For a fourth consecutive year, the Lemons Rally will roll out from the Appalachian Mountains in a four-day road trip that pits drivers of dozens of dilapidated vehicles from across the country against the road, the winter weather and their ugly, rusty vehicles.
"The Lemons Rally is a road trip in terrible old cars on difficult roads during an inhospitable time of year undertaken by car enthusiasts with a strange idea of fun," says Eric Rood of Emeryville, California, media representative for the rally.
The rally kicked off Tuesday morning, Jan. 28, from the Allegany Museum in Cumberland, Maryland. The motley assemblage of vehicles limped off to Roanoke, Virginia, followed by a stop in Asheville, North Carolina. Rood says the vehicles will begin arriving in Chattanooga late Thursday afternoon, Jan. 30, and depart Friday morning, Jan. 31.
Rood says the scheduled meetup Thursday night for rally drivers is Terminal Brewhouse.
"It's pretty informal as far as the day-end stuff goes, so they'll be around the Chattanooga metro area. If you see something that sounds and looks mostly broken, it'll be a Lemons car probably," he quips.
The rally finishes with an awards ceremony at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. Barber Motorsports Park will host the 24 Hours of Lemons racing series.
The trip through North Carolina included stops at the Asheville Pinball Museum, Deal's Gap Motorcycle Club and an iconic stretch of curvy Route 129 known as The Dragon. Other highlights of the road trip included stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway and oddball roadside attractions like an oversized frying pan.
The Lemons Rally is the road-going counterpart to the 24 Hours of Lemons, an irreverent endurance racing series for $500 cars. The Lemons Rally began in 2016 to take ugly and unappreciated cars on long, tough road trips to atypical tourist destinations. Automotive journalist Jay Lamm founded 24 Hours of Lemons in 2006 to generate affordable, low-pressure racing with an emphasis on fun.
Previous rally winners were a 1986 Cadillac Limousine, a 1962 Chevrolet Impala that required a parking-lot engine change in the middle of the trip and a 1989 Yugo GVX.
For more information: www.24hoursoflemons.com/lemons-rally.