US Hot Rod Publishing Legend to Appear at BDRHoF Gala

Whilst there is no substitute for being at the track and witnessing drag racing first hand, a crucial role in its history has been played by publishing, in spreading the word about the sport and promoting it. So the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is excited to announce that the former publisher of Hot Rod magazine Harry Hibler will be attending the BDRHoF Gala to be held on 19th November 2016.

Harry (pictured with Don Garlits) started by building and racing dragsters and jet cars in the early 1950s, becoming known as ‘Hand Grenade Harry’ after a number of on and off-track incidents. He was manager of San Fernando Raceway for over 15 years and then spent almost 30 years with Petersen Publishing, becoming publisher for numerous automotive publications culminating with Hot Rod. He sat on the Board of Directors of SEMA and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame.

He was part of the team that created the concept of CadZZilla for ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons in 1989.  In 1994, he was inducted into the Northwestern College Hall of Fame for his contribution to its High Performance Motorsports Education Program. He was named California Business Man of the Year for 2002 by the Business Advisory Council. Currently, Harry sits on the Board of Directors of Quarter Mile Foundation/Project 1320, and the SEMA Hall of Fame committee and Task Force. He was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

Harry Hibler said ‘I’ve had a great career and have plenty of stories to tell about San Fernando Raceway which I look forward to sharing with folks in November. It was a real privilege to become publisher of Hot Rod and that opened a lot of doors for me including the heads of major auto manufacturers and politicians. It’s certainly been a blast’.

BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said ‘It is a real privilege and honour to have Harry, such an important person in the development of hot rodding, to be able to attend the Gala Dinner and other exciting events we are planning for the daytime on 19 November. He has a fund of amazing stories about his experiences on the track and in publishing. Everyone should make sure they are available for the whole day and book their tickets because they are going fast!’

Photos: Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

2016 Gala Award Tickets

Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain unchanged at £60 per person. Corporate tables of 10 are available at £580. To reserve tickets please email or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.

News about the Gala and other events will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame website,, and at, the sport’s premier website in Europe. The names of 2016’s inductees into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced on these sites during Santa Pod Raceway’s Dragstalgia meeting, 15th-17th July. 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Hall of Fame’s founding and the admission of its first members. The Gala Awards Dinner was first presented in 2014.