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Community Manager

Rust Belt American Junk - GM Class



Class: Rust Belt American Junk - GM

Got a lemon to share? Post a photo of it here and write a few lines about what makes your lemon extra special and deserving of votes.

No lemon? Join us for the spectacle anyway. Vote for your favorite, or rather maybe your least favorite, the most absurd, the most impressively awful lemons simply by liking the posts.

New Driver

So here's my pile, a 2005 Pontiac Bonneville GXP. This car truly is everything wrong with GM in the early to mid 2000's. Needlessly complicated, front wheel drive, large as a barge, unreliable, impractical, not very class competitive, and has no real target audience. This particular example has roughly 109,000 miles on the clock and already has an engine rebuild under its belt. This engine really is the cherry on top of this lemon; the notorious 4.6 liter Northstar V8 delivers 275 untamed torque-steering horses to the front wheels. This car truly was a recipe for disaster--doomed from the start. If your GXP wasn't plagued with head-gasket issues, the infamous Bonneville rust would claim it. And with a production run of 2 years, only around 6,000-8,000 units were ever made, and I'm sure many, many less are still on the road today. While the Bonneville GXP is slowly being forgotten with time, I'm here trying to keep its rather flawed and unfortunate legacy alive.





New Driver


 The Frankenstein of rustbuckets :1955 GMC cab found in a field ,1984 Ford F250 chassis ,transmission and motor:Dodge ram wheels,Handmade flatbed.On  its way to be the perfect rat truck with aluminized tape on all the rust holes-Does it leak water in the rain?-heck yes!

Pit Crew

We gearheads are socially responsible--we recycle. Great Frankenstein!
New Driver


New Driver

My Entry - 1978 Cadillac Fleetwood D'Elegance
This entry might be too nice, but I purchased this car four years for $2,500 to run in our car rally Italy To Paris - TexasIt is a car rally (not a race) with a set of varying rules which we won’t divulge since we don’t know exactly what they are yet. In general terms, participants all purchase or borrow an old beater or random ride and see if it will make the 300 mile route… with a series of challenges! Poorly drawn maps are provided at the start and bonus points if you go the long way to Athens.

This this bad boy has a big block 425 and is straight piped and is twice as loud as you would expect to be going as slow as you'd expect. It's really in amazing shape, the story was it sat at a Cadillac dealership for 25 years. It's got 55,000 miles on the odometer and I think it's correct. On a weird note, the original owner was Tom Barrett of Barrett/Jackson auction house (there was a typed warranty card in the glove box). The interior is the velour and smells of cocaine and strippers, as you'd expect.Obligatory Cadillac at South Fork RanchObligatory Cadillac at South Fork RanchThey tore this down, it's outside of Italy.They tore this down, it's outside of Italy.The crew hanging out in Italy, TexasThe crew hanging out in Italy, TexasOff Road Capable!Off Road Capable!The horniest car in the group, I guaranteeThe horniest car in the group, I guaranteeMaking a deposit, the trunk holds 4 and half bodiesMaking a deposit, the trunk holds 4 and half bodiesHere it is in it's natural habitat.Here it is in it's natural habitat.You can't prove anythingYou can't prove anythingChicks dig it, I rented it out for a photoshoot at South Fork.Chicks dig it, I rented it out for a photoshoot at South Fork. 

Intermediate Driver

I don’t know if I have any cars that would make it to Italy, let alone the 2 1/2 hours to Paris, but it sure looks like fun!

Pit Crew

Oh my gosh, that Fleetwood with the longhorns is SO GOOD.


The brownish manual Cimarron still has a special place in my hear—err, fart, for dominating the World Tour of Texas. It's such a good little car. You plebian fools just don't understand the fine sporting luxury of such a magnificent Cadillac.

New Driver

Raw food is trendy.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for this uncooked fiero. 
This primo, never before burnt, example of an 84 Fiero has all of the fixins to be served cold. 

Factory cloth rips in the seats to ventilate your bottom since you were too cheap to spring for the A/C option while you fumble with the busted sun visor that hangs limper than a spaghetti noodle whenever you hit a michigan pothole. 

After blasting those pot holes, you'll be disappointed to learn that there are in fact no cup holders to hold your dip to go along with all of those fresh chips in the dull and pitted haf fiberglass, half plastic, half god knows what other chemicals body. 

