Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mongoose 400 SS

One day when I was still in high school, Joe Massey pulled into the school parking lot with a 1969 gold Corvette with the t-tops removed. I didn't get to go for a drive, but I did have the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat. It was quite the machine. But he sold it before I had a chance to go for a spin. Honestly, I figured that would be the last time I ever sat in a Corvette ... but I was wrong.

A few years ago, a man from our church purchased a bright red 2000 Corvette Mongoose 400 SS from Florida. The car looked so nice that during the drive home some men in a pickup truck tried to force him off the road. From what I can recall about the story, Bob faked one way and then floored the accelerator to get past them on the other side. After last night, I can understand how that would work. Bob let me drive it!

After a committee meeting at the church two months ago, I had let him drive the Saab around the church neighborhood. I wanted to get his opinion of its performance. It was nice to hear him say, "Hey, this thing has juice." That was good to hear from a man with a 400 hp Corvette. Of course, he said that about my non-turbo 900 a year earlier. Oh well. When we returned to the church parking lot, Bob said he'd bring the Vette to the next meeting and let me drive it. I was excited to have that opportunity. But unexpectedly, I had to drive the school bus the night of last month's meeting.

This Monday, we had another committee meeting and I saw the Corvette in the parking lot. Would he remember his offer? After the meeting was over, Bob chatted with some of the men for a while. I thought, "Should I wait? Did he forget?" It was 9:00 pm and I was a bit tired, but thought I'd wait by my car to see if he remembered. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Bob walked out and said, "Wanna go for a spin?" I tried to conceal my excitement but had a hard time wiping the grin off my face.

My first impression was that the driver's door was incredibly light. I guess that's the fiber glass skin? The seats were very comfortable. But what caught my attention first was the dashboard. The gagues were almost three dimensional at night. Some of them overlapped the others giving a look I've not seen elsewhere. Bob handed me the key and explained where everything was and then the adventure began.

I have to admit that I wasn't comfortable pushing the car very hard, seeing that it wasn't mine and that the speed limit is 25 or 35 mph around the church. So, I took it slow and merely drove to Center Street, down Hopkins, and back through White Oak back to Lakeshore. I should have taken it onto the freeway to wind through the six speed gear box, but that would have made the evening later than it already was. So, I'll have to take Bob's word for what it can do. It's supposed to go from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. That's a little faster than the Saab but only by 4.2 seconds! (ha ha) He also says that the car does 65 mph at 1100 RPM and gets 32 mpg! That's not bad for a V8.

All in all, it's a nice car. It has more power than you really need, but I imagine it's a lot of fun on windy back roads and on the freeway when you need to zip around a slow semi. I think I'll stick with Saabs, but the Mongoose may be a close second. Thanks for the opportunity, Bob.


Floppy Top said...

Sweet! See if he'll let me drive next time.

Andy Rupert said...

Even Bob has better sense than that.

Doug said...

Years ago, I had an opportunity to drive a VW VR6 Corrado (they no longer make them). I took it up SR 315. When I looked at the speedo, I was over 110 mph! YIKES! That was one fast car!

Andy Rupert said...

The chiropractor next to the Mentor Wal Mart just bought one of those. His is supercharged.

And by the way, I hope you don't drive that fast anymore.