The Pursuit of Speed

The Mongoose

My first car was a . I love my jeep, but it just doesn't go fast. In order to satisfy a powerful internal craving, I needed something to go fast. Lucky for me, I knew , one of the demi-gods of Dodge turbo performance. With him as my mentor, I began my quest for speed. When it first came out, I had fallen in love with the Daytona's looks, and knew that the Shelby models all came with a performance-tuned turbo engine under the hood. In November of 2000, I purchased a 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby from a junkyard.

The car was, well, it ran. The car had been totalled by the insurance company after an accident destroyed the front facia and dented the driver's side front quarter-panel. The junkyard had done me the favor of replacing the facia and taking the dent out of the quarter-panel, then sold me the car for $1000. It took some work to get it so I could drive it, and in the process I lost $300 to a jerk who never delivered the wheels he sold me (actually, he never had the wheels he sold me). After the car was driveable, I started performance modifications to get the car to go faster.

The Name

Some people may call me weird, but I have a fascination with Mustilae. Not to be confused with a breakfast cereal, the name Mustilae refers to the family of animals commonly called weasels. This includes weasles, stoats, minks, badgers, wolverines, skunks, red pandas, and mongoose. With that in mind, calling my car the Mongoose was a natural selection: it's fast, agile, and it eats Vipers and Cobras. Amusingly, actually MAKES a mongoose beanie-baby. I promptly obtained one and he became the mascott and good-luck charm for my car.

The Quarter Mile

2001

For the 2001 street-legal drag racing season at , I ran the car essentially stock. In fact, the engine was still the original, un-rebuilt 120,000+ mile one. I had bypassed the over-boost cutout and installed a mechanical boost regulator, but was still running the stock 12 Lbs. of boost. Since the original exhaust was plugged, I had also installed a custom 3" exhaust with high-flow muffler and catalytic converter.

It took me a few runs (over a period of several weeks) to get the car figured out (it didn't help that I was new to drag-racing in general). Over the 2001 season, I averaged about a 15.8 second pass, with two runs at 15.2 seconds. My reactions, however, were slow. My best light was a .600, and my average was about .700.

About two thirds of the season gone, my performance started slipping. Actually, it was my clutch which started slipping, but it didn't help performance. Even when I reacted well, my clutch wasn't grabbing...my best times for the last few events were around 15.6, with a best speed of 90MPH. Time for a new clutch

At the end of the season, I had made it to 5 of the 12 point events, earning a total of 100 points while competing in the Street-Legal Heavy class.

2002

The Mongoose has a new clutch. I'm currently in the process of upgrading the air-flow system, and am hoping to have a higher capacity fuel-flow system in by the time the race track opens.

My goal is to get into the 13's this season, but I'm also going to work for consistency. As long as my work schedule allows me to make it to all of the point events for the season, I may even do decently points-wise.

Check back to see how things go!