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Old 01-10-2013, 12:27 PM
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Favorite Swamp Rat dragster

Which is your favorite of Don Garlits' Swamp Rat dragsters?

I think I like 30 the best. I love the way it looks, giant oversized slicks, big Hemi engine, long sleek body and don't for the get the streamlining and the closed cockpit!

The dragster seemed so innovative and advanced, it's what a hot rod should be!

I also like 34 and 14 and all of the slingshots.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:20 PM
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I'm a fan of Garlits since '63 when he let me sit in his car for a picture! The fact that he was ALWAYS a threat didn't hurt either!

I am not a fan of the rear engine cars. To me they did not represent drag racing like the look of a front motor car. When Garlits started winning with his '71 RED car, it was a sad time for me. I thought the RED cars looked like an exagerated cartoon of a formula 1 car!

Therefore my "fave" is the slingshot that Garlits called the prettiest car he owned...

Swamp Rat 12-B. A very long wheelbase... full bodywork... great black and red paint... and a stunning win record!!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:00 PM
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I am ashamed to say I don't know them all very well. I got to see II I believe it was II (8 two barrels) run at a Nostalga drags once in 1985 or so and it was very cool. But getting to sit in one, HOLY COW that is a treasure! I am jazzed thinking about helping to push #II with Don up into the staging lanes was a gas, but sitting in one, crap I should have asked.

Brian
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I am ashamed to say I don't know them all very well. I got to see II I believe it was II (8 two barrels) run at a Nostalga drags once in 1985 or so and it was very cool. But getting to sit in one, HOLY COW that is a treasure! I am jazzed thinking about helping to push #II with Don up into the staging lanes was a gas, but sitting in one, crap I should have asked.

Brian
If you search the internet for swamp rat dragster... there are a couple sites, including his museum site, that list the cars with pictures and stories.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:15 PM
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Got a couple myself.....
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:18 PM
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A third.

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Old 01-10-2013, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I am ashamed to say I don't know them all very well. I got to see II I believe it was II (8 two barrels) run at a Nostalga drags once in 1985 or so and it was very cool. But getting to sit in one, HOLY COW that is a treasure! I am jazzed thinking about helping to push #II with Don up into the staging lanes was a gas, but sitting in one, crap I should have asked.

Brian


It was great! I was at the 62 or 63 Indy Nationals. I was about 13, and a friend was trying to take my picture in front of the car. It was a wedge-head Top Gas car. Don saw this happening and asked if I wanted to sit in it!!! I sure as Hell did!!! :-)~
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:51 PM
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Got a couple myself.....
Those are awesome man!
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:12 AM
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Ok, it was number 1 that I saw run at Fremont Drag strip, cool. I have to say 6B is my favorite now after looking thru them. Amazing list of cars that is for sure. I dig 17 too, innovation, that was his thing and some of them were very cool just for the sake of innovation.

Swamp Rat Gallery, Don Garlits Museum, Ocala, FL

Brian
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:39 AM
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Living in FL, I had many opportunities to see Garlits run. He used to race and test at Valkaria, often running a carbed engine on pop; he didn't need the blower to whip up on the guys there, unless it was a big meet. THEN you'd get to see what he could really do- 1320' of mostly-controlled tire smoke! Never saw him run in a rear engine rail, don't like them anyway.

Saw a lot of big name racers there. It was at this track I saw/heard/felt my first nitro burner. The driver/car is lost to time, but did it impress me? Was about 8, almost peed myself!
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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All before he mounted the motor in the rear.
Kudos to the man for getting it right but it changed everything.
To me a dragster has the engine in front.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:50 AM
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A chat with Don Garlits.

Don Garlits - YouTube
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:57 PM
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