Nicknamed "the Mongoose" in 1964, largely to entice Don "the Snake" Prudhomme into a high-exposure match race, Tom McEwen won only five NHRA national events during his 35-plus-year career, but his ability to generate sponsors and publicity made him one of the sport's most influential and controversial figures. McEwen began his racing career at the Santa Ana Dragstrip in 1953 in a '53 Oldsmobile and climbed the ranks from there. Some of the many cars he drove were the Stone-Woods-Cook '50 Olds fastback, the Bader & Ferrara Cadillac-powered Crosseyed Crosley, Art Chrisman's Hustler II, the Bud Rasner and Gary Slusser Fiat coupe, Dick Rea's blown-gas Chrysler dragster, and Gene Adams' Albertson Olds. In 1964, McEwen won his race against "the Snake" at Lions Dragstrip. McEwen beat Prudhomme, who was driving a bright-orange version of the famed Greer-Black-Prudhomme dragster, in two straight sets, inspiring what may be the most famous match-race team in the history of drag racing. So much interest was created by their first meeting, that two more races between "the Snake" and "the Mongoose" were staged at Lions Dragstrip in 1965. McEwen beat Prudhomme in the first meeting, two to one and lost two straight in the second. McEwen won the 1966 Hot Rod Magazine Championships at Riverside Raceway and the 1968 Stardust National Open in Las Vegas. He also recorded the lowest elapsed time ever, a blistering 6.64 at the Orange County PDA Meet in 1968. McEwen's extraordinary promotional ability and Prudhomme's success on the racetrack eventually led to the formation of a national touring team sponsored by Mattel, and, in mid-1969, McEwen and Prudhomme corporately became Wildlife Racing. Their Mattel sponsorship, which produced many "Snake" and "Mongoose" Hot Wheels toys, helped lure more big corporate names to join the drag racing scene. The Mattel deal ran from 1970 through 1972, and in 1973, Wildlife Racing secured Carefree sugarless gum as a sponsor. In 1972, McEwen won his first major event at the Bakersfield March Meet in Top Fuel. A year later, he scored his first NHRA national event victory in a Funny Car at the SuperNationals at California's Ontario Motor Speedway. McEwen went on to win four more national events, including his emotional U.S. Nationals Funny Car victory over Prudhomme in 1978, following the death just days earlier of his son, Jaime. He also won the prestigious Big Bud Shootout in 1984 and won Top Fuel at the 1991 Summernationals. Run limited to 5000 pieces.