Lemons HooptieCon at Sonoma Raceway – Bizarre is Best
Lemons HooptieCon invaded Sonoma Raceway in the heart of wine country a few weeks ago. It was glorious in every way. According to the show promoters, this is, “Where the Elite Meet with Heaps.”
The show features a whole lot of events going on all day long including “The Great Engine-Heat BBQ Cook Off”, “Crapcannes” (awards for the year’s best automotive TV episodes, YT car videos, and Bollywood car chases). However, we came for the four main events. There are three different car show fields for three very different aspects of car enthusiasts.
Of course Concours d’Lemons celebrates the oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world. It’s the only car show that celebrates Trabants, Cimarrons, hippie-shortened Volkswagen buses, and other vehicular excrescences. Okay, it’s the only car show that does it intentionally. You never know what you might find at this show!
Next up was the Rad Wood “Festival” – a period correct event for cars, trucks, and bikes from 1980-1999 that capture the essence of a bodacious era. Show promoters encouraged participants to wear their best 80s and 90s clothing and bring their rollerblades or BMX bike, because it’s going to be RAD! And it was! I was hesitant about this show, but it actually was pretty interesting.
Last, but not least was Billetproof. This show features 1964 and earlier, traditionally styled hot rods and customs, the way it was done back in the day–with your hands, not your checkbook. Billet barges and trailer queens need not apply. With the Goodguys All American Get-Together the same weekend, the turn out for Billetproof was modest but certainly not lacking in “experienced” retro rides on display.
The main attraction was the 24 hour of Lemons car race. This unique race has some interesting rules. The car has to cost less than $500 and still feature all the usual safety gear. The next rule: don’t screw up on the track! If judges feel you have done some bad driving on the track, you get pulled into the penalty box, and are forced to do something very embarrassing!
The real challenge here is to keep your $500 piece of crap running, stay out of the penalty box, and don’t spin off the track.
We don’t recall a more bizarre, colorful and fun event than Hooptie Con. These guys and gals know how to have a good time and not take anything too seriously. How refreshing!