• Jun 28, 2010
Don Prudhomme's 1974 Army sponsored Chevrolet Vega funny car – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 28th Annual Dana Point Concours d'Elegance took place this past Sunday and once again found the Monarch Beach Golf Links at the St. Regis Resort to be a perfect venue. As beautiful as the resort is, though, we were a bit perplexed to hear visitors talking so openly and enthusiastically about all of the snakes they had been seeing there.

"Did you see The Snake? There are four snakes up on the hill! The Snake was riding around in a golf cart a few minutes ago, make sure you go see him."

The well-traveled Reptilia was none other than Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, the honorary chairman of this year's concours. "The Snake" didn't come empty-handed to this party either. No, he brought with him a quartet of his funky funny cars from the 1970s, including the sole remaining Mattel Hot Wheels 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Funny Car that became famous during the "Snake vs. Mongoose" match races between Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen. Back in the day, these two warriors famously squared off in match races across the country while also making countless appearances at toy stores, retail outlets and other locations.

The Barracuda was parked atop the same 1967 Dodge D-700 crew cab Hot Wheels Ramp Truck that was used to transport the race car on that promotional tour. The gorgeous yellow duo emerged from frame-off restorations just in time for SEMA last year, and seeing it there instantly transported us back to our youths, when our Hot Wheels checklist included not only this screaming yellow Plymouth, but Prudhomme's red, white and blue Hot Wheels and ARMY cars as well. Imagine our delight, then, when we saw some of those cars parked right alongside the Baracuda and transport in Dana Point on Sunday.

Front and center sat the white 1972 Hot Wheels sponsored Plymouth 'Cuda funny car, to its left the 1974 Army sponsored Chevrolet Vega funny car and to the right the 1978 Army Plymouth Arrow funny car which proudly carries the "Number 1," reflecting Prudhomme's fourth consecutive NHRA World Championship season. The Snake himself was also part of the attraction on Sunday, recounting old racing tales and signing autographs for the masses. He even took a few minutes to visit with the Cagahys, a couple who happened to bring their own Prudhomme car to the event – a 2009 Shelby Mustang Prudhomme Edition. We took lots of pics, which you can check out in the gallery below.

Photos by Frank Filipponio/ Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Snake had some great looking drag cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Snake's drag car was the only Hotwheels car I had as a kid that was a drag car. I can't remember exactly which one it was though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ahhh ... the glory days of drag racing. You know - without all the technology to make it boring. I remember the pro stocks leaving the line with their wheels 6' in the air ... as they reached for second gear!
      • 4 Years Ago
      "The Snake" meant everything to this pre-teen drag race fan in 1970s. He was my hero and I wanted to be a professional funny car driver because of him. Well, the funny car career never panned out, but 'the Snake' is still the coolest cat around.