I can probably find you some Austin Americas to resurrect there on site...

What's the date?


That would be awesome. I'll start making inquiries on this, to see if they will even let us.

Would you be here to do the build? I'm sure Mike will be happy to help. I would too but would probably just get in the way.


4 (edited by Spank 2018-07-25 05:34 PM)

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Uh, No, but I can do another run of the t-shirts for anyone who wants to go play

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Nick loves the idea. The more I think about it the more I like it.

If we could get 5 or 6 or 20 people on this, all in "uniform", a motor team, brakes team, cage team, paint and theme team... Quite the spectacle.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Actually, you should use an opel. It would be a good pilot episode for your Flock of Opels idea. … 06180.html … 04200.html

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Here's the email I sent to my contacts from last year's show. It lays out the plan as things stood this morning. The possibility of going with an Opel Ascona has since popped up and I have heard back from Stacey, the event organizer, and she loves the idea.

"m610' wrote:

Last year someone suggested we build a Lemons race car during the Sacramento auto show. That sounded great, and terrible, and fortunately for me impossible as I was already committed to about 600 miles of towing to get cars to the show. This year, less towing, more showing.

And more building.

If our host is OK with it and enough people are on board, we'll do it.

Here's what I've got for a plan so far.

  1. Spank can provide (possibly) an Austin America. ("Someone" will have to go get it.)

  2. Spank has also offered to do another run of his fantastic UAW (United America Wrenches) shirts, which will be our "uniforms".

  3. We borrow an enclosed trailer that we'll use to transport tools and parts and for a safe place to lock things up at night.

  4. Power is available, 110 AC, via rather long extension cords. Generator?

  5. We'll put down plywood or whatever is needed to not ruin the bricks.

  6. We'll build and install the cage, spectators agog and aghast.

  7. With the car on jack stands we'll do what is needed for the brakes, and suspension.

  8. With the engine in or out, someone will get it ready.

  9. With sanders and bondo and rollers or rattle cans we'll make it look good (enough).

  10. We'll need a theme.

  11. We'll need a finale.

  12. We'll need ways to engage our audience. Signups and interviews for drivers and crew?

  13. CrazyMike knows Minis well. Build supervisor/consultant, kicking back under the shade of his Vanagan shouting orders?

  14. I suppose we'll need some money for parts, tubing, etc. Also possibly for vinyl. Got any ideas for a sponsor?

What say ye?

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Since I live in sac, I should participate...and be available in october, so count me in for a stupid build.
I have this 90 Tercel hatchback that I keep trying to give away but can't get myself to crush, so maybe that
would be a good one to build.  With a fwd drivetrain, not a big engineering project, but I always
wanted to put in a  subaru setup in back midengine.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

On second thought, wouldn't the k-car be the right thing to fix, as it has a big story behind it already,
which the spectators would probably like to hear, and see the actual junk pile.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Jay has promised some money to help make this happen. So, you know it is a bad idea.

A modern car would probably be better, and maybe more relate-able to spectators, but not as interesting.

Whatever car we do this with I think putting the cage in, and other iconic race gear, should be part of this.

I'm partial to the Ascona at this point, being Opel and knowing how to work on it and not knowing how to work on other cars, and it being a bit unusual, and really basic, as in no ECU, etc.

Since last night I've been hit with offers of five Opel GTs.

All suggestions welcomed.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

An Opel GT with a Jag v12, that kind of stupid build will get attention.  Has to be driveable in 3 days

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

If you do the 5 Opel GTs, I'll make a point of coming up to help weld in a cage even if only for a day...




That's gotta be some Guiness World Record if ya pull it off.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Thought I'd post a video I ran into that shows a jag v12 put in a Triump GT6.   Now this would take more than 3 days...

14 (edited by peridotracing 2018-08-05 09:30 AM)

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

I will selfishly offer to sponsor and provide the car. 74 Dodge Drat. Theme=Dodge Lawn Dart.

15 (edited by m610 2018-08-06 12:30 PM)

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

OK, so far we have the following possibilities for builds:

Opel Ascona
Dodge Dart
El Camino

All are interesting, even the Cavalier, in a certain light, but what is needed is not for someone to drop a car on me but to own the build and assemble a crew to build and race it. I mean, someone is going to have to take this thing home, eventually.

I'm partial to the Ascona for several reasons, such as having spare parts on hand, having spare almost-engine, and having just negotiated discounts on whatever new parts are needed. Plus, Opels are the only cars I know how to work on, efficiently.

Several of my team have expressed an interest, especially because we'll run it at Sears Point. (I've pretty much retired the Tinyvette from Sears Point races.)

The other cars suggested are also good candidates so don't let my preference for an Opel discourage you. If your car idea is real and you want it to happen, let me know and start putting a team together. Even if you don't have a full crew I can find people to help with the build at the show. Plus I'll help with other stuff like plywood to put under our cars, tarps, drink, whatever else is needed in a general sense to help make this happen. John Pagel has offered to bring tools to build the cage. I need to talk to him to get more info on that.

