After his 65 years in drag racing, there can be few unusual new driving experiences left for Don Garlits to encounter. Yet history will be made four weeks from now when the sport’s greatest exponent comes to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed. Since the Festival’s inception in 1993, drag racers have from time to time pounded the tight asphalt confines of Goodwood House’s driveway. Now it’s as though they were simply preparing the ground for the arrival of the master himself.
Garlits is one of the few living motorsport legends yet to have graced the Festival. That omission was rectified last November by a personal invitation from Lord March during the Garlits family’s visit to London for Don’s induction into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. ‘Big Daddy’ is scheduled to pilot Swamp Rat 1B – perhaps classic drag racing’s pre-eminent competition machine, weed-burner headers and all – through burnout displays before the Festival’s huge audiences on each of its three days, Friday 26th to Sunday 28th June.
At 83 years of age, Garlits no longer races competitively but has by no means withdrawn from dragstrip activity. His current endeavour is a crack at the 200mph barrier in a battery-powered dragster. Garlits and his latest machine, Swamp Rat 37, already hold the world’s best speed mark for the electric standing quarter-mile, at 184mph, and the quest for 200 is described as a work in progress.
For further Festival Of Speed information, please visit www.goodwood.com
The news about the VIP guest list for the 2015 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Gala Awards Dinner at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park, on November 21st 2015 just keeps on coming. Following on from announcements about the attendance of American drag racing legends Waterbed Fred Miller (Blue Max Funny Car), Bob Muravez (Freight Train dragster), Ron Hope (Rat Trap and Pure Hell Fuel Altereds) and Bruce Larson (former Funny Car Champion and current Nostalgia Funny Car campaigner), the BDRHoF is excited to confirm that 14-time Top Fuel Drag Bike Champion and world record holder Larry ‘Spiderman’ McBride has booked his flights and tickets. You would have to go back to the 1970s to be in the company of so many American drag racing legends at a UK event
If stardom is measured by the number of Halls of Fame into which you have been inducted then American Funny Car driver Bruce Larson is definitely a superstar. Check out the list. The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame, the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and the Super Stock Magazine Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
He has never had the chance to race in Europe. But we can live in hope and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) has invited him and his wife Nancy to join Ron Hope of Rat Trap fame, Bob Muravez (Floyd Lippencote jnr) of Freight Train fame and Waterbed Fred Miller of Blue Max fame, to be special guests at this year’s BDRHoF’s Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on November 21st. This is his first trip overseas.
What a fantastic line up; and the 2015 BDRHoF Inductees have not even been announced yet! That happens in July. Their induction ceremonies will be made all the more memorable with these drag racing legends attending. Truly a Night of Stars.
Following on from the news that Ron Hope of Rat Trap fame will be attending the 2015 British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Awards Dinner being held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on November 21st this year, two more American drag racing legends have booked their seats. They are Blue Max Funny Car super tuner Fred Miller and the only man who could really handle the twin Chevy engined Freight Train gas dragster Bob Muravez.
‘Waterbed’ Fred Miller is one of the most respected tuners in drag racing and it was in that role that he joined Raymond Beadle on the Blue Max Funny Car Team during the visits made to Santa Pod Raceway in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He said,
“I was glad to do what I did in the era of Prudhomme, McEwen, Garlits and Shirley. I think it was a lot more fun back then and I miss hanging out with Raymond. We had great fun during our visits to the UK and meeting up with Stu Bradbury at the recent International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Awards Dinner in Gainesville brought back a lot of memories”.
“I’m really looking forward to attending the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner with my wife Diane in November and meeting up with some old friends from back in the Blue Max era”.
One of the first UK Drag Racing publications was called Kool Kams.
I’ve posted the drag racing parts from Issue one on the ukdrn forum here