Home » My Favorite Car From This Past Weekend’s Lemons Race Has The Most Baffling Livery I’ve Ever Seen: Cold Start

My Favorite Car From This Past Weekend’s Lemons Race Has The Most Baffling Livery I’ve Ever Seen: Cold Start

Cs Lemons Jag1
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This past weekend I was out at Carolina Motorsports Park in a part of South Carolina that strangely looked like a desert, complete with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation, or it did until it started to rain, torrentially and unrelentingly. I was judging the 24 Hours of Lemons race out there, and, as always, it was a blast. I’ll likely have more stories and little videos about it over the course of the week, but right now I want to focus on one of my favorite cars at the race, and one that has one of the most deep-cut and obscure livery themes I’ve ever seen. It was the 1959 Jaguar Mark I Saloon from the Piston Liberation Front team. The livery was clean and simple, and combined two things that demonstrate this team’s thumbs are firmly pressed against the pulsing veins of modern American culture: a long-dead and very funny comic actor big in the 1970s on shows like The Carol Burnett Show and an Australian chain of “computers, electrical, furniture & bedding” stores.

Yes, that’s right, I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, this team took the well-known-only-among-people-45-and-older Harvey Korman and combined it with the almost entirely unknown in America retail chain called Harvey Norman. Get it? Korman-Norman, all combined onto a lovely old bit of iconic British iron!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It’s perfect! Just perfect! People have been trying for years to pull this off, mostly via failed attempts to somehow combine Tim Conway and Dick Smith but could never quite make it work; then, out of nowhere, the Piston Liberation Front kooks re-thought the whole alchemy from the get-go and came up with this triumph.

Cs Lemons Jag2

 

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There is a particular Harvey Korman character they’re using as their touchstone reference, the character Hedley Lamarr that Korman played in the Mel Brooks’ masterpiece comedy-western Blazing Saddles. Here he is, the one who isn’t Slim Pickins:

You remember him from there, right? And this reference is hinted at in the license plate:

Cs Lemons Jag4

…and in this really nicely done charicature of Korman as Lamarr:

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Cs Lemons Harvey1

It’s all delightfully baffling, I think. I wonder what percentage of the people at the race actually knew what the hell these references were? Actually, at a Lemons race, it’s probably a pretty high number.

The Jag was technically inteteresting, too – the original straight-6 Jag engine was taken out and replaced with a more modern Jaguar 4-liter straight-6, but when they installed it, it was shoved way way back, making it almost a front-mid-engined car, and the driver now sits next to a huge, hot doghouse that houses much of that engine, which extends into the cabin a good two and a half feet, at least.

You can see how far back it’s set here in this open bonnet shot:

Cs Lemons Jag3

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The covers there at the front duct air to the radiator, so you can see the engine itself doesn’t really start until right about the front axle line.

I’ll show you more great Lemons cars soon, but I had to show you this one first because, well, you can see why.

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Chris Thorpe
Chris Thorpe
1 month ago

Somehow, in these pics, the Jag looks like a flattened VW Beetle. Wonder what size shoes you’d need to squish a bug into a Jag?

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
1 month ago

Kinky… Sign here.

Classic and Clunker
Classic and Clunker
1 month ago

If they win Lemons, they can Count de Monet

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
1 month ago

You will be risking only your dignity, while I will be risking an almost-certain nomination for Best of the Lemons.

Shane
Shane
1 month ago

Another little titbit that might be missed is the Harvey Norman jingle can be yelled out at a race for encouragement: https://youtu.be/l-5oZpR9mxY?si=q_5YrVJGH6by9AC0

Martin English
Martin English
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane

What did Mrs Norman scream out every night ?

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

I was at the race. I admired the Jag several times. I know who Harvey Korman is. I didn’t get the joke. My excuse is that my team’s Hooptie was always finding ingenious ways to die. The final straw (90 minutes from the end of the race) was Ford’s 1998 key immobilizer technology decided that we had stolen the vehicle and advised us to take our crapcan racecar to the dealer to have the ECU reset.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  Chronometric

By all means please do take it to a dealer to have the ECU reset. Document the results, preferably with video, and bring it to the next race.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

So much fabulous madness in LeMons, I hope to one be mad enough to enter.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
1 month ago

The off-center 3 in the black circle is messing with my brain. In that top shot, it looks like it’s recessed in an actual hole.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

They were originally #43 (you can barely see the blacked out 4 on the last photo) but some other team must have claimed #43 for this race (likely in a horribly executed Richard Petty theme car) so they just changed it to #3.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott
Hillbilly Ocean
Hillbilly Ocean
1 month ago

Kinky!

