Proving once again that two wrongs CAN make a right, our very own Sparky Pete is currently at the 24 Hours of LeMons: Pacific NorthWorst, and appears to be defying everyone’s expectations, and the very laws of physics. Indeed, the Universe itself is watching in stunned astonishment, as his British Leyland-era MGB is currently in 8th place overall. We have, with Sparky’s approval, declared the Killer ZomBee to be the quasi-official AtomicToasters 24 Hours of LeMons race car, although our budget hasn’t thus far allowed for us to apply decals liberally over the car. Hell, our budget can’t afford a tank of gas.
There are multiple reasons that Sparky’s accomplishment is so impressive. First off, it’s a vehicle from the monstrosity known as British Leyland; despite shoddy workmanship, significant cost-cutting and haphazard engineering, the MGB is a notoriously slightly-better-than-mediocre car. Even the Prince of Darkness himself had a hard time thwarting the accomplishments of poorly-paid men with hammers in Abingdon, and tens, if not dozens, of perfectly-preserved examples are still leaking oil all over their owners’ driveways running today!
But that is not the only reason this accomplishment is so impressive. Sure, Lucas Industries was notorious for using gauges of wire far too small for the application, and under-engineering components whose reliability ranked right up there with Techie’s punctuality on the “reliably unreliable” scale. To overcome those odds is impressive enough; but Sparky has told us a few stories about how he earned his nickname. We would not be surprised to learn that his family doesn’t bother with a Christmas tree during the holidays, and simply bides their time, waiting for the moment when he’ll electrocute himself again, so that they can gather around his glowing form and sing carols and drink hot chocolate. So to combine these two bastions of electrical malfeasance should seem a disaster waiting to happen. And yet somehow, they apparently manage to balance each other out, and the Killer ZomBee soldiers on past many other, more reliable — or at least non-British — entries.
For our part, we’re enthusiastically cheering him on! And also knocking on wood. Give ’em hell, Sparky!