Don Prudhomme

DavyJ

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Don Prudhomme
« on: August 29, 2015, 12:28:21 PM »
a little Don Prudhomme pre-history*

Anyone who is into drag racing at all will know the name Don "the Snake" Prudhomme: winner of multiple NHRA Championships; and later, car owner for both Ron Capps and Larry Dixon.

What may not be as well known is how he got his start in drag racing.

The answer is Tommy Ivo.

Tommy Ivo was a former Walt Disney Musketeer, and child actor. Tommy also had an affinity for drag racing.

In the late 50's Tommy and Don were in the same hot rod club in Las Angeles. Tommy had a Buick Nailhead powered T-bucket, and the young Don was building a hot rod roadster with Buick power.

Don was the son of an automotive painter, and he wound up painting the first many dragsters for Tommy Ivo. Tommy's cars were always red.

Tommy enlisted Don's help (along with Kent Fuller) in building his twin-engined Buick dragster.

When Tommy embarked on the first-ever drag racing tour with the twin-Buick car, he brought along Don as "head tire wiper". Don was only 18 years old, and the year was 1960.

Their relationship went on for many years, and Don even drove Tommy's cars from time to time.

Of course; after a while, Don grew restless for a car of his own.

When Don entered into a partnership with the "Greer-Black Prudhomme" front engined dragster, this marked the end of touring with Tommy, although they would remain friends.

Attached are some photos of the time the two were working together.
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DavyJ

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2015, 12:34:24 PM »
n 1962, Prudhomme was a partner in the Greer-Black-Prudhomme digger, which earned the best win record in NHRA history, before switching to Funny Car. He would win the NHRA FC championship four times in his thirty-five-year career. He earned the nickname "The Snake" in high school. He was the first Funny Car driver to exceed 250 mph (400 km/h).

He retired in 1994 to manage his own racing team. With driver Larry Dixon, Prudhomme's team won the Top Fuel[clarification needed] championship in 2002 and 2003. In 2009, Dixon signed to drive the Al-Anabi Top Fuel Dragster, and Spencer Massey took over Prudhomme's car. At the end of the 2009 racing season, sponsorship went away and Prudhomme retired from active racing.

Prudhomme was known for his yellow 1970 Plymouth Barracuda in which he raced rival driver Tom McEwen in his red 1970 Plymouth Duster, named Mongoose. Both drivers gained wider public attention from Mattel's "Hot Wheels" toy versions of the cars that were released in 1970. Hot Wheels celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2005 with a two-day event.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2015, 01:13:45 PM »
He also drove for Roland Leong.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2015, 01:16:35 PM »
Don, whose dad owned Van Nuys Body Works painted Ivo's Showboat.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 01:09:19 AM »
A few more for ya Davy.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

DavyJ

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 04:46:02 PM »
Truly one of the greats in Drag racing history............
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hot rod henry

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 09:47:38 PM »
thanks davy great story / i am just reading about the history of drag racing in  australia the big thing here was in the 1966 drag fest with bob keith/ tony nancy /and others bob keith passed recently / but often came back here his drag car was rebuilt and he got back to see and crackle  it / its lost its way here nothing like the old days good memories/davy tommy ivo was a mousketeer just think he would have got tosit next to annette

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 11:08:58 PM »
Don & Lou Baney.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2015, 11:10:12 PM »
Half Moon Bay.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2015, 11:11:45 PM »
One of my favorite dragster's.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2015, 11:15:21 PM »
A little history of this 1 here.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=644.0
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2015, 08:36:21 PM »
Snake.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 08:41:40 PM »
Snake.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, 06:52:58 PM »
A few more for your thread Davy.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 06:59:03 PM »
A few more for your thread Davy.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: Don Prudhomme
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2016, 07:03:10 PM »
A few more for your thread Davy.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.