Wednesday, January 30, 2008
LeMons Disaster Forces Isuzu Out Of U.S. Market
You asked for chapter 2, and boy, have we delivered.
We haven't posted anything about the December 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill, because, frankly, we failed miserably. The Jalopnik guys cheered for us, and even chronicled our exploits here, but alas, they were the only ones. Nobody else seemed to care much (though everyone liked our tow vehicle!).
After 11 hours of racing, at least three in terrifying pitch darkness, the old I-Mark's right front hub suffered a catastrophic failure while young Howard Swig was at the wheel. Howard had pulled into the pits complaining of a "horrific noise" emanating from the right front corner. Ever the optimist, and as the team captain, I told him to go back out there and drive the damn car: "What's the worst that can happen? The wheel isn't gonna fall off!"
The fallout from our miserable 43rd place finish has been more than we ever could have imagined. Our misguided efforts with the Gold Leaf Team Lotus I-Mark have made for some uncomfortable silences in the break room at Isuzu HQ. Due to our pathetic failure, Isuzu has announced that they are pulling out of the U.S market completely. They will continue, apparently, to provide parts and service, but if getting a new set of front brake pads for an '89 I-Mark RS is any indication, that infrastructure is, well, non-existent. If you have any Isuzu product, I suggest you unload it immediately to the first dumbshit who offers cash. That said, anyone want a LeMons-prepared I-Mark twincam in Gold Leaf livery? We'll even put the wheel back on for you!
Farewell, Isuzu. I'll remember you as fondly as I remember my $200 Renault LeCar. And that's a compliment.
Jalopnik 24 Hours of LeMons Thunderhill Full Gallery