Monday, June 11, 2012

Movie Monday: It's a bird? It's a plane? It's an MR2.

"My God, it's full of Win."

Movie Monday takes us back a full day to this past weekend's 24 Hours of LeMons race at Autobahn Country Club. We give you three videos of the most painstaking and creatively engineered build in crapcan history after the jump.

This is a Kinner R-5 stuffed into a Toyota MR2. You may remember the Kinner R-5 from such previous uses as the Ryan PT-22 Recruit. Marc Labranche, the madman and engineering artist who created this monster, has labored for 18 months and through one failed attempt to make it go on a race track. But this past weekend, it all came to fruition. There are literally too many details to try to describe here, but if you have a few hours, read through the 1,350 or so posts in the project's build thread here on the LeMons' forum and you'll get a good idea of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into this car.

It sounded great on track and logged 20 laps for the weekend, which was 19 more than he picked up on his first try with it in April 2011. It's really too bad there is no Smell-O-Vision yet, because the glorious sound is complemented with a smell that is equal parts gasoline, motor oil, and success. It's literally impossible not to get caught up in seeing that car; you find yourself grinning from ear to ear when it motors past.

Eventually, the heavy engine's vibrations broke a shaft in one of the many components in the drivetrain and the car was done by mid-day Sunday.

We talked to Labranche briefly about it and with the huge heft of the engine (and everything else) solid-mounted to the chassis, he said driving it was akin to riding in a paintshaker. To demonstrate, he let Friend-of-The-Rusty-Hub Todd Stura sit in it while he started the engine (which still ran but couldn't put power to the wheels). The vibration in the video is a pretty good demonstration of how much the entire car vibrates. As Stura later said (and we paraphrase), "You can feel each cylinder pummeling a different part of your body in turn: Left kidney, right kidney, right shoulder, etc."

Head on over to our Facebook page to see photos from this weekend, including several of this beast.

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