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Folks Of Interest Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen passes away.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gary Reynolds, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Had the chrome edition Mongoose funny car as a kid and a Mongoose BMX bike.....he was a legend...watching him and the Snake on ABC....classic
    tfeverfred likes this.

  2. Tom McEwen's 1957 Chevy D-Gas car (1).jpg
    McEwen's 1957 Chevy D/Gas car

    Tom McEwen's 1957 Chevy D-Gas car (2).jpg
    ... with a new scallop paint job​
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

  3. 1959 - McEwen_Rasner_Reath Fiat coupe.jpg
    1959: The McEwen~Rasner~Reath Special A/A Fiat was a top contender at the September 7th Riverside meet.
    The Topolino ran an unblown (injected) 454ci Chrysler HEMI with a Clay Smith "Matchless" cam.​
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    catdad49, Rolleiflex, Sky Six and 4 others like this.

  4. McEwen and Peters K-88 Chassis Research dragster. First pass on nitro-Arizona, circa early 1960.jpg
    1960: McEwen and Peters' K-88 Chassis Research dragster ... First pass on nitro-Arizona
    Note the roll bar retro fit for rule changes, and chain driven blower and guard.

    McEwen and Rea's K-88 Chassis Research A-Gas dragster circa late 1960.jpg
    1960: McEwen and Rea's K-88 Chassis Research A/Gas dragster.

    1960 Adams & McEwen dragster @ '60 NHRA Nationals in Detroit.jpg
    September 1960: The Adams and McEwen dragster at the '60 NHRA Nationals in Detroit.

    McEwen defeats Ivo in Top Eliminator Final (Fontana - December 1960).jpg
    December 1960: Tom McEwen, in the Adams and McEwen dragster defeated Tommy Ivo (driving the Speedcraft twin engine Buick dragster) in the Top Eliminator Final at Fontana.​
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

  5. The Adams and McEwen Highback Gasser.jpg
    The Adams and McEwen Highback Gas dragster

    The Adams and McEwen Push Rod car.jpg
    The Adams and McEwen "Push Rod Car" ...with Frank Cannon (kneeling).
    This car was deemed unsafe by the NHRA due to the small diameter of the roll bar.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

  6. 1962 - The Adams and McEwen Shark car debuted February '62.jpg
    1962 - Tom McEwen in Gene Adams Olds-powered Shark dragster.JPG
    1962 - Tom McEwen in Gene Adams Olds-powered dragster at Half Moon Bay.jpg
    1962: Tom McEwen piloting Gene Adams' (Olds-powered) "Shark" dragster
  7. He was a class act and a fine gentleman.

  8. 1964 - Tom McEwen -firesuit.jpg
    1964 - Tom McEwen in Lou Baney's Yeakel Plymouth sponsored dragster at Lions.jpg
    1964: Tom McEwen piloting Lou Baney's Yeakel Plymouth sponsored dragster at Lions dragstrip
  9. R.I.P., Tom. Sincere condolences to his family and many friends. You may be gone, but the legend of the "Snake" and the "Mongoose" will live on.
    Ron Funkhouser and Saxman like this.
  10. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    from St. Louis

    My sympathy & condolences toTom's family & friends.

    I remember the serious, fun, rivalry between "The Mongoose" & "The Snake". Actually, for all of drag racing in the 60's & 70's, for participants, crowds, and, fans, it was a time like no other...and the echos of it always remain in the "hard drives" of our memory banks.

    R.I.P., Tom...and sincere thanks for being a part of all our memories.

  11. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 909


    Thanks Gary for the interesting history. Young Drag race fans today don’t remember a time of not seeing Corporate $$$ involved. When Tom set up the Mattel deal, that was a really BIG deal. It paved the way for the other guys to gain sponsorship, to actually get “show up money” and paid to race! Well, that was like a Dream come true. What a show they put on. The 78 U.S Nationals was a tear jerker. Legendary times indeed.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    catdad49, Ron Funkhouser and brad2v like this.
  12. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 909


    Staging up. For all the Marbles @ the “Big Go” 1978. IMG_1781.JPG

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.*credit to the artist-one of my favorites.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  13. I remember that I have some 8MM movies of The Goose and The Snake at Byron from about mid to late 70's. Legends in our time! Heroes and legends live on...
  14. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,853


    Tom McEwen was a Long Beach, CA, local legend. When we started our hot rod era, his name was already "legend status." Bixby Knolls was his stomping grounds and the Cherry Avenue scene was his to command. (Also at Lions Dragstrip, too.) Long Beach was home to quite a few "Legends," Reath, Thompson, Mailliard, Gabelich, etc. McEwen was one of those guys in that exclusive group.

    Somehow, he was able to be one of the first guys to have a new 55 Chevy, a 56 Chevy and a new 57 Chevy 2 door post, in successive years. Those cars were supposed to be stock, but we all knew they were modified to the hilt. (Shiny and fast...what a combo.)

    The back row parking at Grissingers's was his roost and until his era group moved on in life, he ruled Bixby Knolls. (with Lions so close by and living in Bixby Knolls helped.) Of course, the excitement of driving out to the Cherry Avenue drags was more intense when McEwen was going out there with his Chevy sedans.

    In the early years, my brother would come home and tell me of watching the races on Cherry Ave. Our high school group era was still to come years later. When I was old enough to drive and own a hot car, I was witness to several races on Cherry Ave. Wow, those were legend races in their own right...

    We saw him many weekends at Lions in various forms of race cars. Years after we were finished racing at Lions, McEwen teamed up with one of my high school friends in the Bivens/Fisher FED teams.

