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posted on March 26th, 2018

This past weekend, we attended the first-ever HooptieCon at Northern California’s Sonoma Raceway. HooptieCon is an automotive festival that mishmashes “many crapheap events” catered to the car lover with a sense of humor and a limited budget. It’s like Coachella, except with more motor oil and fewer females.

Some of HooptieCon’s events included hits such as Radwood: “the 80s/90s car show that blends period-correct dress with automotive awesomeness,” the Concours d’Lemons: “celebrating the oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world,” the Great Engine Heat BBQ Cook-off: “where the secret ingredients are blow-by and ptomaine,” and Crapcannes: “drive-in movies for drivers.” This is not a weekend that takes itself seriously.

The main event was the 24 Hours of Lemons, the endurance roadracing series for cars that cost $500 or less. The 24 Hours of Lemons has become a staple of enthusiast culture in the US, and is full of absurdity and shenanigans. The racecars are bought and track-prepped (roll cage, racing seat and harness, kill switch) for $500 or less, so a Lemons race is full of barely-functional junkers that participants modify and decorate as they see fit.

What results is a racetrack littered with ridiculous machines, each less track-worthy than the next. For your enjoyment, we’ve compiled some of the best (worst) that graced Sonoma Raceway for the 24 Hours of Lemons at HooptieCon. Take a look at the racecars from the event that believes that “racing is for all idiots, not just the rich ones.”

Steven is an avid car guy and editorial assistant at Turo. Between Golden State Warriors games he can be found getting lost somewhere in California.