This week there is a very exciting event at Bandimere Speedway, the 24 Hours of Lemons. This year the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and it is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. It was started by a group of Renault Clio owners who wanted to have some fun with their cars and meet up with some likeminded people interested in fast cars and good conversation. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and now has a dedicated following of car enthusiasts from all over the world. More than just a car show, the festival has activities for children, live music and lots of vendors selling all manner of automotive related goods.
The event itself is a celebration of all things automotive. You’ll see everything from classic cars to motorbikes, and there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss their merits with experienced automotive experts. If you’re driving a vintage car, you’ll want to make sure you properly maintain it and do all the necessary checks before you hit the open road. You don’t want to be scrambling for an automotive mechanic as soon as you run into trouble. The same goes for your motorcycle. Make sure you take good care of it and know how to fix it if it breaks down. Being stranded with no car, cell phone or radio isn’t an ideal situation. It’s also nice to have someone to share the journey with. The cost for a full registration is £70 (€83) and covers you for two nights in a comfortable bed in a shared room, dinner and breakfast. There will also be a selection of snacks available throughout the day. You can register online at https://24hogares.eventbrite.co.uk/.
What Is The Purpose Of The Event?
The main aim of this event is to celebrate all things automotive. Not only will you see motorbikes, classic cars and other vehicles on display, you’ll also be able to engage with car enthusiasts from all over the world in a non-competitive environment. There are plenty of friendly competitions such as the ghost busting round which teams of two have to chase down paranormal vehicles in a 25-mile endurance race. Although the 24 Hours of Lemons is an endurance race, the majority of the vehicles will be driven on pre-race circuits to allow spectators to get a good view of them. You’ll also be able to take a closer look at the detail work of the vehicles as well as the paint jobs and decals they come with.
This year the focus turns to the 1960s with a host of vintage cars taking part including a beautiful red Ferrari 250 GTO which will be featured on the cover of this issue of Popular Mechanics. You’ll also see plenty of British cars from the era including a Vauxhall Victorant which was the preferred choice of British servicemen during the second world war. Also on display will be a beautiful blue Austin Healey. This is one of the last models made with a hand-built gearbox which features an almost impossible number of unique parts. This fully restored car is estimated to have cost £30,000 in 1961. Unfortunately, the gearbox failed shortly after the car was finished so it was sidelined until a hobbyist restored it recently and it is now back on the road. If you can find a good condition example with a decent gearbox, you could be looking at a real classic.
History Of The Event
The first edition of the 24 Hours of Lemons was held in 2009. Since then it has grown in popularity and is now one of the biggest automotive events in Europe, attracting thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The popularity of the event derives mainly from the opportunity it provides to see a broad range of cars from the 1930s to the 1980s, many of which are one-off models or prototypes that are extremely rare. The event is also fortunate enough to attract leading automotive experts who are available to provide advice and answer questions. There is no charge for these experts to give advice or to discuss any car-related matter at all, even if you end up hiring them. The cost of this service is included in the entry fee.
Which Vehicles Will Be On Display?
This year is a big one for the festival as it is the 10th anniversary of the event and there will be a host of vehicles celebrating this fact. In addition to the aforementioned cars, there will also be other interesting cars and motorbikes on display including a Porsch Ghia, a Fiat X1/9, a TVR Tuscan, a bright yellow Lamborghini Miura and a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 350. As well as automobiles, there will also be a selection of bikes on display including a 1959 BSA Gold Star, a Honda CB750, a BMW R75/5, an Indian Scout and a beautiful orange and black Triumph Bonneville. There are also numerous models of airplanes, many of which are one-off projects that never made it into production. You’ll also see scale models of famous cars and other vehicles including the Blue Train, the Flying Scotsman and the original Batmobile. Sadly, the festival is unable to display all of the interesting cars and bikes it has available as there are some which are too big to get into the venue. There is also the issue of space which forces the organizers to make some difficult decisions about what stays and what goes. This is a deliberate move by the organizers to ensure the event maintains its focus on cars rather than having to diversify its offering to include other items.
How Does The Event Work?
The 24 Hours of Lemons is a non-chase event which means you do not have to be pre-registered to attend. This makes it easier for anyone to attend, especially as there are no set times for the event. The organizer, Le Mans specialist Allan McNish, explains, “The beauty of the format is that you can turn up at any time between 8 am and 6 pm on Thursday September 5th and make your way to your chosen viewing area in the nearby towns. This area is closed to traffic so you can get a good view of the cars without worrying about getting stuck in traffic. Naturally, the organizers want to encourage people to arrive early and get a good spot so that they can have a better view of the cars but the beauty of it is that you’re not locked into watching the event a certain way. Some of the practice sessions start at 9 pm so you could get a good night’s sleep and be there bright and early for the main event.”
The festival starts on Thursday at 8 am and continues until the racing finishes at 6 pm on Friday September 6th. Naturally, the majority of the action takes place on Thursday but there are also practice runs on Friday which give you a chance to see how the vehicles perform on unfamiliar roads and in unusual surroundings. There are 13 practice sessions which take place on Thursday and you can choose which ones you’d like to attend. The cost is £35 per week (€42) and this includes all you need, including a bed and breakfast in a shared room. You can register online at https://24hogares.eventbrite.co.uk/.
If you’d like, you can bring your car along for the ride and look after it during the festival. There are several well-known motorsport experts on hand to answer any questions you might have about the operation of your vehicle. Some of the workshops are listed below:
- Porsche – Official Porsche Repair
- Triumph – Official Triumph Motorcycle Repairs
- MG – Motorcycle Garage
- Lamborghini – Squadra Camilli (Team Jalapeno)
- Ferrari – Eni Furlinederica Team (Team FUR)
- Maserati – Squadra Corse (Maserati Club Italia)
- Honda – Official Honda Repair
- Acura – Official Acura Repair
- Suzuki – Official Suzuki Repair
- Volvo – Official Volvo Repair
- BMW – Official BMW Repair
- Land Rover – Team Rovers Garage (Rover Group)
- Jeep – Jeep Switzerland (A.G. Chrysler)
- Cadillac – Cadillac UK Service
- Kia – Kia UK Service
There are also several restaurants and bars located within walking distance of the venue, providing visitors with that all-important post-festival refueling opportunity. Many of the surrounding towns have a lively nightlife which offers further entertainment opportunities for those who remain after the races have ended.