DIEHARD RACERS: The Make: Way
team members are (clockwise from
top) Brett Doar, Tom Jennings,
Jason Torchinsky, and Sloan Fader.
We’re Number 33!
The Make: Way race team takes on the 24 Hours of LeMons.
By Jason Torchinsky
I lied to my mom about having health insurance.
That is my one, solitary regret about the entire
exciting, challenging experience of turning a
$300 junker into a real live race car.
The reason I and my very talented Make: Way
teammates, Brett Doar, Sloan Fader, and Tom
Jennings, turned a $300 crapbox into a race car
in the first place is so we could be a part of Jay
Lamm’s 24 Hours of LeMons — a racing series
open to anyone with a metabolism, a modest
entry fee, and a car that costs less than $500.
driving over two days, covering about 400 miles
on a challenging track, in the middle of a hot May.
A car’s durability under these grueling conditions
is more important than its speed.
We looked for gently used, well-maintained
vehicles. Most had one or more serious flaws;
others were so tired they practically had a blinking
KILL ME NOW light on their dashboards. What we
ended up with was a boring but extremely well-maintained 1993 Ford Escort LX.
Now, the car wasn’t fast — only 88 horsepower
and an automatic — but it seemed capable of last-
Car Buying on a Skateboard Budget ing the race, and we would do all we could to help
Finding the right car is the first real challenge of the the speed. Plus, the Escort is an extremely common
race. Your gut instinct is to buy the fastest thing you car, so parts are cheap and plentiful. At $300, it
can find, but that would be a mistake. The 24 Hours was the perfect place to start.
of LeMons is an endurance race, with 14 hours of
Photograph by Amy Crilly
44 Make: Volume