Thursday, August 25, 2011

The fiberglass Mongoose designed & built in 1964

The Mongoose III _Orange at tech inspection-DM, Ia. for Greenwood IR 1966

The Mongoose III_Orange, DM, Ia.1966
The Mongoose was a mid engine car loosely based on the west coast Bill Thomas Cheetah that raced in the C modified class of the SCCA.

My young son James Doane Hooper was the first to ride in it with me.  My infant daughter cried, then ran away and hid when she heard the loud sound of the Mongoose roaring to life for the first time. We put a gas line in a old wastebasket using an electric fuel pump. Then used the waste basket for the gas supply as we sped up the city street with the open waste basket full of gas between my son's knees. Just as a first test for the partly finished Mongoose. Crazy times......... 

Mongoose III, Greenwood raceways

The Mongoose was Ill-fated from the beginning as everything went rear engine that year (1964). I didn't get that memo. LOL I raced the Mongoose only five times, it DNF'ed (did not finish) three times in America and once in Canada out of the five starts. You can see more of it at: Mongoose. Ironically the only and therefore the best finish the Mongoose ever had was in the fifth and last race. A SCCA Divisional 3rd place in C Modified at Meadowdale IR in '65. It was my first attempt at building a race car and the new automobile was still under-development. I was naive to expect the Mongoose to do much better. But I was used to winning all the time. LOL


I will always remember well the old Monza wall at Meadowdale International Raceways. The wall was so old, so rough and the cars so much faster then the day the wall was first built, that every time the car bounced on the rough wall, the race car would land a little further up the wall. So much higher up on the wall that after only a few laps the race-cars were hitting the retaining fence at the end of the wall and spinning of control down the strait-away, some rolling, but all out of the race.

You can easily tell the different editions of the Mongoose and follow it's development once you understand the key. There has been only one Mongoose car ever built, but that car went through many phases and changes.

The Mongoose I was first metallic black, actually charcoal with the standard old type Rochester fuel injection off my 283ci '61 Corvette on the Mongoose's 327 ci engine, with individual side pipes that protruded out the side and gathered in to one final exhaust pipe.

The Mongoose II looked much the same only with a few internal changes, but painted racing racing Orange in color.

The final Mongoose III had a one of a kind dual air meters on it's fuel injection protruding from the top of the hood plus it had custom made tuned exhaust headers that collected on the inside of the body and exited in to one large exhaust pipe that ran along the side. Racing Orange was it's final color.

Design wise the '73 StingRay mysteriously resembled the Mongoose, only almost 10 years later. The Mongoose was before it's time.

Much more about the Mongoose later...........

Carol II. Mongoose II_Racing Orange 1965

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