(Season 15 EP 40)
This Week’s Topics:
Don Garlits, Legendary Drag Racer
This interview was recorded as part of the Iola Uncut Interview Series. *
Excerpt from Don Garlits’s Museum of Drag Racing…
The name “Big Daddy” Don Garlits is synonymous with Drag Racing. In fact Garlits has been dubbed the “King of the Dragsters,” and could be considered the patriarch of Top Fuel Drag Racing. Dons High school sweetheart is his wife Pat, however, his first love is the, automobile and his passion is winning. His swamp rat series of 34 hand fabricated black race cars carried him to 144 national event wins.
Adding to his marvelous racing accomplishments is a Florida tourist complex called Garlits Auto Museums in Ocala, FL. The Drag Racing Museum and Classic Car Collection, 17 World Championship Titles, and numerous racing milestones are all reality because Don first saw them as worthwhile dreams. Garlits’ distinct ability to conceptualize his dreams has allowed him to be master over the end result.
“Big Daddy’s” living legacy and race car design innovations are so significant that his record breaking Swamp Rat XXX is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Don Garlits began racing in 1950 and scored his first major victory in 1955. His first NHRA National event win came in Top Fuel at the 1963 Winter Nationals in Pomona, CA
Don has won the prestigious NHRA U.S. nationals a record 8 times. His four decades of Drag Racing have filled the pages of seven books, Although this list is not exhaustive, the facts below provide a good overview of “Big Daddy” Don Garlits’ colorful racing career. – Click garlits.com for more cool stuff.
*The Iola interview series will include, Gene Winfield, Von Hot Rod, Bruce Larson with USA 1 dragster, Don Gartlis who is a legendary drag racer, Emily & Aaron from Flying Sparks Garage, Ian Roussel from Full Custom Garage, Barry Williams from the Brady Bunch TV Show, Jo Coddington and Duane Wade from American Hot Rod, Greg and Leah of the famous Greg’s Speed Shop, Johnny D’Augtino who is the authority in the custom car culture, Linda Vaughn is the historical figure in the automotive world. (Jo Coddington will be sitting in with many of these interviews) Keep checking with www.wisconsinhotrodradio.com for the play dates.
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