Typically when you think of a lemon in car terms, images of rusted-out rattle traps instantly dance in your head. On this week’s episode of Big Muscle, Mike Musto drives a ’27 Model T originally built for the 24 Hours of LeMons challenge that is anything but a a souped up rattle can. Check it out in this week’s Big Muscle episode above.
The product of Dennis “Fish” Newman and Dave Schaible’s innovation, this classic Model T is beyond ordinary. First off, it was built specifically for the kitchy version of the 24 Hours of LeMans race known as the 24 Hours of LeMons. As most of you know, this is a race that takes vehicles costing less than $500 to purchase and puts them on a race course to see if any of them can withstand running a 24-hour endurance race.
Typically, you find 80s Honda, classic Volkswagens and other such well-used vehicles in the competition. This Model T breaks that mold.
With a 1986 Mustang drivetrain, from the 5.0L engine to the 8.8-inch rearend with 3.55 gears, and a Pinto front end atop Model A frame, this Model T should not work nearly as well as it does. But with talent, patience and determination, anything can be achieved.
In addition to the Mustang drivetrain and Pinto front end, the Model T also runs suspension components from the ’86 Mustang, brakes off of a 1996 Mustang Cobra, modified Ford explorer upper control arms, and a 25-gallon fuel cell.
She’s certainly not everyone’s idea of a racecar or performance machine, but she definitely gets the job done (and well) when it comes to her initial intentions.
The 24 Hours of LeMons race is all about function over form, and this road-racing Model T certainly pulls that off well! But the question remains, would you drive it in a 24-hour endurance race?