No matter. Just sit back and let the cassette driven sounds of "Jagged Little Pill" soothe you through the crackly headrest speakers as you cruise no faster than 55 with your factory 4.10 rear end 4 speed being pushed by an underwhelming throttle body injection iron duke. Good thing you've got that haphazardly home crafted wing to keep you glued to the boiling pavement.

In the inevitable event that your fiero breaks down on the side of the road, you'll be glad that one headlight is permanently affixed in the up position, ready to light your way home after spending hours under the boot searching for brittle wires that have failed from heat stress. 

All these features will help you limp your way to and from work while staring at the temperature gauge and wondering why on earth you keep driving this four wheeled birth-control-mobile. Best, worst $350 car you ever spent your money on.20200709_135238.jpg20200709_135135.jpg20200709_135158.jpg

Intermediate Driver

Sure it has its shortcomings, but it is also the platform that so many kit dreams are made from!

Intermediate Driver

I wrenched on these at Pontiac dealer when they were new. Not many actually caught fire

but lots needed engine replacement.  Techs called them Fiascos.

Pit Crew

I drove one of the first ones in our area released to the public from the Charlotte GM Training Center in 1984. It was, of course, Iron Duke powered and anemic, but WOW did it turn heads! Lipstick on a pig never looked so good.
Intermediate Driver


 My 1974 camaro, I’ve had since new. Why else would you have a 1974? I sent this very nice , driveable car to a restoration shop for paint. This is the result of media blast and sitting outside for an extended time. The painter told me all was going well. Later his wife called tell me to come get my car “because Dennis is in jail”! I went down with my wife and drove this rusted hulk 30 miles home. It will be reborn a 1970 with new paint and drivetrain this fall!

Pit Crew

Dang! It's a shame we're at someone else's mercy when we farm out work that we think someone else can do more efficiently. May your car become more glorious than brand-new!
New Driver

My 99 problems — uh Malibu ⁉️


New Driver

This wagon has carried stuff from 1969 when I got it from its first owner, who carefully developed the patina except for my coat of Johnson’s paste floor wax applied a decade or two ago. The roof has been replaced to keep the sun out and all the mechanicals have been rebuilt. It’s a good 35-30 mile per hour hauler.


1928 Chevrolet series LO (no front wheel brakes – avoiding complexity)
171 Cu in overhead valve engine, 4 speed transmission. 30X5 new old stock tires in 1969.


This wagon has carried stuff from 1969 when I got it from its first owner, who carefully developed the patina except for my coat of Johnson’s paste floor wax applied a decade or two ago. The roof has been replaced to keep the sun out and all the mechanicals have been rebuilt. It’s a good 35-30 mile per hour hauler.


1928 Chevrolet series LO (no front wheel brakes – avoiding complexity)
171 Cu in overhead valve engine, 4 speed transmission. 30X5 new old stock tires in 1969.



Pit Crew

Ahhhh. Mechanical simplicity.
Pit Crew

Please allow me to introduce Rusty Boo, my work car. He is not intentionally scary, he’s just a 1991 Buick Century (or Byurit, as one of my uncles used to say); a plain, stalwart FWD A-body produced during GM’s import-fighting campaign. He is sporting the anvil-like 3300 V6 paired with the rubber band 4T60 that is still clinging to life despite 190,000+ miles. The pillow-firm ride is provided by the original springs/struts/shocks and is just the right amount of cloverleaf exit ramp excitement to keep me awake. The forward-thinking door-mounted passive seat belts and comfy mouse-fir upholstery almost keeps me inside the car during speed limit cornering maneuvers.


Please don’t be jealous of Boo’s attractiveness. The ugly rust patina is the fruit of laziness that resulted from a cheapie paint job over the period-correct delaminating GM finish and really adds to Boo’s character. His businesslike steel wheel persona was quite serendipitous when the hub caps decided they didn’t like Boo anymore. Good riddance.


He was purchased as a parts car for another one like him. However, he wasn't quite ready to be an organ donor and received a new lease on life. He departed the junk yard and returned to the road, producing no owner regrets in his blue exhaust wake. Except for when the transmission quit pulling and I poured a bottle of magic elixir in it to revive it. Simple fixes are good.


