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Thread: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

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    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    First off, Mods please relocate if this isn't the correct spot for this discussion. I didn't see a forum for intro's. Thanks!

    I've been away from the boards for the most part, although I thought the TD.com site was the one with most of the old crew from SDML, i find most of them are here. So I figured it was about time to return and re-register.

    So the quick low-down. Wayne Hemingway formerly from MA, then southern CT, now near Raleigh, NC. Former member of SDML, SDAC-NE, SDAC National, former long time racing buddies and friends with the NE chapter including Gus Mahon, Gary Donovan, Seth Prentiss, Bill Baker, ButchN, of course my little brother Dan, and many others.

    Some may already know this but after Gus' tragic accident it was unclear what would happen to his turbo Mopar legacies. At that time, he had three, Blacky (the black Spirit turbo, 5spd that was mostly the daily driver), Slugmobile (if i need to explain this car to you, I feel bad for you!), and Mean Mini. Slugmobile couldn't be driven by Gus' wife Dolores. So it became clear that was going to be sold. After the family discussed their options, they made a decision on who to sell it to. I was selected. It took just over a year for the probate to clear the property and Gus' son Danny was able to sign the title over.
    Slugmobile has been a daily driver since then. Although in the heat of the summer in NC it is sort of torturous to drive her in summer, she is still driven nearly everyday! She is about to undergo a major maintenance overhaul for suspension, steering, brakes, wheel hubs/bearings etc. No performance mods, just normal maintenance of long overdue items.
    Mini on the other hand, was still capable of being driven in full auto tranny mode, so Gus' wife kept her for use. Mini never saw much use, but was still cared for. She had been parked under a shelter since one was built at the house, but the paint has still fallen prone to the "Mopar peel" .
    Several trips home over the years and visiting with Dolores and Gus' daughter Tanya, I would always see Mini sitting there. Dolores would talk about selling her, and she even eventually settle on a buyer. I'm not sure who it was, but he was a big turbo mini guy in Ohio or somewhere? (you are probably reading this, so chime in! ) Anyway, she would always end up talking herself out of it. I know how difficult it must be to let some major possession of a lost loved one must be. But, when she finally came to terms with it, the buyer's situation had changed, and was unable to purchase due to some mounting medical costs. (I hope things are better now.)
    On one recent visit like earlier in the year or so, I told Dolores if things didn't work out with the sale, i would be interested and may be in a better position to help. When i again visited over the summer, she offered the van to me, and it was a pretty emotional time for both of us. I truely feel like they consider me family, and it is an honor to be the caretaker now of both Slugmobile and Mean Mini.

    Mini had sat for pretty much the last 5 or so years, and for the last several had not even been registered. She wouldn't immediately start, since a dead battery, and the battery wouldn't jump. Fresh battery and then she fired up but wasn't happy. She was "idling" at 3000rpm. We did eventually check her out, give her the once over and then my brother Dan and I were able to move her from CT to his house.
    From there Dan has done a ton of maintenance work to her to revive her back to her glory days. She has been treated to several new parts, complete new front suspension, strut assemblies, poly control arm bushings (from where else but PolyBushings.com), all new brake lines/hoses, ball joints, tie rods ends (in and outer), tune up with new Taylor Thundervolt wires/cap/rotor/plugs (NGK Iridiums Gus would call me foolish for spending $5/each for spark plugs! but i have them on the PT, and wanted to try them.)

    I have a kitchen full of other parts for her, and she will be treated to a fresh paint job in the factory color. The plan is to get her back to racing shape, and get her out on the track where she belongs. She deserves to finally run her 12's. The last setup of the van looks like Gus intended on just racing street tires at only about 20psi boost. Mini also has a completely emissions legal exhaust WITH a catalytic converter.

    I'm currently up in MA right now, and will be driving Mini home from the trip. I may try to plan on stopping at Cecil County Dragway, to meet with some of you. It's been a long time, and I'd like to try and be more active on the boards once again.

    I really do apologize this post is so long. But thanks for reading if you got this far!
    Here's a link with pics just taken of Mini:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/w.heming...eat=directlink

    Thanks,
    Wayne H.

    '91 Dodge Spirit ES 2.5L turbo 5spd
    '05 PT GT 2.4T HO autostick
    '89 Plymouth Acclaim 2.5L turbo auto, "Slugmobile" yes, THE Slugmobile!
    '89 Dodge Caravan SE 2.5L turbo auto, "Mean Mini" yes, Gus' Mean Mini!
    and other vehicles

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    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff contraption22's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    I am glad that this piece of Turbo Mopar history has found it's way into your hands. Congrats on the aquisition. Hope to see you at Cecil!
    Mike Marra
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    Garrett booster
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Let us know when you come back to NC. There are a few of us in Fayetteville who would love the opportunity to see the Slugmobile and the Mean Minivan!

