Posts Tagged ‘Don Prudhomme’

Cool Hand Lucas

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Morgan Lucas has it Goin’ on—Everyone chill.

Okay, let’s review how several of the sport’s most popular Top Fuel drivers wound up in the NHRA’s quickest and fastest fraternity. (more…)

Mongoo$e Journals

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

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. (more…)

Quarter-Mile Update

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action! Snake and Mongoo$e Motion Picture Moves Forward

Drag Racing prepares to return to the big screen after a 30-year absence. Not since Heart Like A Wheel has our sport received much cinematic attention.

Rhino Films and newly formed shingle Storywise Productions have acquired life-story rights from legendary drag racing rivals Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen, and partnered with NHRA to produce a movie about their years revolutionizing one of the world’s most thrilling sports on and off the track. (more…)

Collectible Keepers

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

For more info, or to order any of these items, please contact Prestige Hobbies, Dept. DRM, 1238 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim, CA  92804, call toll-free 888-886-5778, or click on www.prestige-hobbies.com (http://www NULL.prestige-hobbies NULL.com/).

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A Snookered Snake and Hollywood Here we Come!

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Friends of the Goo$e, things have been really hoppin’ these past few weeks and I want to fill you in.

The Snake turned 70 recently and Don’s wife Lynn, daughters Donna and Lynn Rose wanted to do it up right–and they nailed it! (more…)

The Hot Wheels Hauler

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Faithful readers, I wish I could have teleported you all with me recently to Snake’s operation just north of San Diego. Ever since he finished the amazing restoration of his ‘67 Dodge D700 yellow Hot Wheels Funny Car hauler, he’s been gnawing on the idea of finding my similar red Hot Wheels rig. Don’s had been owned by Richard Petty, mine by Sox & Martin. These are the transporters we used during our Hot Wheels days in the early ‘70s. Keep in mind that it’s been 35 years since I sent it down the road. Very rarely do good things happen to obsolete race stuff. (more…)

Inspirational Drag Racing Feature ‘Snake And Mongoose’ Moves Forward

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Story of legendary racing rivals adds Wayne Holloway to direct; Casting underway

Rhino Films and newly formed shingle, Storywise Productions, have acquired life-story rights from legendary drag racing rivals, Don “ The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “ The Mongoose” McEwen and partnered with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to produce a motion picture about their years revolutionizing one of the world’s most thrilling sports on and off the track. (more…)

The Mongoo$e Journals

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Faithfull readers, this edition I have a special event to share with you. Very recently the famous Peterson Automotive Museum hosted a unique affair paying tribute to my old friend, business partner and teammate, “The Snake,” called An Evening with Don Prudhomme. It was held in conjunction with the opening of a major new exhibit commemorating 60 years of NHRA racing. Your old Goo$e was one of the honored guests.  Besides all of the cars on display for the NHRA exhibit, there were half a dozen others, including the Greer Black and Prudhomme dragster that owner Bruce Meyer brought.

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Funny Car Evolution: From Stone Age to Space Age

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Photo Courtesy Dave Hodgman / DoverDragStrip.com

Part 1 – The Early Years

Ever wonder how ‘funny cars’ came about and got their funny name?

This exciting breed of purpose-built drag cars was actually a byproduct of the “Factory Wars,” where match race Super Stockers were making headlines (and tire tracks) from coast to coast. In the beginning, the players included names like Landy, Sox, Strickler, Nicholson, Dyer, and Lindamood, to name a few. As the rivalries intensified, along came the experimentation. So much so, when the first altered wheelbase cars began to appear, they were classified as “Factory Experimentals.” In 1964, the A/Factory Experimentals took on a look of their own and the idea worked well – move the wheels forward creating more overhang on the rear, which increased the weight transfer dramatically. Chrysler execs ordered Plymouths and Dodges to have their rear body sections moved forward by 15 inches, while the front wheels were moved ahead by 10 inches.

Somebody said, “They look funny,” and the name Funny Car became a regular addition to the enthusiasts’ vernacular.

Once again, the Tasca Ford entry trailered all the way from Rhode Island to Pomona, California, to compete at the Winternationals in Factory Experimental. Notice the wheelbase configurations are virtually stock on the Tasca and Dyno Don entries. (Photo Courtesy Tasca Family Archive)

Steel-Bodied Crowd Pleasers

The earliest versions were cut-up steel bodies with modified chassis and K-members. Sheet metal was acid dipped to reduce weight and carburetors were soon replaced with tall injector stacks sticking through the hoods. Pick whatever class of competition you’d like, and history will prove the first versions to be, well, crude, to say the least. However, craftsmanship wasn’t far away. The altered wheelbase Factory Experimentals featured full suspensions – often using leaf springs and ladder bars in the rear, with coil-over shocks up front. Their starting line antics generally produced giant wheelstands – a practice the factories would soon disapprove of. Official memos were sent to Detroit-backed teams, basically ordering them to, “Stop the wheelstands.” Apparently, the “Brass” felt that wheelstands detracted from the actual racing, where factories relied heavily on actual race victories, in order to “one-up” the competition in showrooms and advertising campaigns across the nation.

Who was the first guy to stuff a blown & injected nitro engine into a full-bodied car? (more…)

Inside Story: How the Mongoose Landed the Hot Wheels Deal

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

The Mongoose reveals how he scored cash to buy nitro — & changed drag racing sponsorship forever.

As the old saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness,” but it can sure buy nitro — and snappy Coca-Cola pants to boot!

As drag racing matured, it became much more expensive to be competitive. Equipment manufacturers were building better parts, and now, the stuff was being designed specifically for drag racing. The science of nitro engine development, tuning and chassis design was making rapid advances. Crew chiefs were getting savvier. Drivers, many becoming full-time professionals, were constantly honing their skills.

All this was conspiring to radically improve the performance of Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars. This increase in performance came at a cost, though, literally. Racing was getting much more expensive. You could no longer get by on the parts deals doled out by traditional automotive-related sponsors.

This was the state of professional drag racing that brought about the “Hot Wheels Deal.” The whole deal kicked off in late ’69. I realized that if my racing career was going to continue to flourish, it was going to require a major injection of cash. To come up with the kind of money I needed, unconventional thinking (and funding) was required. After doing my homework, Mattel Toys and their highly successful Hot Wheels line of toy cars and accessories seemed like a natural target. The kids raced their cars in a straight line like we raced, and the parents, being about my age, were either already race fans, or at least potential fans. Throw in the Mongoo$e and Snake animals to use as advertising hooks, and it looked like a win-win situation.

Next: Can the Mongoose persuade the skeptical Snake to get on board with the deal? (more…)