Ideally, what we want our audience to see is how (relatively) cheap and (relatively) easy getting a car ready to race is. I picture the process looking a little like a Monster Garage scene with the car getting stripped, then jacked up, sparks flying as a cage is installed, while someone else is rebuilding the brakes, while someone else is swapping a motor, while someone is installing the seat and harness, while someone else is prepping for and then painting the car. By the end of the weekend the car comes off the jack stands and is driven.

So long story short, if you want to do the build, do it, and I'll support you in any way I can. If the Ascona thing takes off, and there are no serious alternatives, I'll do the Ascona. If there are serious alternatives, contact me.

By the way, I see no reason why we couldn't build two cars during the show.


Re: Sacramento International Car Show

It looks like the Ascona is a go.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Progress report on the Aardvark Ascona project -- We've checked out the Ascona and will pick it up later this week once I've got confirmation from the event (Sacramento International Auto Show) organizer that we can really do this, and from the facilities people as we'll be grinding, cutting, bending, welding, wrenching, and painting and will need power and may make a mess.

The idea, in case you missed it, is to do a live, in front of a studio audience, commercial and gluten-free Ascona-to-Lemon conversion.

I've got confirmation from Jay (heads up 24HOL) that the offer of money and a free race still stands. Two team members, Gary Murph and Eric Beckman, have promised help in terms of cash and work, so that is good, although I could use 2-3 more people. John Pagel has offered to build the cage on-site. Awesome! Gary suggested contacting Mobil 1, a show, about possibly covering this, so you know I will. I'm also looking into live streaming it, possibly to Facebook.

The build itself will include removing the interior, installing the cage, installing a kill switch, seat, harness, and other safety items, moving the battery to the rear, upgrading the brakes, and possibly doing a motor swap. Ideally it will be driveable by the end of the show and we can take it out onto the auto-cross courses to test it/show off.

Who wants to join the fun?


Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Also, we still have room to exhibit cars. Let me know if you want to join the party.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Since I only live 15 minutes away from Cal Expo I should participate in this. I have stopped by the last three years and talked to a number of racers there. I have a fairly large lockable shop yard 15 minutes away for staging stuff. Also really large work van fully stocked with tools

  My Camaro Lemons project has slowed to a crawl and I could use some motivated racers to kick me in the A*!


Re: Sacramento International Car Show

StunMan wrote:

Since I only live 15 minutes away from Cal Expo I should participate in this. I have stopped by the last three years and talked to a number of racers there. I have a fairly large lockable shop yard 15 minutes away for staging stuff. Also really large work van fully stocked with tools

  My Camaro Lemons project has slowed to a crawl and I could use some motivated racers to kick me in the A*!


That would be awesome. I was really worried about staging as I live about 45 minutes from Cal Expo and would have many trip to make.

Email me directly ( and let's swap phone numbers and talk.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

The final confirmation is in. This is a go. We pick up the car on Sunday.

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Here's an update on the show and the build, pasting in a message I just sent to the people who are involved

Me to the rest of the crew wrote:


Here's a "quick" update on the 24HOL exhibit at the Sacramento International Auto Show and the Lemons race car build.

Well, not that quick, because a lot has happened recently.

The Show
Jay Lamm and/or Nick Pon posted on Facebook about the build and I am commenting to remind people that we're also exhibiting cars. We need cars to help set the scene, and quite a scene it will be, for the build. Or is it the other way around? Thing is, I'm trying to set this up so they reinforce each other. Like, "That car that fascinates you so? Here's how to build one yourself. And by the way, the next race is in December."

Kind of repeating myself, but one car has dropped out and we have a recent addition to the list of cars being shown:

    Tinyvette (Mike Meier)
    Faster Farms Belvedere (Adrian Smith)
    Allante (Corey Dickman), the car's Lemons debut. If not the Allante, then something else, maybe the Oldsmobile.
    Zombee (Pete Peterson). There may be hurdles to overcome.
    Upside-down Camaro (Jay Lamm and Nick Pon) We'll need to get someone to drive or trailer it to and from the show.
    STI (Chuck Donely), if it survives The Ridge. If not, then perhaps the Avanti.
    Scrubby (Mike Kimball), with a street engine in it and a For Sale sign on it.
    Boom Box S10 (Jesse Cortez), depending on Buttonwillow and other things
    TCT Prosche (Gavin Hembree), depending on the outcome of Buttonwillow
    TCT Aqua Volvo (Gavin Hembree), depending on the outcome of Buttonwillow
    AMC Spirit (Christopher Blizzard), depending on the outcome at The Ridge, and other things.
    Ford Ranchero (Tim Odell)

And I'll say it again, I'd love to see the Del Camino come back, and Restart Racing's Ranger (I'm going to cc Gene 4-5 time on this email so he gets the message.), and when, oh, when will the Coyote make it down from Redding?

