Things have been slow at blog headquarters, but they're about to pick up. I'm preparing a post on Mac McKenzie's Cape Town (South Africa) Goema Orchestra, a fascinating experiment in blending local folk and popular music with western classical music and jazz. I'm also writing about South African photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee's beautiful, but troubling 1940s images from the Bo-Kaap district of Cape Town. Stay tuned for all that. Of course, I've also been spending my weekends at various race tracks.
A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out at the Capitol Offense 24 Hours of Lemons, at West Virginia's Summit Point Motorsports Park. What's the 24 Hours of Lemons, you ask? You could say that it's part circus, part serious endurance racing, and entirely fun.
The overall winner was the 1998 Mercedes S500 of the Opulence We Has It team. [All photos copyright John Edwin Mason, 2011. Click on any photo to see a larger version.]
More concretely, the 24 Hours of Lemons is a national racing circuit for cars that have been bought and prepared for the track for $500 or less. That sounds impossible, I know, but 102 teams pulled it off and hauled their cars to Summit Point for the race. (I should mention that brakes, tires, and safety equipment, such as roll cages, are exempted from the $500 limit.)
Booby Prize Racing's "Save the Yellow Ducks" 1996 Nissan 200SX.
I'd read about Lemons in various car and racing magazines (it's been generating a fair amount of press), but this was my first time at one of the races. I figured that I was in for a treat, and I was right. The people were great, the cars were fast (sorta) and funny (mostly), and there were a lot of photos to make.
The 1987 Audi 4000 CS of Rally Baby Racing,