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

I definitely would not have caught that. At 42 I’m just a bit too young for Carol Burnett Show references. I know who she is, and I’ve heard of the show, but I never actually saw it. I still found her recent interview on WTF with Marc Maron very interesting. She’s led a fascinating life!

I’ve seen Blazing Saddles once, and thought it was hilarious, but it’s not a go-to of mine, so I would have missed that reference too.

Jeff Wheeler
Jeff Wheeler
1 month ago

Can someone unpack the Tim Conway / Dick Smith reference for me? I grew up in South Carolina, so associate “Dick Smith” with a semi-scrupulous collection of (mostly?) Nissan dealerships.

Misplaced Aussie
Misplaced Aussie
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Wheeler

Dick Smith Electronics was a chain of stores in Australia from the 70’s and 80’s – something like a Radio Shack store in the US

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
1 month ago

Dick Smith himself is worth looking up on Wikipedia – he also holds quite a few aviation firsts and records,and was also involved in a stunt inverting Evel Knievel’s 1979 motorcycle jump in Australia, by jumping a double decker bus over 16 motorcycles!

El Barto
El Barto
1 month ago

DSE also opened plenty of stores on the other side of the ditch in NZ, finally going out of business sometime in the 2010s IIRC. There’s an online-only store left now, which largely sells Chinesium stuff.
Jaycar and PB Tech have largely taken over the same space, with Jaycar being more like DSE of old.

Martin English
Martin English
1 month ago
Reply to  El Barto

I think Dick Smith sold the stores / franchise rights to Woolworths for squillions

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 month ago

People have been trying for years to pull this off, mostly via failed attempts to somehow combine Tim Conway and Dick Smith but could never quite make it work;

What? No one came up with “Conway Smitty”? That’s a three-for-one deal!

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 month ago

Great, now I’m gonna have that Carol Burnett theme music stuck in my head all day.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Kinda tugs on your ear, doesn’t it?

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I just hope for their sake that this car mopped the floor with the competition.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

“…the Piston Liberation Front kooks re-thought the whole alchemy from the get-go and came up with this triumph.“

Triumph? I though you said it was a Jaguar.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

Oh and since it wasn’t explicitly mentioned, this is a replica of an existing Harvey Norman racing livery.

https://autoaction.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/30759949278_13a67f79b8_k-875×583.jpg

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Thanks, I was confused on where the Norman was

Mark Jacob
Mark Jacob
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Thank you! I was wondering where the Norman connection was.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

The 24 Hours of Lemons organizers have long said that the ideal theme is one that only a handful of people get but think is perfect, and they’ve mentioned this particular car on their wrapup videos because the theme is head scratching to most, but some Aussie who visited one of their races immediately got this and thought it was fantastic.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Ah, yes, the Mike Harrell Rule:

https://youtu.be/KFgi226uhFs?t=600

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Thanks, I was too lazy to look for the actual clip I referenced.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

You’re welcome. I’d rather have had a new safety rule named after me in commemoration of a subsequently banned bad idea but hey, I don’t make the rules. Well, usually.

NotSpanky
NotSpanky
1 month ago

Dear lord, I’m not not sure I could possibly like this masterpiece any more. Bravo.
And extra points to Torch for the Dick Smith reference.
Can someone please explain to my wife why I’m in the garage applying a Nash Bridges / Brashs Music graphic to one of our family cars?
Oh but who am I kidding, the Brash Nidges 320i wagon ain’t got nothing on Harvey Korman HL restomod Mark I. Perfection has already been obtained.

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 month ago

This is fantastic – thanks, Torch!

I was struggling a bit to get the Harvey Norman connection until I searched for an image of their logo: the car uses the store’s typeface.

He really was a great comedic actor.The best ones from the aforementioned Carol Burnett Show would be Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Ms. Burnett herself, and Harvey Korman.

“You said Harvey Korman twice.”

“I like Harvey Korman.”

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  A. Barth

So glad for the sake of this “family website” that you didn’t use the Blazing Saddles version of that joke!!!

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

Great start to the day!

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