Twelve cars is a pretty good exhibit, but Stacey, the event organizer, says if we have more cars and need more space she'll find it for us. I figure that means she'll kick Euro Sunday out of one of the nearby buildings.

The Three-Day Make-Over
That's what we're currently calling the live build, and here's the status on that.

The car is a 1975 Opel Sport Wagon, a sweet little 2-door "sport" wagon. We fetched it from the forests above Oroville two weeks ago and the following week got a better look at it. The original plan was to simply vacuum out the leaves and crap and bring it to the show intact, to be stripped, caged, and made ready to race. But, a 43 year old car with no windows that was stored for years in a place that gets 3 feet of snow win the winter is bound to have issues, and this one does, so we stripped the interior to get a better idea what was needed, and it needs "a bit". Mostly it will need new floor pans plus a big patch were the battery was located, which is above the driver's feet, and just like Mantas, it has rusted out, taking out the firewall with it and leaving a big hole in the inner fender. Next Wednesday we take it to Kurt's in Petaluma to fix all that and maybe take care of a few other things that would be very difficult to do at the show.

The goal for the build is to finish the weekend with a running car. Of course, back at the Opel ranch it will get another careful going-through to make sure all the work was done right and the car is safe enough and acceptably reliable. The short list on the work to be done is:

    Remove and re-bush the rear end.
    Replace the rear brakes.
    Remove and re-bush the torque tube.
    Remove and re-bush the front suspension cross-member.
    Install upgraded brakes in front.
    Build the cage.
    Install the seat and other safety gear.
    Rewire the car, enough that we can run it.
    Install an engine.
    Install the windshield.
    Some cosmetic work, such as paint the cage and apply some vinyl.

As for staging, here's the plan:

    Drop the car off in the middle of the courtyard, put plywood and tarps under it, and put it on jack stands.
    Stack some of the crap we took out of the car around it, so people can see what kinds of junk gets stripped.
    Stack the old, flat, rotten tires nearby, next to the replacement wheels/tires.
    Set up a tool area and work benches.
    Set up pop-ups, chairs, a shaded rest area.
    Put up a sign/poster telling people what this is about.
    Put up a poster/whiteboard with a big checklist on it. We'll check things off as work progresses.
    Put up other signs, etc, play race videos, give out stickers, sell HOFAW books, stuff like that.

In addition, the show and the build will be live streamed, thanks to Ian.

As for the cage, John and I are keeping in touch on this. He will be bringing his trailer and lots of tools. During the show he will measure for and build the cage on site, with help from us chipping tar (already done), prepping welds, notching tubing, etc. We still have to make sure things are set up at the site in advance. John, and the rest of us, will need power.

As for parts, which are much harder to come by for this car than for a GT, we are doing very well so far, and fortunately the Opel community is behind us on this. I just returned from Opel GT Source (Sonora, CA) with a truck full of rare and valuable parts (windshield, windshield rubber, throttle and clutch cables, brakes, bushings, and more.). A guy in Minnesota is shipping us a free engine and transmission, another guy sent us free brake parts and suspension reinforcement parts, someone even chipped in some money. We'll be borrowing some parts from the Tinyvette (seat, steering wheel, extinguisher). We don't have everything we'll need yet but we're pretty close.

While we already have lots of fans, one guy on the Opel forums took exception to all this and said he'd do everything he could to stop us. That's probably because I described this car as our "sacrificial Opel". After explaining all I meant was it wouldn't get quite as much attention as the Tinyvette when we come home from races with body damage I think he is feeling better about this.

As for the crew and drivers, we have:

    Kurt Bainum -- has crewed for us for years, does the body work on the Tinyvette, won't be driving.
    Eric Beckman -- has been racing with us for just over a year. He owns the Sport Wagon and will take the lead on paper work, setting up an LLC, social media, etc.
    Gary Murph -- has raced for us a number of times, owns and races his own GT in VARA and the SCCA
    Don Michaelson -- My co-pilot on the Cannonball,, and he owns a very nice Sport Wagon and can lend a lot of expertise in that.
    Patrick Barranger -- Has never raced but has done 8-9 track days in Miatas and his Opel GT, mostly at Sonoma and Thunderhill, and has he run in the rain.
    Ian Korf -- Author of "You Suck at Racing", both the blog and book. Has been racing in Lemons for years.
    Tim Odell -- some-times Lemons tech inspector and judge on the Lemons supreme court, and the guy who brings the early 60's Ranchero to the west coast races.
    Me -- 'nough said.

As for the race, Eric has signed us up. Hopefully we'll be accepted. If not, Sears Pointless!

The goal of the race is to finish it. We mean to build a solid car, something everyone will get a chance to drive. Eventually we will dominate, but that can wait.

Feel free to call or email to come by any time if you have questions or concerns or bright ideas for a theme, etc.

Mike Meier

Re: Sacramento International Car Show

Mike,   An email sent


Re: Sacramento International Car Show

I never got it. I emailed you last night.

Maybe the email thingy here is not working.