Thank you for viewing my proud entry into the hallowed realm of LeMons. Boo will be so proud among his peers.



Community Manager

Please don't be jealous?  Humblebrags only make us more jealous of this FINE machine! 

Pit Crew

Rat rod natural patina found chained to a tree in Florida.This car has leather seat,AC,power windows rack and pinion and disc. brakes.

Pit Crew

Pit Crew

Oh yeah. I remember these. Dolled-up Chevy Cavaliers. Great entry-level Caddies! Congrats on your manual-trans Unicorn!!
Pit Crew

A similarity equipped Caviler cost $5000 less in 1986 dollars. That’s some expensive ass Cadillac badges.

Pit Crew

I bought that car last year in Portland Oregon for $500. Problem was, I live in Jacksonville Florida. But, I had to have it. It cost $1200 to have it shipped. So I’m $1700 into this car that’s worth at least and at most $300. It Was idling at around 2500 rpm when I got it. There was a large stack of receipts from like 12 different shops in Portland in the glove box that said it needed a new computer. They replaced every sensor on this engine but never went through with the (computer). I got the car knowing it was running bad and went online to find a 1986 j-car computer. Online said O'Reilly’s down the street had one. I didn’t believe that. I went. They did. I bought it and installed it. Now it wasn’t idling high. It was running like some bull crap. I did some diagnostics and determined I got a bad computer. I took it back and told the guy at O'Reilly‘a how weird it was that they had a computer for a 1986 Cadillac Cimarron on the shelf for the first (bad one) I bought. He replied (after meat hammering the keyboard for a couple minutes) “you wanna hear something weirder that that? I have another one.” I took it home, put it in, and the car runs as good as a 1986 cocaine fueled GM executive bad decision ever will. 

New Driver

how much  $$ are you looking for_______ to sell and pass you weekend misery project for ?  

and i have to rent a flatbed/ with driver ... to tow it NJ j or.......would the.....curse ... excuse me .....I mean hurse.. make it (with no breakdown ) traveling on the road to New Jersey (not needing AAA   to tow  your baby  to a weekend repair shop that opens on monday . ?.......I am worried about inheriting    transmission problems ..  or ..3.000 dollar ..engine seize.....or  a simple (long waite)..for  parts replacement ..air  mailed / fedex  .. from another state ? ....+ 200.00 dollar  over night hotels the middle of nowhere...USA ..........cause ...the weather in not exactly comfort season ..where the car is being stored... and I heard the weather out there...... is in the Hi  90's to 115 (humid).......with lots of  "violent wind and storms with lightning ..."  .(and we are now in hurricane season too )  anyway stay well ...wear a mask . and reply to me (what is your ask ??) .my email   to bad they left out the scene where the car get sprayed with bullets... that would have been a nice action clip... thanks Novac 

New Driver

WCJr After.jpg

WCJr After 2.jpgThis is my 1989 Chevy Silverado Stepside Regency Conversion Pickup. With its wide Centerline wheels and white-out grille, it has a very '80s vibe, so I dubbed it "Way Cool Jr". I bought it from a Copart Auction in August of 2019. I needed a truck, and it looked clean. I figured with a few weekends of work I'd have it on the road. It wasn't listed as running, so I bid accordingly. I had a built small-block Chevy waiting if the engine was junk. There was some rust, but it didn't look terrible. At some point in the past the Regency running boards were removed.

WCJr Before 1.JPGWCJr Before 2.JPG

When I got it, it was largely intact, but on closer inspection everything was broken. The engine was seized. The truck was not advertised as being a flood recovery, but there was plenty of hidden flood damage. Even though I'd looked the truck over, the silt looked like normal dusty Oklahoma road use. Tearing down the engine I found mineral crystals in the lifter valley.

