Jay Leno's Garage Crew teams with K&N for 24 Hours of LeMons

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Picture the race from the movie Mad Max, add 34 heaps, some pretty famous and talented drivers and the infield course at Altamont Motorsports Park on October 7th and 8th and it adds up to 24 Hours of LeMons.

The cars may be lemons, but it’s spelled “LeMons,” not to be confused with the monster of all sports races held at La Sarthe, France. 24 Hours of LeMons is a star-studded name for a race featuring cars that cost $500 or less to purchase and fix up.

Nick Baggarly, Bernard Juchli, Joe Harding and Paul Lisec at 24 Hours of LeMons with K&N Pirate Themed Car Nick Baggarly, Bernard Juchli, Joe Harding and Paul Lisec at 24 Hours of LeMons with K&N Pirate Themed Car
K&N Engineering, Inc. was part of the inaugural event. Nick Baggarly, executive director of the non-profit organization, Drive Around the World, was part of a team who drove. “It was mostly about fun and teamwork,” he said. “It was a big success.”

There are safety rules, cars have to have a roll bar, four-point racing seat belts and a fire extinguisher. Those expenses do not count against the $500 limit. For every other expense, teams will show purchase receipts to a panel of judges who wear robes and powdered wigs as they check prices. If the judges rule that more money was spent, teams face a one-lap penalty for every dollar over $500. “Since we could only spend $500 you have to be selective about where you spend your money,” said Baggarly. “We chose to put the money into the performance we received from K&N Filters.”

The race is broken up into two parts over two days. Winners play for cash totaling $1500, $1000 and $500, handed over to them in bags of nickels.

“I drove a 1985 Pontiac Fiero V6 4-speed mid-engine vehicle equipped with K&N Air and Oil Filters,” said Baggarly. “The vehicle we raced was prepared at Jay Leno’s Garage. Leno made us burgers while we were working on the Fiero, but he was not involved with this project. If we won we would have donated the money to fight Parkinsons Disease.”

On the first day the K&N Pirate Themed Car led the race, on the second day the engine blew up. At 24 Hours of LeMons it’s common to see the cars die. Half way through the race a People’s Curse award is given to the most disliked car on the course. The recipient’s car is destroyed via sledgehammer on the spot. “Three women with sledgehammers banged the car up for about 5 minutes,” said Baggarly. “Everyone got together and flipped it over; the team then flipped it back over.” The Peoples Curse Award winners went back on the track and finished in 17th place.

“There was quite a bit of smash up going on and spin outs,” said Baggarly. “Spectators throw lemons at the cars and the track gets very slippery. The top speed was about 60 mph but the average was 35-40 mph. Anyone who races would have found the 24 Hours of LeMons to be intense, fast paced and competitive. It was also about team work and camaraderie.”

The winning car was an older rear-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla. “It had super tires and suspension,” said Baggarly. “They had very few issues and rarely pitted. We hope to be back next year.”

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc. of Riverside, California, is the inventor and leading innovator of High Flow Technology and Lifetime Air Filters for automotive applications. K&N has been manufacturing our exclusive line of Lifetime air filters in Riverside California for more than 37 years. K&N continues to lead the way in pioneering new and innovative technologies designed to allow your engine to get all the air it needs to perform its very best. K&N Engineering, now a truly global company with offices in the U.K. and the Netherlands, continues to exist as a family owned business with an enthusiast mindset and a direct connection with motor sports that carries over throughout all levels of management and manufacturing. Today, K&N exists as both the sales and brand leader for performance filters, and maintains a stocking catalogue of over 3,500 part numbers, including an extensive line of factory replacement Lifetime Air Filters, Performance Air intake Systems, and Wrench-Off oil filters. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit