Big Daddy hits 90 – 14th January 2022

The Directors of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame wish a very Happy 90th Birthday to distinguished Member and all-around greatest drag racer of them all, ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits, when he hits the magic number on 14th January.

‘Big Daddy’ is one of just four individuals honoured with membership of both British and International Drag Racing Halls of Fame, alongside Sydney Allard, Carl Olson and Dennis Priddle. A fifth member will join this illustrious group in March when Britain’s Stuart Bradbury is inducted posthumously into the International Hall of Fame during its annual banquet at Gainesville.

Having survived a recent severe encounter with Covid, the indefatigable Garlits is resuming his quest to crack 200mph in an electric dragster. After raising the four-wheeled electric mark to 189mph driving his latest Swamp Rat – number 38 – in 2019, Garlits had to cede the 200mph goal when Steve Huff clocked 201mph in 2020. A revised Swamp Rat 38b, equipped with a more potent EV drivetrain, is being readied at the Garlits Museum in Florida and Garlits will pursue his own double-ton shot during Gainesville’s NHRA Gatornationals in March.

A family gathering at home in Ocala to mark Garlits’ 90 years will include video tributes from friends and colleagues around the world. And there is more family birthday news to follow: Don’s younger daughter, Donna Garlits, one of the British Hall of Fame’s International Ambassadors, celebrates her own anniversary the very next day.