    Thanks for the memories of Bixby Knolls and Lions action. You were a legend.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  15. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 909


    Thanks @jnaki, adding interesting info, a little more onsite into one of the Hero’s of the Sport. What an impact He had.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    catdad49, Bowtie Coupe and jnaki like this.
  16. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,703

    Kan Kustom

    We have lost so many standouts in the last few years. Its heart breaking.
    Bowtie Coupe likes this.
  17. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,864


    Thanks for the fun, Tom.
    Saxman and Deuces like this.
  18. He ran in the AHRA Summer Nationals 1976 (Long Island NY) and I was in the pits that night, it cost something like an extra $2 or $3 to get in the pits. That was a great night, my eyes still water when I think of all the nitro in the air.
    Deuces likes this.
  19. young51
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 36


    So sad, pretty much anyone here under the age of 60 or so either had or knew someone who rode a Mongoose bmx bike, named after Tom by BMX Products owner Skip Hess.
    So in 1974, Skip with the help of his friend Bill Miller started his new company called BMX Products, Inc right out of his home in Simi Valley California and his first product was the MotoMag wheel. It was sometime between 1975 and early 1976, Skip trademarked the Mongoose name and logo which he recalled from fellow friend and racer Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen. Skip successfully directed his company from 1974 to 1985, and then sold the company and all of its assets and trademarks to American Recreation Group but remained its president until 1991.
    catdad49 and Bowtie Coupe like this.
  20. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,955

    from Michigan

    Got a metallic blue Mongoose mountain bike in the garage....
  21. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,820


    He'll be the one doing the long smokey burnout in front of the Pearly Gates... And getting a standing ovation from the audience!
    Deuces and Montana1 like this.
  22. Understand that I was a teenager in the 1960's.
    Guys like Tom were my HEROES, I worshipped these guys.
    McEwen, Prudhomme, Garlits, Ivo, Leong ,......all of them. I lived for drag racing and it was a very exciting time.
    ET's dropping and speeds climbing almost weekly. And my heroes came to my local track, Woodburn and PIR.
    The Mongoose was in my top five.He had some bad luck, was in more finals when something weird happened, I always rooted for him to win.
    When Johnny Mulligan was burned Tom was at his bedside. I lifted the bio from the NHRA top 50 racers site, I did not write it. More and more pass every year, I myself am 65. That era was THE GREATEST, the true Golden Age of the drags.I feel fortunate to have been there in my own small teenage way.
    Thanks to ALL THOSE GUYS!
  23. Man, oh man. That's some sad news. Rest In Peace Mongoose and thanks for bringing a bunch of punk kids so much fun. I'll never forget it.
    Deuces likes this.
  24. Tom McEwen struck me as kind of a rarity in the sport. He seemed to do as much to promote drag racing as he did to promote himself. He could usually run with the best of them, but he seemed to have the uncommon sense of knowing better than to take himself too seriously. What more could a drag racing fan ask for. :cool:
  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,853


    upload_2018-6-13_6-18-58.png Rasner/Reath/McEwen 1959

    Hey M&H, (always wanted to say the old popular slicks...)
    One of Tom McEwen's early drag racing rides/associations was the Rasner/Reath red Fiat with the injected Hemi motor, nice post H. Those guys all lived in Bixby Knolls and were friends from high school. When we saw this red Fiat at the Riverside Raceway big time drag race meet in late 1959, we all knew that it came from Long Beach.

    I met him in his early "legend" hey days, but have not seen him in a zillion years. When Bixby Knolls is mentioned, Tom McEwen's name should always pop up and be recognized.
    (Check out the May 4,2018 edition of HAMB Friday Art thread.)

    Young, brash, innovators, that is all about early drag race, hot rod guys that we knew. Hey, those early hot rodders were about the same all over the USA back then. As an impressionable teenager, these older guys ruled the scene and made a dent in my upbringing. Hopefully, our era of hot rod/drag racers made the same impression on other generations.


    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    catdad49, TFoch, Bowtie Coupe and 2 others like this.
  26. So sad to here. The only thing about the HAMB that's not fun:(. It's hearing of all my hero's passing away. I too was a 60's kid. The 60's and 70's were so much fun. {REST IN PEACE} TOM. Thanks for the memories. Prayers for the family and friends. 20180613_095239.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G920P using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. jammer
    Joined: Oct 18, 2003
    Posts: 73


    Thank for the Memories ! RIP TOM
  28. 37slantback
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 444


    As a kid in South Dakota during the 60s, I had to live vicariously through Hot Rod magazine and the like. The Snake and the Mongoose were some of the Gods to us.

    Sad indeed.
    catdad49 and Gary Reynolds like this.
  29. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,853


    The recent passing of Tom McEwen will be commemorated in the CHROME exhibit at the Historical Society of Long Beach storefront in Bixby Knolls. He was as local as you could get, with his old house a few blocks away. In a recent post, the HSLB posted this cute retrospective photo collage of McEwen from Long Beach. Elementary, Jr, HS and of course, one of two notables at Long Beach Poly HS, the other being Gary Gabelich during the 50s and 60s. (Both Lions Dragstrip legends...)

    Gee, we were all little kids without a care in the one time in our lives...
    The CHROME exhibit: July 14, 2018 Bixby Knolls and up the street at George's 50s Diner ( old Grissinger's Drive-In) car show.
  30. I was a huge Oldsmobile fan in the early sixties as they were making a mark in the gas dragster and supercharged gas coupe classes: couldn't miss Mckewen's presence with the Albertson Olds car and susequent rise to fame in the fuel ranks. RIP Tom.
    catdad49 and jnaki like this.

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