Part Caddy, part Buick, all Lemons | Low-Buck Tech

By Staff Writer
Aug 30, 2021 | Buick, Cadillac, 24 Hours of Lemons, Low-Buck Tech | Posted in Features | From the Oct. 2021 issue | Never miss an article

Despite outward appearances, winning a 24 Hours of Lemons race is awfully damn difficult. That makes Amanda Tully’s three consecutive wins in 2019 exceedingly rare in crapcan racing. And what did Amanda do after that? She brought the oldest car she could find to try winning Lemons’ actual top prize, the Index of Effluency.

That car turned out to be a 1937 Buick that her dad, Tom, bought from the car’s original owner in 1991. After a couple years of 1990s cruising, the ’37 Buick went into a storage container until Amanda’s trifecta of victories. 

As you might imagine, running a stock ’37 drivetrain isn’t exactly what a former race winner would choose, so she made a few upgrades. At some point in the Buick’s life, it had been hotrodded with parts from a ’71 Cadillac DeVille. That meant a steering box and–crucially–Cadillac’s biggest V8 ever, a 500-cubic-inch powerplant. 

The mammoth engine was perched atop a ’76 Chevy Nova front subframe and backed by a TH350 automatic transmission. To avoid wallowing from the Buick’s original Conestoga wagon-esque rear suspension, Tully also swapped in a four-link setup that housed the Ford 9-inch rear end out of a ’79 Mercury Zephyr. Fudged budget? Maybe, but you get some leeway with prewar cars in Lemons.

Nevertheless, the ’37 Buick showed up with oil pouring out of the Cadillac 500. That prompted Tully and her large crew of friends and helpers to replace a rear main seal in their garage. Later, the torque converter sheared all its bolts. One of the helpers welded the bolts in place and, despite the approximately million lb.-ft. of torque, the welds held.

When the dust and oil settled, Tom and Amanda Tully’s 1937 Buick took home the coveted Index of Effluency.

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noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/27/21 8:51 a.m.




David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/21 11:41 a.m.

In reply to noddaz :

Totally. The slot mags totally tie it all together. 

8/27/21 12:52 p.m.

Thank you to whoever wrote this article! ❤️❤️❤️

Gunchsta Dork
8/27/21 1:44 p.m.

This rules to the highest degree! 

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