WCJr Engines.jpg

The replacement engine:
350 4-bolt main TBI block, honed, but no overbore
Factory Vortec heads, 062 castings, no porting, no machining
Factory crankshaft
Speed Pro H345DCP flat-top hypereutectic pistons - 9.5:1 compression ratio
Speedway Motors 5140 steel I-beam rods, 5.7", bushed pin
Lunati 20080720, advertised duration 262/270, lift .507/.515
Factory roller lifters, dog bones, and spider assembly
Chevrolet Performance 12499224 LS2/LS6 valvesprings
Comp Cams 787-16 steel valve spring retainers
Comp Cams 648-16 race valve locks
Cheap umbrella seals instead of factory positive seals
Proform Parts 66914C extruded aluminum roller rocker arms
Summit 226018 Stage 1 dual-plane square-bore intake manifold
Holly Sniper Fuel Injection

Later C1500 Vortec fuel pump in a TBI pickup assembly in the stock tank
Hedman full-length headers 69440
Flowmaster 2.5" Catalytic Converters 2250225
Jones 2.5" X-pipe SXP4
Cherry Bomb Salute 2.5" Mufflers SA1226
Walker 2.5" exhaust pipes 49008
Home-fabbed trans crossmember to fit the exhaust, 2" angle iron & 1.75x.120" DOM tubing.

WCJr Exhaust.jpg

The interior:
The interior is mostly 'stock', if you consider a conversion truck 'stock'. I removed the Regency wood pieces, sanded them, and varnished them. The fancy Regency seat was garbage, and not really luxurious, so I replaced it with Pull-A-Part leather seats from a 1994 Cadillac Seville. The Caddy had 84,000 miles, no body damage, and a HUGE rats' nest under the hood. The interior of the car was all Hanta virus and black mold. I powered it up with a jump box, got the seats, the heated seat switches, and as much of the harness as I could cut out. Best of all, when I was cleaning them I found a change purse with a $17 dollars. Seats were on sale, so after taxes I made about two bucks buying the seats. I built seat mounts from 2" square tubing and built storage drawers into them.

Black was not a color offered from the factory, but Dupli-Color vinyl paint is readily available in parts stores. I epoxied as many interior pieces together as I could and shot them black, and it looks nice with the wood bits and tan leather.

WCJr Interior.JPGWCJr Interior2.jpg

Fixes so far:
New lock set
New headlights, turn signals, taillights
Junkyard replacement stepside pads
New rear taillight harness to replace the butchered harness
Junkyard class 3 receiver
Replaced rag joint and steering shaft with a Jeep steering shaft
Replaced factory rearview mirror with Suburban auto-dim compass and temperature mirror
Rear wheel cylinders
Junkyard plastic interior panels, painted black
Replaced ratty carpet with later carpet, painted black, over cheap sound/heat barrier
Cheap Pyle speakers but no head unit yet
Replaced a busted coil connector
Door hinge pins
New power steering system
New idler pulley
New A/C heater harness to replace the butchered harness
Added a later truck storage bin under the hood
Added Suburban rear sway bar
Seymour Spray-In bedliner
New radiator
Swapped clutch fan to electric fan controlled by the Holley FI system
New A/C system because the compressor was shelled out and the condensor was mashed

Still needs fixing:
Stereo head unit is missing and the wiring is mangled
Windshield has four different cracks in it
Replace tint
The TH700R4 is slipping, but I have a junkyard transmission to swap in
The seats still need wired and junkyard Ford center console installed
Front airdam cracked
Armrests and passenger door switches

Edit: Initial startup video:

Pit Crew

Pit Crew


Pit Crew

Here’s a pic of judge Alan sampling some bribe juice off the hood of my Vega at CDL Amelia island 2019. I don’t know why I didn’t get a trophy? They even left the bribe on my car. B36686CD-B18E-40A1-9D22-00893D2B02DC.jpeg


Community Manager

As a 24 Hours of Lemons judge, let me tell you how not impressed I am with your bribe. 😉

New Driver

Here is what I've brought to this virtual table: my 1984 S&S Victoria Hearse, which sits on a Cadillac Fleetwood limousine chassis.


I bought this baby in July 2018, and it was my daily driver up until this past February, when I'd decided that things like ABS, traction control, air conditioning, and double-digit gas mileage were things I really wanted to have in a car. I still have this car, but after nearly dying behind the wheel of this thing on multiple occasions over the course of the World Tour of Texas Lemons Rally, it has finally been relegated to "weekend project" status.


It has a 6.0 liter V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, and a Turbo 400 3-speed slushbox. On a good day, it makes 130 horsepower, which is just 7 horsepower more than what my 3-cylinder Ford Focus makes.




