BIG DADDY IS COMING TO
The name “Big Daddy” Don Garlits is synonymous with Drag Racing.
He has been dubbed the “King of the Dragsters,” and is considered the patriarch
of Top Fuel Drag Racing.
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 Winternationals in Pomona,
During the next half-century, Don won the prestigious
NHRA U.S. Nationals a record 8 times. His passion is
winning, and his 34 hand-crafted Swamp Rat dragsters
carried him to a mind-boggling 144 national event wins
and 17 world championships. During his career, he set
record after record for speed and elapsed time.
“Big Daddy’s” living legacy and design innovations are
so significant that his record-breaking Swamp Rat XXX is
enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American
His five decades of drag dacing have filled the pages of seven books, including Close Calls (available through the
MyBestYears.com SHOPPING CENTER).
Though technically retired from racing, this always-young Seasoned Senior™ resurrected Swamp Rat 34 from his
museum, during 2002, updated its equipment, and ran the GatorNationals with a blazing speed of 323.04 MPH!
Added to his marvelous racing accomplishments is the popular Florida tourist complex near Ocala, Florida. The
Drag Racing Museum and Classic Car Collection houses a lifetime of memorabilia, along with the world's most
complete collection of drag racing cars. In addition to the amazing restored Swamp Rats, the collection also includes
the record-breaking racers of "TV" Tommy Ivo, Shirley Muldowney and the famed "Little Red Wagon."
Here's the great news..."BIG DADDY" DON GARLITS is the latest MyBestYears.com eColumnist!
His RACING FOR THE FINISH LINE will feature memorable highlights from the past, interviews featuring the best of
today's and yesterday's racers, and stories spotlighting the incredible cars housed in the museum and classic car
If you like hot rods, close calls, candid insight and victory lane highlights, you are going to love
WINNING the RACE with "BIG DADDY" DON GARLITS!
Go to the current WINNING THE RACE eColumn
Go to selected past WINNING THE RACE eColumns