How we ended up with a $200 4A-GZE engine.

Our team was running a Corolla and I'm always on the lookout for fast parts for cheap.  After our first race, we were valued at ~$350 so we had a little room to play with.  I happen on a 4AGZE engine listed for $500 on an MR2 forum.  If I can talk the kid down to $350-$400, bribe the judges and I might only have to take 10-20 penalty laps.  I make the call and arrange to meet on Sunday morning at 8:00.  This is one of the "Not Recommended" cheats on the LeMons not to do list: What would Smokey do?  Cheating tips from Judge Murilee

So I get there a little early, and I see an MR2 in the driveway and some other sedan. I knew I was dealing with a kid anyway, so I figured the MR2 was his. I go up and knock on the door. A woman answered in a bathrobe. I ask if Nate was there and she said no, he's over [xxx] house. I mention that I was supposed to meet him and pick up and engine. All the while, she was occasionally looking back over her shoulder. I was about to say that I was going to call him when he drives up and she promptly closes the door. We meet, and I say that I met his mom. He looks in the driveway and he mentions that his dad should be home too but isn't.  He goes into the house for what seems like an eternity and comes out distraut.  We go over and look at the engine.  It doesn't turn when you turn the crank bolt (later I realized that the flywheel was digging into the pallet he had the engine on).  I start getting background on the engine - it's been in his garage 3 years, he never turned the engine over by hand, he never sprayed oil into the spark plug holes, it's a JDM engine that needs 105 octane gas, it has no egr systen, etc.  You know, all the stuff I need to put on my "street" car.  By now, the kid looks like his puppy died.  We settle on $200 for the engine w/ecu and he confides in me that he just walked in on his mom and "someone" who wasn't his dad.  As we are loading the engine up, another woman comes out of the house wearing a party dress, something small, skimpy, and braless, and starts smoking. It's like 9:00am and it's far too early for that dress. We are in the middle of lifting the engine into the truck and she's encouraging us.  It took me a minute, but after realizing what's going on, it's everything that I can do not to bust out laughing in the poor kids face.  His mom comes out and gets in the car (I'm blocking her in) with the other woman and they take off across the front lawn to get out of there.

The kid asks me if I want the transmission that goes with the engine.  I said how much and free was the reply.  I'm never one to turn down free parts.  As we turn the corner, I saw what was to be our next LeMons car parked under a tree.  The kid was selling an MKI MR2 too - it had an engine with rod knock and the 4AGZE was going to be the replacement engine but he didn't have the time, energy, or know how to get it done.  I picked the car up for $300, just enough so that we didn't have any penalty laps.  And with it came: spare tranny, spare hood, suspension, clean interior, and other things that we either used or sold.  Our car, as it sat on grid in CMP was $280.

At CMP, the first time through BS, the judges looked at the car, at the suspension (which we never touched except to cut the springs), laughed a bit and sent us on our way with no laps.  Later that night, they stopped over and asked us if we really snuck a 4AGZE engine by them.  I lifted the engine cover and showed them.  Early Saturday morning, the judges stopped by again and told us to see the man...  We see the man and I started telling the story - "In a nutshell, I was picking up the car and engine from a kid who found out his mom was a lesbian that morning..." Jay stopped me there, told me that he is running a family friendly event, and to get the hell out of there.  So I never actually got to tell the story to much of anyone except our team.