Now, the day I bought this car, I said to the owner, "hey, what's the story behind all these bullet holes," and rather than try to crack a joke about how Jimmy Hoffa was back here or whatever, the guy tells me this hearse was a prop car on season 4 of Fear The Walking Dead, where a baseball stadium in Round Rock was turned into a fortress, and this hearse was among the ragtag fleet of antagonists' vehicles who were laying siege to the joint.


The previous owner was contacted by a "car wrangler" from AMC, who rented this hearse from the guy, borrowed it for about 3 months for filming, and when they returned it shot full of holes, with the Landau top shredded, and with fake dirt and touch-up paint sprayed all over the place, the previous owner decided to get rid of it. Lucky for me, they didn't do anything to the interior.




Here is the title of the car, note that Stalwart Films LLC is the production company name AMC uses for all their on-site shooting work. Also, the "AM" under Body Style stands for "ambulance". This is technically a commercial vehicle in the state of Texas, which means I've been forced to get commercial vehicle insurance to drive this thing without having to pay for antique auto plates.




As of this writing, she's got 51,000 original miles, and aside from the water pump, throttle position sensor, fuel pump, battery, and at least a dozen different V-belts, by some miracle, I haven't had to fix a thing. Aside from the tires, which were a set of Michelins old enough that they had to specify which side of the Berlin Wall they were made on. Also, that formaldehyde smell never really goes away.


Here's the scene in Fear The Walking Dead, where Alycia Debnam-Carey shoots my car:

New Driver

here is my submission, Beauty is skin deep, wood plastic and bamboo don’t rust. So all of this beauty’s rust is underneath. It started life as a out of this world 2000 Saturn sl, purchased for $450. With $20 spent on screws, wire and glue and scrounged materials I’m the owner of my own Tiki Bar. So pull up a stool, watch out for splinters, relax and have a drink  (non alcoholic) They won’t give me a license.









Pit Crew


 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster, Detective Police car.



New Driver

You're not seeing double, this is a pair of one-owner, color matched golden cream Oldsmobiles Cutlass Supremes. Both bought by the same man new in 1976 and 1977. 


The Cutlass Supreme Cruiser (the wagon) was for his use, the Cutlass Supreme sedan, for his wife.  The wagon and the sedan had sequential license plates throughout their lemony lives and each came with its own log book of every oil change from new.

81917276_2496052060666173_6251730859636817920_n (1).jpg

They were their only cars for 43 years until his death in February of 2019, When I bought the wagon and my friend bought the sedan from his daughters. I couldn't abide the blackwall and wheel cover combo so I put a set of TTOs on it, but everything else is as it was when he passed. 


Being kind of obnoxious by nature, My friend Jeff Reynolds and I taken them out just to drive around and mess with people during the pandemic, because frankly, WTF else is there to do?



Also unfair, I included an image of the Head Gasket laying his exalted, yet smooth and supple hand on the wagon at the Amelia Island Concours D' Lemons earlier this year before all hell broke out. His highness was impressed with the ash tray provided for the no doubt, underage 3rd seat passengers who feel the need to light up when traveling down the road back first. 

89373194_2539804022957643_2378931936568541184_n (1).jpg

This is my submission, just send the cash and prizes to Jeff and I now, no need to prolong this further. 


New Driver

My 1926 Chevrolet Superior Series K Touring has been found a "barn find" three times. First in 1956 in Chilhowee, Missouri, again in 1980 in Independence, Missouri and finally Kansas City, Missouri in 2017. It has never been dissembled or restored, but runs and drives incredibly well. I use it regularly and folks like to compare it to the Clampett family car, which inspired it's name: Beverly


It was on the cover of the September 2019 Vintage Chevrolet Club of America's magazine and received an Award of Excellence in the Preservation Class at the Dayton Concours d'Elegance in 2019. 


