the twin turbo taxi-
"Probably the single most excessive lemons build of all time." Judge Phil
how it started
Over the summer of 2009, Geoff sent Paul and I an email containing a link to this NY Times article, describing an easy to understand, inexpensive (relatively) road racing series called the 24 Hours of Lemons.
Having previously attempted to navigate the SCCA website to try and figure out "how to go racing" with no success. We were immediately drawn in and decided to build a car. What could possibly go wrong?
As we had a sort of inner city youthful fascination with V8's and rear wheel drive our initial thoughts for a suitable racecar was for either a camaro or a mustang. However, one day walking down 9th avenue and crossing 24th street while on the phone with Paul discussing our options, I had to snake my way around bumper to bumper traffic- of taxi's. Eureka! a NYC taxicab from the NYC based team.
It took a few months to find a suitable donor car, but we procured a 2004 NYC cab with bright yellow paint, stickers still on the car, the taxi barrier between passenger and driver, and a whole host of specific NYC taxi memorabilia such as loose change in the seats, dirty underclothes, knobby steering wheel wrap.
I bought the car, and that day drove it from NYC to Athens, Ohio for Paul to race prep the car.
The rest is history.
Phase 2- we wanted to go fast
After two miserable races where we didn't even come close to finishing, let alone becoming competitive, we did what any sane Lemons team would do. We dropped in a manual gear box from a mustang, swapped out the engine for a 32v Teksid from a Lincoln, hung a pair of turbochargers where the rear seats used to reside, hang an intercooler from a BMW X5 out of the side window, run PVC piping through the cabin for charge-air and blow off valves, install a giant fuel cell. Oh, also a standalone EMS, water injection, and wire the car from scratch.
Having no experience in racing or building cars, we bought and read a stack of books, tried, and tried, and tried again. We never did fully finish a race (but we came close at NHMS, on the 2nd day we lost the alternator 1 hour before the end).
Lots and Lots of help
This was an epic multi-year build with variations in design. Invariably each iteration was more complex, dependant more on sensors, computers, and non-standard parts. We received massive support from the folks at the Lemons Forums. There are too many people to thank for their efforts, but we do appreciate them all.
We sent the car to the crusher in 2014. We had blown the engine and had started racing the mustang with NASA, keeping both running was just an emotional and logistical problem beyond our ability.
Twin Turbo Taxi- Rest in Peace.
Guys, if you have any questions on remote oiling of turbochargers, fixing a mushy brake pedal on a Crown Vic, how to swap a 5 speed onto a Crown Vic, hand building a MS2 board, or any of the wacky tech on the Turbo Taxi, please feel free to reach.... so we can convince you to stop.