Swamp Rat 13 and the Rear Engine Dragster

Big Daddy Don Garlits talks about the Drag Racing Hall of Fame and Museum and tells us how he came up with the idea for the rear engine dragster.

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03 Garlits wins in debut of rear-engine dragster (1971).mov





LEGENDS: THE SERIES - DON GARLITS - I DID IT THE RIGHT WAY
Most every drag racing fan will proclaim "Big Daddy" Don Garlits as the greatest drag racer who ever strapped himself into a dragster. But mention it to Garlits, and he will say he never liked being branded this. Instead, he offers, "I'm just me." Garlits, the man who advanced safety in the Top Fuel division further than anyone, learned how to drag race by growing up in a family affected by the great depression. He carried the banner in a male-dominated sport and when a talented female driver made her way into the ranks, did his best to win one for the boys all the time. In this Legends: The Series, Garlits discusses his upbringing, as well as the occupation he nearly had before being led into cars. He'll also discuss his proudest moments as well as a couple of racing fatalities that touched his heart deeply. Garlits also revealed his complicated relationship with Wally Parks and how the love of his family fueled his success.





"Big Daddy" Don Garlits breaks 270 mph barrier; 1986 Gatornationals
Don Garlits' record breaking run of 272 mph to earn him the distinction of being the 1st to break 270 mph in NHRA Drag Racing, while defeating former NFL Quarterback Dan Pastorini in the semis of Top Fuel at the 1986 Gatornationals, and without a doubt, this was THE race of the day. Kids, this is why they will forever call him "BIG DADDY"





Garlits horrible accident Lions Drag Strip incredible 1970 wreck
Horrific drag racing accident involving "Big Daddy" Don Garlits at Lions Drag Strip (March 8, 1970) is graphically depicted in this segment from Part 3 of the historical documentary (DVD) "Lions - The Greatest Drag Strip". Incredible footage shows the legendary top fuel driver's "Swamp Rat 13" explode its transmission just off the starting line during the final round. As a result, Garlits lost part of his right foot, plus a spectator was also injured. While recuperating in nearby Pacific Hospital (Long Beach, Calif.) Garlits conceived of a machine which placed the driver ahead of the engine, and the rest was history.




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