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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Thanks for posting up! Gus' website was the first turbo mopar info site I found, and I read it over and over. I still have a boost controller I bought from him. I'm glad to hear his vehicles are in good hands!
    1986 Chrysler Lebaron 2 dr. R.I.P. 2.2 T1 log intake, modified to intercool Best 1/8th 9.03@77mph / Best 1/4 14.16@93.55mph Running on E85:nod:[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] '93 Spirit 2.5 TBI 5 Spd(sold), '85 Ramcharger, 360 4brl, NP435 4 Spd. The new ride; '90 Sundance 2.5 T1/5 spd. No intercooler, junkyard Mitsu; Best 1/8th 8.96@79.16 / Best 1/4 14.15@95.35.

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    See me ride out of the sunset... Turbo Mopar Staff BadAssPerformance's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Welcome Wayne! and thanks for the updates!

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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    This thread contains awesome and win.

    It's good to know that they both live on.
    John Brown Had a TD... '98 Neon R/T sedan... The snow whip, has knobby tires. '93 LX 5.0/5spd Not a TD, rear drive, makes cool Vee eighty sounds.

  7. #7
    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Thanks everyone! I tried to reply earlier, but apparently it didn't go through.
    I'll see some of you at Cecil, and I'll let you know when i'm back in NC.
    I should be there sometime Sunday morning i guess.

  8. #8
    Hybrid booster
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    I remember when you became Slug's caretaker, glad she's still running around. Hopefully, your schedule aligns with a stop at Cecil on Saturday. Would be good to say hello again.

  9. #9
    Hot Certified Christians at TD! Turbo Mopar Staff Directconnection's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Quote Originally Posted by wheming View Post

    Thanks,
    Wayne H.

    '91 Dodge Spirit ES 2.5L turbo 5spd
    '05 PT GT 2.4T HO autostick
    '89 Plymouth Acclaim 2.5L turbo auto, "Slugmobile" yes, THE Slugmobile!
    '89 Dodge Caravan SE 2.5L turbo auto, "Mean Mini" yes, Gus' Mean Mini!
    and other vehicles
    Hey Wayne! I never met you at the old NESDAC meetings in the mid 90's, but remember you and your brother really well. How's he doing? Haven't seen/heard from him in 8 years. You might remember my name from the SDML back then (Steve Mercier ) with a '90 VNT Shadow up in Maine.

    I came close to looking into the purchase of Mean Mini... but I had so much on my plate currently... and even though me and a good friend had a nice storage area set aside if Gus' wife was ok on us taking the old gal (ie:mean mini) YOU and your brother are the best keeper of the Mean Mini

    I was afraid someone would snatch up mean Mini and even Slug and part it for the Mp head, S60 turbo and Spearcos.... but like I've always said: these cars were the pioneering experiments for what we have today. W/out Gus and his crazy thought processes we'd still be running 12s... and even the tuner world he helped years past would be a couple steps behind (DSM crowd)
    Quote Originally Posted by 22mopar
    have a look at my feedback on the forum. all positive.

    Steve

    '90 VNT competition package Shadow - T-III SC6262 conversion/restoration
    '91 Spirit R/T - white
    '91 Spirit R/T - white
    '92 IROC R/T - red
    '67 Barracuda 273 now, 440/727 awaits....

  10. #10
    Garrett booster
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Glad you found your way over here,I guess the other site won't even let you send a pm that references this site.
    I hope to make it down to Cecil Saturday to see the Mean Mini in person.

  11. #11
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Quote Originally Posted by wheming View Post
    Dolores would talk about selling her, and she even eventually settle on a buyer. I'm not sure who it was, but he was a big turbo mini guy in Ohio or somewhere? (you are probably reading this, so chime in! ) Anyway, she would always end up talking herself out of it. I know how difficult it must be to let some major possession of a lost loved one must be. But, when she finally came to terms with it, the buyer's situation had changed, and was unable to purchase due to some mounting medical costs. (I hope things are better now.)
    On one recent visit like earlier in the year or so, I told Dolores if things didn't work out with the sale, i would be interested and may be in a better position to help. When i again visited over the summer, she offered the van to me, and it was a pretty emotional time for both of us. I truely feel like they consider me family, and it is an honor to be the caretaker now of both Slugmobile and Mean Mini.
    Now who could that be?

    Really, very happy to see that it's in great hands and is continuing its heritage! I was afraid someone would strip it. Museum of turbo-mopars, perhaps?

    -Bryan

  12. #12
    turbo addict
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Welcome, I'm probably one of the ones they warned you about. Thanks for adopting and caring for these historic and storied vehicles that have been an inspiration to many.

    Quote Originally Posted by wheming View Post
    She had been parked under a shelter since one was built at the house, but the paint has still fallen prone to the "Mopar peel" .
    If it's just coming off in strips, that's but that faded speckled patchy clearcoat thing, I like to refer to as the "fractal attraction" paint package on account of it looks like Mr Mandelbrot got loose on mine.

  13. #13
    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    well I just typed out a nice reply to everyone, but then got logged out, and lost it! Sometimes i really hate computers!
    I'll try again in the morning.

