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Sparky + Lucas Wiring = Win!

Sparky, the ZomBee, and his Fifth Wheel.

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!

  • The Professor

    Oh my, I'm pretty sure that's a sign of the apocalypse. Do you see any horseback riders in the area?

  • Target29

    We once nicknamed a guy Sparky because pinched the cables for a 48V battery between the battery case and the forklift frame. Sparks shot twenty feet into the air and he welded the battery to the frame. The heat melted the battery liner and a day later we had acid all over the warehouse floor.
    The ironic part of all of this is that Sparky quit his job a short time time later to become a car mechanic.

  • skitter

    Just saw this on TTAC, but I can swear here.
    So: Damn man! 8th place? That's phenomenal.
    Warmest congratulations.

    Also hilarious: the Leyland irregulars coming out of the woodwork in the comments.
    Hmmm, yes, well the MGB has a true racing pedigree, mmmm, yes, indubitably, eh Zhombee?

    • Thank you! And oh yes! I keep telling people what great cars these are… and I can even do it with a straight face!

      Then again, those MGBs were purpose-built brand new early chrome bumper cars by the British Motor Company, whereas mine is a 35 year old and horribly neutured Rubber Bumper car slapped together by British Leyland, aka the British Communists as described by Murilee himself. They are the princess's ugly half sister who really just need a nose-job and some teeth work and someone to love.

      Mine's been around the block a few times if you know what I mean, so you know she's a lot of fun… on the track.

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