There are great ways to kill a Friday at work and then there are GREAT WAYS TO KILL A FRIDAY AT WORK! This would be the latter. More than 20 minutes of video from 1971 profiling the epic and incredibly profitable rivalry between Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, as bankrolled by Hot Wheels. The pair famously traversed the country, racing multiple times per week in match race action. They also hit the major NHRA and AHRA events of the day, but their bread was buttered on the match race circuit. At one point in the video, Prudhomme claims to be making more than $100,000 a year…in 1971. That was stratospheric money for the time.
The footage is bad ass, the story is all-time, and the two men that the story centers around come off as genuine and real as possible. This was long before the days of trumped up reality TV, the story is honest and unflinching. Prudhomme is his always honest self, especially when describing the differences between himself and McEwen. The scoffs at the idea of fancy shoes, girls, and parties, instead telling the camera that his money goes toward new blowers, better engines, and ways to make the car faster. That’s one of the reasons the rivalry worked so well. There was the showman in the Mongoose and the laser focused racer in Prudhomme. Truly a match made in heaven.
Here’s 20 plus minutes of pure vintage drag racing nirvana!