Cessna 310 Junkyard Fuselage Born Again as Race Car

Cessna races for glory on the ‘24 Hours of LeMons’ circuit.

Though his racing suit is devoid of sponsors’ patches, Jeff Bloch has built 13 racers over the years — but none quite like this one. The shiny aluminum race “car” is actually the fuselage of a 1956 Cessna 310 light twin, mated to the chassis of a 1987 Toyota minivan. Bloch (known as “Speedycop”) and his team buried themselves in five months’ worth of sweat, tears and Sawzall shavings to bring the “Spirit of LeMons” to fruition — the ultimate in junkyard engineering.

You might recall our story on the unusual Cessna 310 from December. The project is all part of Car & Driver's "24 Hours of LeMons" series, which does its best to live up to its fanciful citrus-related lampoon name. The goal of the series of races around the country is to field an entry that can somehow continue motoring for 24 hours over two days without self destructing, but with a spending limit of $500 per car (probably an average lunch tab for a Nascar crew).

Bloch’s “Spirit of LeMons” (Bloch recreated Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” font on the nose of his racer) achieved that feat last weekend. He ran his entry in the “Southern Discomfort” version of the series held at the Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. Besides finishing the 24-hour race, Bloch also took home the “Index of Effluency Award” — presented to the entry that performs well on the track, but “should never see public roads in the name of general common sense.”

Here is a video of the “Spirit” in action.