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Hot Wheels Snake: Don Prudhomme says it tears even better than his.

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In 1964, Ed Donovan, a drag racing pioneer, came up with a nickname for Tom McEwen, his lead-footed driver. One of McEwen’s top funny-car rivals was Don Prudhomme, a lanky driver from Southern California so cobra-quick off the starting line that he was known as the Snake. So Donovan tagged McEwen the Mongoose, a mammal that seizes and kills venomous snakes. Their match races became genuine showdowns. Because the rivalry grew between the two drivers--McEwen in his Plymouth Duster, Prudhomme in his Plymouth Barracuda--the sport changed. In 1970, McEwen talked Mattel into producing 1:64 scale Snake and Mongoose cars as part of its Hot Wheels die-cast toy line, becoming drag racing’s first sponsor outside the automobile industry.

  • Material: printed paper
  • Object ID: 111.4976
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