More pictures and information can be seen here:



New Driver

Here is one of my lemony fresh front wheel drive GMs from the majestic era that is the late 80s/early 90s. This 88 is complete with rust, bad repaint, crooked quad exhaust and a Supercharged 3800 swap that keeps blowing fuel pump fuses, therefore not running. I own 5 cars currently, 2 of which actually run and drive. Touchscreen works but is intermittent. Enjoy the oddity of the Reatta







New Driver

My other lemony fresh entry, this 1990 Buick Reatta. I've owned this car since 2007, never driven it, kind of ran, transmission shifted out of park and ran me over once (true story), needs plenty of work. Hopefully one day will have a garage of running Reattas instead of 2 non-running Reattas



New Driver

I was really looking forward to attending the Detroit show. Here is my Family Vette #2 for your consideration




Intermediate Driver

Oh wow, there are TWO of them?

Must bring them BOTH to the next Concours d'Lemons Detroit. 

Community Manager
New Driver

Here's my 1976 Opel by Isuzu. I bought it out of Michigan in 2010 with around 76,000 miles on it. It was owned by an enthusiast there and was never driven on the salt; prior to that it was a Texas car.

The Opel by Isuzu is a freakshow in itself; the first year it was marketed as the Opel by Isuzu, in theory a continuation of the semi-popular, German-sourced Opel models sold through Buick dealers. Despite sharing a profile with the Opel Kadett C, the Isuzu-sourced coupe didn't fool anyone, so for 1977 it was joined by a sedan and re-branded as the Buick/Opel by Isuzu. By 1979, it was simply the Buick Opel and then was consigned to history (until the facelifted car came back as the Isuzu I-Mark in 1981...I often wonder if anyone went to trade their Buick Opel on an Isuzu I-Mark and have no idea of the connection until they plonked themselves in the drivers seat to be faced by an almost-identical dashboard and steering wheel!

Given the Buick Opel by Isuzu is, essentially, an Isuzu Gemini with LHD and huge bumpers and also given that Holden built their own, locally-adapted version at Acacia Ridge in Queensland which went on to become Australia's most popular small car for some years, you'd wonder why the hell I'd buy an obscure captive Japanese import from the USA and export it to Australia.


I often tell people it's because it was $45,000 cheaper than a Chevrolet Camaro, but that's only half the truth. The real truth is in the bewildered wonderment that the average Aussie has when I cruise past in a LHD 'Holden Gemini' with huge bumpers. Because of this, it is best savoured either alone or with a child in the passenger seat, lest onlookers think that my 8yo son is driving.


I also bought it because as an Isuzu enthusiast, I also wanted to participate in Adelaide's local American car cruises, enter it in All Japan Day, All American Day, All GM Day...hell I could probably even hit up All Holden Day! I tried to do All Euro Day, but was knocked back...because the same guy runs the Japanese show and thought I was taking the piss. Hey man, it says, "Opel" right there on the side!

Fun fact; it took about five years to get it on the road here; I had other priorities with life, kids, etc. However, GM launched Opel for the first time in Australia to sell Astras and Insignias, had little success AND went defunct, pulling out completely around a year later.... all in the time I had my Opel off the road.

It's a funny car; the handling is nowhere near on par with an Aussie Gemini and I dont' know why, although the chromed girders that pass as 5mph-compliant bumpers probably don't help. It's got a tonne of sound deadening; woodgrain dash, tacho and other instrumentation, auto and air conditioning, but misses out on Jesus bars (the bars above the windows) and even a trip meter. WTF is with that?

When I bought the car, I hid it from my wife for several months. When she found out, she was super-angry, which upon reflection I can understand. But I told her, "Hey man, you can be angry with me, but don't be angry at the car. The car is cool!"  She considered it for a moment and agreed, "Yeah, the car IS actually pretty cool."

Once it got registered, she often drove it to work despite the fact she needed to swipe a card at a boom gate (from the wrong side of the car, remember), she rocked up to a Coffee and Cars in it, then ended up in Street Machine magazine, she got pulled over by the police for talking on her phone when our mate was the one actually driving it into a car show for me (wrong side of the car, again) and all round it presents as now holding a lot of memories of her which I love as she passed away in 2018.

One final thing; it wears North Carolina numberplates because...I bought one from a souvenir shop in Las Vegas, choosing blue-on-white and a six-digit plate starting with S as it most closely reflected our own classic South Australian numberplates, which are available for re-issue.

Once registered, I ordered the same plate number as on the South Carolina plate, successfully procured it and it's now registered with that number. I've not had any problems YET....

