Mongoo$e Journals

November 15th, 2011

Text by Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen

It seems like old times for Snake and me; between friendship and business we’ve been spending more time together as of late than since the Hot Wheels days.Just recently, Crower Cams in way south San Diego (about a four wood shot off the tee from Mexico) had a customer appreciation day/car show. Bruce Crower asked Don if he’d bring his two Hot Wheels ramp trucks and race cars to the show. Snake’s just recently put the finishing touches on the truck I owned in the early ‘70s. Those who’ve seen the yellow rig know how nice it is. Well, he outdid himself on the red truck.  It’s better now than when it drove off the Dodge assembly line. Anyway, Snake was kind enough to bring both rigs to the Crower get-together.

Don and I have known Bruce Crower for years and ran his products from the early-‘60s into the early-‘80s. We were regulars at his old place, where a bunch of the East Coast nitro guys, including Garlits and Kalitta, called home when they were out west. Crower moved to its new big, modern location in 2004. The business is humming right along, cranking out quality parts as they’ve done for more than 50 years.

Left to right: Tom Prock, Jim Rickart, Goo$e, Snake and Bruce Crower (seated)

So, I get a call from Don on Friday evening, asking me if I want to cruise down to San Diego and join him for the day. Why not?

My most favorite thing is getting up early on Saturdays, if you consider 10 a.m. early.

I call my good friend and former Coors Corvette crew chief Tom Prock to see if he wants to join me. He signs up and also recruits Jim “Dudley” Rickart.  Dudley drove the Coors Corvette tractor trailer and also worked on the race cars for several years. Another old Coors crew guy, Pete Ward, joins in, as does John “Rab” Kirshner. At 6 a.m. (the middle of the night) we roll out for Snake’s shop just north of San Diego.

Snake and wife Lynn, Larry Bowers (legendary blower builder), his wife and Willie Wolter are champin’ at the bit to get rollin’ once we get there.  For those too young or whose memory’s fading, Willie was Snake’s crew guy for years and now works with Snake, restoring his race cars and those amazing ramp trucks.

Crower’s car show was standing room only by the time we got there, with just enough room to squeeze in the Hot Wheels haulers–and the folks warmly welcomed our arrival–by the hundreds.

It was good seeing Bruce and his crew, brother Dave, Kerry Novak, Jerry McLaughlin and Don Flanagan. It had been a while since we’d been able to do some reminiscing.

Goo$e/Snake fans, I’m proud to announce Don and I have been chosen as grand marshals for NHRA’s Las Vegas Nationals Oct. 27-30.  He’s bringing both Hot Wheels Haulers to the race.

The week prior to ‘Vegas, I’ll be returning to The California Hot Rod Reunion at Bakersfield, and I will have a ton of goodies for sale, so bring your Christmas shopping list!

Hope to see you at The Reunion and ‘Vegas.

Remember to check out Facebook.com/mongooseracing, www.Motortopia.com (http://www NULL.motortopia NULL.com/) and H.A.M.B. at www.Jalopyjournal.com (http://www NULL.jalopyjournal NULL.com).

 

 

 

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