Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen and Don “the Snake” Prudhomme are retired American drag racers who had one of the most interesting rivalries in the history of the sport. During the late 1960s, they revolutionized the NHRA drag racing circuit as well as entertainment sports marketing when they attracted Mattel’s Hot Wheels Division to sponsor them. Over the course of the sponsorship in the early 1970s, they were able to buy the best racing equipment and build their brands all across the US drag racing circuit.
During this time, Tom McEwen raced in his red 1970 Plymouth Duster, named “Mongoose” and Don Prudhomme raced his yellow 1970 Plymouth Barracuda named “Snake”.
Both drivers gained even wider public attention from Mattel’s “Hot Wheels” toy versions of the cars that were released in 1970.
Here is a clip of the two cars in all their glory.
Coincidentally, a new feature film titled “Snake & Mongoose”is scheduled for release in September 2013. The film will explore one of the greatest rivalries in racing history as well as how these two unlikely figures revolutionized entertainment sports marketing. Check out the film’s most recent trailer.