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Event Coverage I visited the Don Garlits Museum today.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Texas36, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Im here in Orlando vacationing with my family at Disney World. Today my dad and I snuck out and made an hour drive to Ocala where Don's museum of drag racing is located. Heres a few things that caught my eye...
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] I love the olds and Cadillac combo on this car. How he made it all work is mind boggling. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] This motor was the craziest thing Ive ever seen. [​IMG][​IMG] He had a very cool survivor '32 as well.
    I didnt get too many pictures because I was too busy drooling but I hope y'all enjoy! And I highly recommend anyone who hasnt been to go and see it for yourself, I would have never expected to see that many record breaking and significant cars there.


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  2. Turnipseed
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 125

    Turnipseed
    Member

    A must see for any gearhead.
     
  3. What @Tunipseed said


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  4. Frank Carey
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 556

    Frank Carey
    Member

    Should be on everybody's bucket list.
     

  5. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,527

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Yes, a must see. It's a sensory overload! I stopped on my way back from Tampa years ago. Bought a T shirt in the gift shop on my way out. Asked if Don was around to sign the shirt? They said he was out. Driving out of the big parking lot toward the road, I see a guy coming the other way riding an old, rusty Beach Cruiser type bicycle. As I pass I wave and notice its Don Garlits!
    Turn my truck around flag him down. Got the shirt autographed after all and had a real nice chat with him. Super nice guy. One of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
     
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  6. mohead1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 596

    mohead1
    Member

    Excellent place to go if ur close and any kind of gear head at all.....i went a few years ago and Don was there, since it was a planned trip i had a poster with one of his dragsters on it (Swamp II) and got it signed....rhere is so much hot rod/drag stuff in there....awesome awesome place
     
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  7. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    I got a different opinion of the great Don Garlits. After he refused to sign some posters for my sons when they were 8 and 10 years old and he was at a Super Chevy event at Gainesville standing around waiting for a camera crew. I guess there was no money in it for him since they had brought them from home and didn't buy them from him.
    I know I will receive a lot of hate mail for this post ,but if you send me a PM I will explain the whole deal. It would take up too much space here.
     
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 29,479

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Thanks - amazing - looks like it was well worth the ride to get there - just would go for several days until Hurricane Irma decides which path it is going to travel
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  9. I was there years ago and judging by those photos I need to make a return visit. But I think I'll wait until hurricane season is over before I do!
     
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  10. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    Coming to Florida right now would not be a great idea. I am watching the weather and getting ready to bug out if I have to.
     
  11. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,303

    olcurmdgeon
    Member

    We were there in the year the museum opened, in fact before the grand opening. Like a lot of folks were were taking the kids to Disney that year. Almost had the place to ourselves. My wife remembers having to haul me back by the belt as I wanted to climb into and over everything. Don came out of another area and was most gracious letting us take pics with him. I can remember talking to him at Dover Dragstrip in the early 60s when he was towing on open trailer with a Mopar pickup. He was eating fried chicken sitting on the running board and again was just a regular guy to talk to. One of my favorite memories from my teen years.
     
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  12. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    We were there many years ago (27 or 28?). Hit it on the way home from a week at Disney like everyone else. Signed the guest book "Better than Disney". Only a few people in there when we were there. When we were leaving my kids wanted to show my wife what I wrote and right below my statement was a new entry "NO SHIT!!!". Great place. Don came walking in, said hi and asked if we had any questions, was too dumbfounded to say anything but did get to shake his hand.
    SPark
     
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  13. Silverplate
    Joined: Mar 4, 2011
    Posts: 230

    Silverplate
    Member

    loudbang, wicarnut and Texas36 like this.
  14. Don wasnt there today, he was on his way back from Lead east but we did have the place to ourselves. Don really has a thing for Hemi's and flatheads. Theyre all over the place!


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  15. loudbang likes this.
  16. toolz
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 44

    toolz
    Member

    THANK YOU for taking the time to post these pix; what an array of treasure!
     