Pics include the time it blew a head gasket en route to an obstetrician's appointment while my wife was both pregnant AND had cancer, hence the finger, but also include the Buick Opel by Isuzu's crowning moment; Rust Belt American Junk (I know it's Japanese, but it's USDM) at the inaugural Concours d'Lemons Down Under, presented by the incomparable Alan Galbraith. I treasured the trophy dearly, put it on my lap when I got home, then got out of the car and smashed it to bits on the ground the same day.  Yay.




official photo - Dave and Buick Opel by Isuzu receiving Rust Belt American Junk award from Alan Galbraith.jpg082 - Dave in Buick Opel by Isuzu.jpgunknown location - 20 May - 02 - Dave, Sarah and Joseph in Buick Opel by Isuzu.jpg09 - Buick Opel by Isuzu - Sarah driving with Dave drinking beer.jpgSeaford - Shearer Rd - Lonsdale Autoshop - 06 May - Dave giving finger to Buick Opel by Isuzu - 02.jpg166 - Buick Opel by Isuzu.JPG030 - Bellett, Wasp, TD Gemini and Buick Opel by Isuzu.JPGClarence Gardens - Shannons Insurance - 19 August - magazine shot - Sarah in Buick Opel by Isuzu - 02.jpg020 - Buick Opel by Isuzu - Dave's.JPGMorphett Vale - Southern Expressway - 23 May - Buick Opel by Isuzu - 02.jpg

Pit Crew

Not sure when my nightmare of racing in the fabulous and glamorous lemons series began. But one day I’m on the back roads of central California. The volume on the cassette player cranked to “Those about to rock” ( AC/DC in case you didn’t know) I see a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sitting on a ranch buried in weeds and bull crap. I bust a dramatic u turn spilling my (insert sponsor plug here) on my lap. I knock on the front door looking like I wet myself. After an awkward introduction I find the owner of the firebird. He walks me to the American legend and there she is, no motor, no transmission, no nose and with flat tires she never looked so fast. I tried to hide my excitement as we came up with a price. With the lemons rule book in mind I was able to negotiate the price down to only 499.99 dollars. Overjoyed to get the wanna be racing car to the track I begin my build. Just like a mullet she’s business in the front with her Montecarlo front end and party in the back with the sexy Pontiac!  After three year build she is finally ready to compete in a lemon race. Hopefully she is not as slow as the build. So whenever you gentlemen and cheaters are ready to race let me know. I can’t guarantee I will take the checkered flag but even getting the black flag would be satisfying.






New Driver

Let me introduce Lurch, my 1927 Chevy one ton cattle truck. I pieced him together in 1995 from the parts of three dead trucks. The chassis (and what's left of the sheet metal) from one truck, the engine and tranny from another, and the bed with a cattle cage from the third.


Being that my middle 'name' is Rustoholic, I like keeping Lurch in a state of arrested disintegration. I repair him mechanically, but I try very hard to keep his original patina and parts intact. Case in point, the front tires date from the middle of the 1930's. Yes, they are 75 years old! See the pics and you'll see what I mean.


Originally, he would have had a complete cab with roof, windshield, and doors, but the wooden body frame rotted away so these parts disappeared. Hmm, a nature-made open touring vehicle! Since he didn't have any seats, I upholstered him using a jean skirt of my wife's for the bench and an old pair of my pants for the seat backs. I put a picture of my least favorite Politician behind the zipper. 😉


Like all old men, he leaks a little. To help keep from messing up the roads, I put Depends under his engine: a cookie sheet and a baking pan to catch the 'drips'. For the more scientific minds out there, he leaks 3/4 teaspoon of oil per mile.


The plywood cows are decorations from a past Black and White Ball in San Francisco. I found them in a junk shop in Berkeley. Happy California cows!


He and I enjoy driving around the SF Bay Area to the delight of the public who cannot believe this hunk of junk is still powering himself around. The longest trip we made was for Halloween in 1996. I drove him to work for the day (102 miles round trip) and I was dressed as a cow. The trip took 3 hours each way, he got 10 mpg, and everyone had an equal opportunity giggle. My manager at the time could not look at me or talk to me that day. She said the costume was too disgusting. 😉


I have since decided that he'd rather ride on the trailer for long distances. I put him on the trailer backwards because he has such a heavy butt and for safe towing, you need more weight on the front of the trailer than the rear. Lurch tells the tale about how I learned this lesson in his Stovebolt Saga. Click on the first link below for the details.


