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Old 10-19-2011, 07:28 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Fame And Terror At 200 MPH



"For doctors and lawyers and engineers and people like that, drag racing is release, and one day a week on a ribbon of black asphalt in a field somewhere on the perimeter of a town is like a day spent under a billow of sail. For the others, the ones ...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

I remember looking forward to my brother taking me to Lions Drags,on the weekend. I had a neighbor with a Fiat Fuel Altered,and he would fire it up,getting it ready for Lions. I would haul ass over there and he would let me sit in it while he tuned it.
I think it is an addiction! After hearing the cars,smelling the fuel,and seeing the speed,you had to get more.....
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

I met Big once, at Pomona. I might have been 8 or 9 years old.

Asked him for an autograph and made some small talk. He asked me what classes I liked in school, which at the time I thought was a weird question.

Maybe I understand a little better now.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Thanks for bringing to our attention. Gartlis is bigger than life because of his determination, vision , talent and big balls to accomplish what he has - and still at it. early pioneers of any type of racing were not able to go online and see how it used to be done. they had to create what had never been done before. sometimes now we try to only copy the past, which is cool, rather than create what has not been done before. if you ever get to meet Don Garlits, or any of the early pioneers, be sure to tell them Thanks.

Last edited by Jalopy Joker; 10-19-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Good read Ryan.
Theres nothing on the planet that gets me fired up like the smell of exhaust and hi-test fuel. two stroke hits me hard too.
I bought the book "Fuel & Guts" a good while back, Its awesome stuff and I can't get enough
It is a sickness. A horriblle, fantastic sickness.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

That was fun! Nice morning read.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
Joe Grippo
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Man, what a great read. I am life long Big fan. Watched him tuning and running his Drag Pak Challenger in Stock Eliminator this past summer. Qiute a sight, he is as into it as ever...Garlits is never O/T....


6-11_MOPARS-MAPLEGROVE_237 by Joe Grippo, on Flickr

6-11_MOPARS-MAPLEGROVE_236 by Joe Grippo, on Flickr

6-11_MOPARS-MAPLEGROVE_161 by Joe Grippo, on Flickr

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

WOW! What a great piece. Thanks for putting it out here for us all to read.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
Waddayacare
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Ya know I saw Big and his Challenger at The NHRA Reunion in Bowling Green this year but never got a chance to see him run. Damn that thing looks good coming off the line.

It still looks weird watching him tune with a laptop instead of a wrench!
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

My brother in law got me his autograph last year,which I'm having framed.I met him inm the 80's,but was too overwhelmed to bother.Big is the greatest.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Good story. Garlits was, is, and always will be a ruler.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Big Daddy is the man. I had the privilege of meeting him at Wichita Int'l Raceway back in the 80's.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

I walked out of his museum a few years ago and there is Big standing in the yard!!!! He took time to have couple pics of him and I in front of the museum sign, one of the best days of my life.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Very cool article. I once met a guy from Florida in a bar in Dublin, and told him the only person I knew of from Florida was Big Daddy. Turns out he was touring with the band Motorhead and he got us tickets to the next nights show.
Big Daddy rocks!
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Thanks for the article Ryan. Good read for sure.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

damn good read. i've met big and had the pleasure of chatting with him on several occasions. super nice dude and stone deaf !
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:57 PM   #17
Rich Venza
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Fantastic article, but the photo is not Don's record setting run at Island in 1964. I was there that Sunday and was lucky enough to get very close the the starting line to take the photo below. Year later, after we got to know each other pretty well doing the Bonneville Streamliner project, Don signed a print for me which I have framed on my office wall. The photographer seen on the opposite side of the track in Robert Bissell who was shooting for National Dragster.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

There are a couple other SI articles about him in the links at the end of the first article, one from 1979 and the other from 1997. It's interesting to see the changes over the years.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Thanks for that. I hate to admit this but first time I ever met Big Daddy - which was to get his autograph on a 1964 Hot Rod mag w/ him on the cover - I said something to the effect of "I'm a big fan of yours" (or something equally as lame).

He didn't acknowledge me at all and for a split second I was thinking ''sheesh what an old grouch''.

His wife was standing there as well - I guess she knew what I was thinking because she motioned to me that he was hard of hearing - no shit, right? I repeated myself a bit louder and once he heard me we talked quite a bit - couldn't have been nicer.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Fame And Terror At 200 MPH

Cool pic Rich!

Very good read, dig the period vernacular. Big Daddy has been a long term idol of mine and at the top of my "would like to meet" list.
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