Speed Racer began life as a manga series named Mach GoGoGo, which first appeared in print in 1958.
When the comics were turned into an animated anime series in 1967, writers needed additional characters to flesh out the cartoon world. The Car Acrobatic Team had originally appeared in the manga comic book series, but was originally led by Captain Terror. In the animated series, the character of Captain Terror was used for a different role, leaving animators to come up with a new leader of the Car Acrobatic Team.
Jinz˘ Toriumi, one of the writers of the original show, remembered the story of Haro "Snake" Bora from a childhood book which was filled with classic ninja legends. Because Haro had been the leader of the shinobi Acrobatic Team , Toriumi decided to make the character based on Haro Bora the leader of the Car Acrobatic Team. Toriumi took Haro Bora's nickname "Snake" from the classic story and added the automotive-sounding term "Oiler" to create the name Snake Oiler.
As an additional nod to Haro Bora, red and maroon, the primary colors of the Kyuno flag, were used on Snake Oiler's helmet.