For more info about Lurch (in his own words), follow these links:



Cheers, Dean Rustoholic Meltz

Old and Ugly is Beautiful!!


New Driver

I submit our 1971 GMC Stoner Ambulance used in the C2C Express Cannonball event in 2019. Coast to coast in 36 hours. Found 30 days earlier with no engine or transmission abandoned in a field. Stuffed in a LS from a 2005 Cadillac Escalade and drove to CT from CA and back again in less than 5 days. Yes, they don't make them like they used to. 

IMG_6901.JPGWhat else would name your Gurney?What else would name your Gurney?


New Driver

Here is our entry: 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham known as “The Duke”. 2020 Retreat From Moscow Rally winner of Organizer’s Choice. Team Escape from Buffalo and TheDukeArrives on Instagram. Was a total loss when purchased and we “repaired” it with our Hackery and managed to make it to rally start. *Noteworthy Event* Attempting to do a burnout inside a tunnel in the hills of NC far away from anything and managing to turn the 200-4R trans into an all-forward gears (including park, reverse and neutral) and losing overdrive and torque converter lockup. Despite this setback we got to the finish line in Alabama and all the way back to Buffalo with it. Still driving it today with the bad trans. Never turned off the chandeliers and never got pulled over! You’ll see us again in October at the Fall Fail-iage Tour Rally! The Duke will appreciate your votes. Here are some pictures and a video for you to enjoy!








You Are the Duke of New York 

Community Manager

I loved seeing photos of your car on the Rally, thank you for joining us here!  

Pit Crew

Even though GM may not want to claim this car, they built it. You may want to move it to the GM class. 


A#1 I'm the Duke of New York!
New Driver

The Thundercar is real General Motors Rust Belt American Junk:  A 1964 Chevrolet Impala Convertible.  Rusting away for 55 years.


The 327 V-8 dual Turbo Mufflers are pretty loud, like distant thunder.  Here are a couple Thundercar Photos from it's glory days.

Double 500 Car Rally 2002. The Thundercar ran in the 2002 Double 500.  A 500KM rally for "$500 cars" organized by the late Martin Swig, on a dare from Jay Lamm.  The Double 500 inspired Jay Lamm's 24 hours of Lemons.  On Highway One a retread tire came apart.  Here we are changing the tire.  Butt Turrible!

DOUBLE_500 2002.jpg

Golden Gate Bridge 40th birthday photo session 2004. Hella Sweet!

THUNDERCAR AT 40 003.jpg

A brace of beautiful booth babes, Carrrrinna, and Lemons Liz, show you The Thundercar.


Check out the beautiful booth babes and The Thundercar in this Butt Turrible video:

New Driver

My virtual entry is my sad, neglected 1984 Pontiac Fiero Indy Pace Car Edition. I picked it up from a friend who had to move out of state and had nowhere to store it. His friend did him a favor and allowed him to park it at his house for over a year and when he confided that he needed to sell it, I confessed that I needed another Fiero like I needed a hole in my head, but offered to help him out and buy it off of him.


GM only made a limited run of 2000 of these in 1984, commemorating the Fiero that paced the 1984 Indianapolis 500 race. The only thing it really shared with that Indy Pace Car was the aero body package as the rest of the car, aside from the decals and special interior, was nothing but an "Iron Duke" powered Fiero in SE trim. This one is extra special as it has the "Performance" 4 speed Muncie manual transaxle. 


It runs, but I don't drive it because it has the famous GM tilt steering column wobble. Mostly it sits covered, with a flat tire and with the parts necessary to restore this car piled inside. This includes a non-wobbly steering column which I pulled from my 1985 Pontiac Fiero racecar which now has a fixed steering column, a necessity to avoid headaches at a future race.


The tire only gets aired up when I need to push it out of the way for a more pressing project (mostly another Lemons race car, as I currently have 3.)  It's on on the back burner. I'll get to this one eventually, most likely after I retire all the race cars.