  14. #14
    Hybrid booster
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    glad to see you on here Wayne.Haven`t seen you since the Charlotte Autofair years ago. Glad to see Gus` cars still in good shape.I still have about 3-4 magazines with both in them.

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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Quote Originally Posted by Directconnection View Post
    ... and even the tuner world he helped years past would be a couple steps behind (DSM crowd)
    yeah, it's pretty funny. was bored the past couple days and researching an intercooler upgrade, just searching aimlessly around seeing if any semi-legitimate flow #'s were out there. of course Gus' page came to mind, but I was looking for stuff I knew he didn't have on there. anyhow, in all the random forum posts, I did find a few and was surprised Gus was mentioned (and his site, of course), and they weren't archived/ancient posts! surely many knew of him, even outside our circles. so this thread is timely for me, hadn't thought about it in some time until the intercooler change came up.


    anyhow, respect for keeping the rides running, Wayne. glad someone who cared got them (and will make sure they are beaten properly!).

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor mopar-tech's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Good to hear from you Wayne!

    Gary


    It is time, buckle up.

  17. #17
    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Wow! all the good "old heads" are here on this site!

    Steve, yes I remember the name, but it's been a long time and i think my memory is going...
    You should try giving Dan a PM. The most promising project of his, since he's logged so much time working on Mean Mini is to get his 90 Caravan ES turbo cleared to be registered. Other than the paint, it is in great shape!

    Bryan - So was that you? If so, I hope things are better now.

    Cecil Update - Yes, I've already broke the news to the family that I'll be returning home early. So I'll leave out of here (Central MA in the morning). If anyone from the area is headed down and want to meet up along the way, please let me know. Mini needs to travel approx 700 miles total for the trip, and like I said she's only just been dusted off after a long slumber.

    Warrior - Nope, it is the peeling off in sheets! But, luckily since it was under the shelter at Gus' house it only has a bit of spotty surface rust. I'm going to start getting quotes as soon as I'm home for the re-paint!

    GLHSHELBY - A name would help! I think I'm also inheriting Gus' failing memory along with the cars.... Is this Kevin?

    Thanks Gary! It's good to be back home! I'm glad to see you are here too.

    Alot of the list and forum members just never knew or realized how much Gus help other crowds too. I know he'd spend almost as much time of the DSM lists as he did on SDML and our forums. he also helped alot of Honda guys too that were getting into turbocharging. I had plans to build a twin turbo 283 V8 for my 64 Chevy Nova, and Gus knowledge was going to be instrumental for that. But that project has been shelved for now.
    Also, not many people may know, unless you knew him personally and heard the stories, but Gus has two other turbocars that he raced out there. He had an '82 Mustang (damn memory! maybe it was an '84 or '85?) 302 HO. He set about turbocharging it right after he bought it brand new. No one made any kits for it. He had the first 80 whatever Mustang turbo. (Whatever year it was it was the last year of the 302 V8 HO.) He also had an Omni GLHT that he used to race. He has also owned several cars that just were basically parts cars. So there are other pieces of Gus' history out there. Last I knew about the Mustang, Louie his mechanic had sold it I believe.

    I really appreciate the support from you all. I really want to keep these treasures from being lost. I've been given a donor complete K-member that will replace Slug's old worn out front. I've got everything needed to rebuild it but Slug could really use some better front and rear springs if anyone has any they'd care to donate.
    I've got the AA autocross springs on my Spirit, and Slug could benefit from something like that.
    Slug's body is really starting to show it's age, and the fact it was a northern vehicle. And her tranny is whining and probably going to need some attention soon. But, even with all that, she can still manage to get out and surprise some folks on the street!

    I'll get some updated pics of both, when i return to NC.

  18. #18
    boostaholic
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Great update!
    I still think of Gus every time I mount up the
    the Bogart wheels on my race car.
    I still have a pic on my computer of Slug at the
    racetrack with them on.

  19. #19
    turbo addict BIG PSI's Avatar
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Wayne,

    I was the one that was going to get Mean Mini, from Dolores. But I kept getting set backs with my health, plus I had 4 Turbo Mini Vans, a Turbo P Body. I finally gave up trying to get Mean Mini here to Ohio and told her to sell it to another person whom she trusted with its HISTORY.

    I for one hope you bring her back to life and all of her former glory.

    Chuck

    Last edited by BIG PSI; 11-12-2010 at 12:16 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Intro and Update: Slugmobile and Mean Mini! (long read, but worth it)

    Quote Originally Posted by wheming View Post
    GLHSHELBY - A name would help! I think I'm also inheriting Gus' failing memory along with the cars.... Is this Kevin?
    not sure if you remember me but I`m Travis Foster,I had the black 89 daytona shelby among others.
    Kevin Franzen I quess is who you were thinking,He`s Dodgez on all the forums I believe.
    10 black Challenger Speedfactory Mopar 10 1of1,544hp,530tq 08 black Charger R/T w/R&T 98 black (slate)Jeep GC 5.9 ,M1,E-codes,headers,BBK 89 black dodge daytona shelby T2,13.6@105 71 black Cuda 383,1988-2009,sold

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