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  17. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445

    rockfish
    Member

    Like a lot of you I've been there several times as part of trips to Disney. Got to meet Don one time and found him to be really down to earth. I do miss his mom running the ticket counter and gift shop. She was a sweet woman. When my daughters were young she would waive the cost of their tickets to the museum. If you're in Florida it's worth seeing in person.
     
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  18. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,823

    zzford
    Member

    I've been there several times.Each time, it was like I'd never been there before! The first time I went, my son was about 5 and Don included him in the conversation. The place wasn't very busy so Don had a young guy that was working with him take us around and give us the grand tour. I got a photo of Don holding my son before we left.
    About a year later, he was at our local strip. I had brought the photo along with me. As busy as he was (he was racing), he took the time to autograph the photo. What a nice guy!
     
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  19. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,070

    TerrytheK
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Agreed!!! :D:D I will get there some day. Thanks for the pics!
     
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  20. Great stories, and obviously a fantastic window into the story of drag racing.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  21. Thanks man, great stuff
     
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  22. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,573

    oldsjoe
    Member

    Thanks for the peek! I hope to get there one day. Joe
     
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  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 29,475

    The37Kid
    Member

    Thanks for posting the photos, that is one place everyone needs to visit. Bob
     
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  24. txoldrodder
    Joined: Aug 30, 2016
    Posts: 162

    txoldrodder

    I've been there had to take a tissue because I was salivating so much! I was lucky the day Myself and my son visited there was a car show going on and he opened up his other large storage barn for people to look at! Lot's of car being restored for display! And more of his personal vehicles!
     

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  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,784

    jnaki

    Hey Tex, TX and others,
    Were there any old, So Cal drag racing movies playing anywhere in the whole museum complex?

    Thanks,
    Jnaki
     
  26. SUSQ
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 98

    SUSQ
    Member

    Add a stop at Sonny's BBQ around the corner and life is good!


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  27. the smoker
    Joined: Aug 30, 2017
    Posts: 208

    the smoker

    I am selling a vintage don garlits shifter knob
    89.00 free shipping
    threads are 3/8 x 24
    paypal safe or money orders 2 (31).jpg 7.jpg
     
  28. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 520

    Joliet Jake
    Member
    from Jax, FL

    It's a great place to visit. I'm there every year for Billet Proof, each year I see him in his garage and have him sign my Billet Proof poster. No matter how polite and thankful I am, he has never ever been friendly to me. I have seen him in lengthy conversations with other old guys, they usually discuss some decades old event or car, he is a great storyteller. I plan to do the private tour with him, maybe in the spring.
     
  29. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 4,284

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sometime back in the '80s a buddy and I went to Gainesville, Florida so he could attend the Hawley drag racing school for alcohol F/C. We took extra time so we could visit Daytona and Garlits' Museum. I brought along an old HRM from my collection with an article about his fuel motor strategy hoping for an autograph.
    At the museum we met his wife who was cordial and friendly. My buddy donated a couple memorabilia items. The museum was amazing even back then. I showed her the magazine and she said, "go out that door and go in the roll up door, he'll be glad to sign it"
    He was working on a dragster chassis so we stood quietly in the doorway trying not to startle him until he looked up.... "what are you doing here this ain't open to the public!" obviously irritated. So I told him what his wife said. He walked over, snatched the magazine out of my hand, signed the article and told us to leave. Nice.... I tossed the magazine in the trash can near the museum entrance as we left.
    I lost respect for him for many years but I eventually came to realize that most racers are pretty intense and he was probably concentrating on the task at hand and was startled, in spite of our polite attempt.
    I hope to get back to the museum someday and hopefully the legend himself will be there to make the visit even more memorable.
     
  30. JOECOOL
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,770

    JOECOOL
    Member

    I was there 5 years ago . I was amazed at how simple a lot of the old cars were. Seems maybe we have forgot that all this hoopla and trick stuff isn't required.
     
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