Tag Archives: Prudhomme

Classic car auctions in Arizona

January in Arizona can only mean one thing!  It is classic car auction time.  Between all the car auctions being held in January, if you want a specific car this is the place to find it.  And if you want to sell your car, this is the spot that will have the most buyers available.  Most sites are held in impromptu tents on large pieces of vacant land.  In six days, six auction houses will descend on the Valley of the Sun and offer a collective SEVENTEEN days worth of auctions.  Surely a busy week for every car aficionado.

Barrett-Jackson

Craig Jackson’s dad was one of the pioneers in the classic car auctions and once again over 1300 cars will be sold over six days, January 14-19,2014.  The auction takes advantage of permanent buildings at Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ and will have live coverage on three networks, after SPEED dropped off the cable scene.  So the auction can be seen on Fox Sports1, Fox Business and National Geographic channels.  Remember when the TV turns on, the prices go up!  The funny cars and trailers from Don Prudhome and Tom McEwen recently popularized by the movie “$nake and Mongoose” will be for sale.

two car haulers and funny cars to sell at car auction
Haulers on movie set for Snake and Mongoo$e

Most of the cars are sold with no reserve, except for a select few offered for sale on Saturday during prime time

Russo and Steele

This auction run be Drew Alcazar starts up on January 16th and runs through Sunday the 19th in North Scottsdale.  Russo and Steele was the site of a horrendous storm where plenty of classics were damaged by uprooted tents a few years back, but Drew has persevered and offers a great event.

 

Gooding and Company

This British sounding group based in Santa Monica, CA  will be having two days of sales on the 17th and 18th of January at the Scottsdale Fashion Center shopping mall.  Last year they hit the fences with the highest selling car, a 1958 Ferrari California Spyder, which sold for $8,250,000.

Bonham’s

This auction is a one day affair on Wednesday January 16th at the Westin Kierland resort in Scottsdale.  It is interesting that they want to have their slots over with before the heavy weekend of car sales.

Silver AuctionFor sale sticker at car auction

Mitch Silver runs a low-key, unpretentious auction on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and they are known for good cars at fair prices.  They will be set up for Friday-Saturday the 17th and 18th as well, and expect 400 cars.

RM Auction

This site sneaks in for a quick two day sale on the 16th and 17th, again avoiding the hectic frenzy of  a Saturday auction, while being held in the venerable Biltmore Resort in central Phoenix.

Automobilia Scottsdale

First time entrant offering strictly automobilia from various dealers will be held for two days January 16-17 at the Fort McDowell Radisson Resort, the same site as the Silver Auction.  This is similar to the automobilia scene at Monterrey in August.  It’ll be interesting how this fares as most car auctions have some car themed pieces to sell before the cars run through.

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Snake and Mongoo$e – Movie Review

Finally got the chance to see “Snake and Mongoo$e” movie this weekend.  If you love drag racing and appreciate the history and our past this will be a great movie to see.  Unfortunately it is only at limited locations for now, so you’ll have to check the website for any local theaters in your area showing this film.  The producers actually have keyed in on sites that host NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) races, figuring they would have a built-in audience at those locations.

SEMA Preview

I saw a clip of this film while at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show last year in Las Vegas, Nevada and it already looked interesting then.  If you follow NHRA coverage, they have pushed it heavily since this year’s National’s.  John Force Racing even had his cars decaled with the movie for the National’s to help promote it.  Here are links to our previous coverage, and an interview with the writer and co-executive producer Alan Paradise.

Snake and Mongoo$e

I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed the film.  It tells the beginning of Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen when drag racing was something done on the weekends and you had a day job Monday-Friday.  Prudhomme was a car painter/body man at his dad’s shop and McEwen worked for Douglas Aircraft.

Hot Wheels

The story tells how McEwen and Prudhomme ended up being sponsored by Hot Wheels.  This was the first non-automotive sponsorship in motor racing and led the way for corporate America sponsoring motor racing.  Hot Wheels sponsored them for $100,000.  That wouldn’t buy much in today’s competitive races!  Hot Wheels and Mattel always has had close relationships with Detroit and the car manufacturers.  In fact at the GM display at SEMA last year, a substantial part of the floor space was a mockup of the orange tracks used by the Hot Wheels.  And Chevy even offered a limited production Hot Wheels Camaro available to the public.

2 blue Camaros
Blue Camaros at SEMA 2012

Blue Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels
GM Display at SEMA Show

The film does a good job blending archival film in with the new stuff.  Had to laugh seeing a much younger Keith Jackson doing a spot for Wide World of Sports.  Remember when you had to wait weeks to see a short taped episode of your favorite sporting event (interspersed with cliff diving from Acapulco)?  A lot of the current action looks like it was shot at Famoso Raceway.

Authentic

Plenty of actual drag cars are in the background.  Plus even the houses in the scenes have that period authentic look that only Hollywood can achieve.  The race sequences are real archival footage to help add that authentic, realistic touch.

As with any historical film, you already know the ending.  But people still went to see “Lincoln” right?  The film starts with a spot from the 1978 Nationals and then sweeps back to the beginning of the Snake and Mongoo$e story.  I sense this was a labor of love for the filmmakers and hope it is a money maker for them.  The only drawback I can see is that if you aren’t into drag racing, the storyline might not be as compelling.  Hearing Prudhomme talk about crewing for Tommy Ivo and driving for Roland DeLong, might not be as relevant if you don’t know the backgrounds of these characters.  Don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who might not know the story, but there are a few emotional spots towards the end and a few good life lessons to ponder.

When I see the Nike swoosh on NFL practice uniforms, listen to football broadcast from ATT Dallas Stadium and see ads on the NBA basketball court, it is amazing to realize this all might have stemmed from Hot Wheels first successfully sponsoring the Snake and Mongoo$e.

Cars and Haulers selling at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ January, 2014

The actual restored drag cars and the matching iconic haulers will be sold by Don Prudhomme by Barrett-Jackson at the Scottsdale, Arizona auction in January 2014.  They are scheduled to be present for the Las Vegas auction this weekend so you are apt to see a glimpse of them on the television coverage this weekend.

Some pictures/artwork courtesy of “Snake and Mongoo$e – the Movie”

 

 

 

 

Snake and Mongoo$e coming to theaters limited release

“Snake and Mongoo$e” a nostalgic drag racing film will open Friday, September 6th in just 25 cities, just after the close of the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.

The limited 25-city release coincides with where NHRA races yearly.  before that date you might find the movie at special preview night in conjunction with some local charities.

“Snake & Mongoo$e” tells the story of the groundbreaking accomplishments of drivers Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen in the world of drag racing as well as how the two different figures revolutionized entertainment sports marketing when they attracted Mattel’s Hot Wheels Division to sponsor them.

The film stars Jesse Williams, from Grey’s Anatomy, as “the Snake” and Richard Blake as “the Mongoose.”

At last year’s SEMA show, NHRA spotlighted this movie and had Prudhomme and McEwen spin a few tales and show off their restored cars, a 1970 ‘Hemi and a Duster.

Tri-five Chevy parts dealer, Dunchuk, got in the act by having Tom McEwen’s 57 Chevy at their booth as well.

Prudhomme and McEwen raced each other for over 30 years.  So they had plenty of stories to share with the audience.

The film also has some historic, archival footage included to give it a period vibe.  Don Prudhomme continued as a car owner for many years after he stopped racing, and has been able to keep and restore many of his classic rods.  many of these cars were used as background for the movie to help add a touch of authenticity.