If you are of a certain age you perhaps had an opportunity to see Don Garlits race from way back in the day.
This morning The Colonel is walking around, and we know that he saw Don Garlits race.
Q- Colonel Good Morning you saw Garlits race live?
A- Guys...good morning...yes at Sanair a few decades ago. Sanair back in the day was the Canadian Pomona holding the NHRA Nationals...
Q- What was it about Garlits that was so interesting?
A- You would read stories about Garlits usually months after the actual event, he would win very often, he was on the leading edge, and walked with a limp (lost a good portion of a foot in a clutch explosion).
Q- What do you remember about that Sunday at Sanair?
A- Guys it was decades ago, those were the days of towing an enclosed trailer with a pick up. As you can just imagine Garlits was the HEADLINE, he did a couple of runs, and then lost (perhaps something happened to the car. I got the feeling that he was a sore loser, being far from home, he packed up and left.
Q- It must have been a spectacle?
A- Seeing Don Garlits getting a push start from the tow pick up in front of the stands, and then doing a run. Then getting another push start, noticing that he "tipped the can" a little harder, doing another run. Priceless moments.
Q- None of this stuff was on TV?
A- Told you it was a few decades ago.
Q- What caught your attention on the video.
A- Don Garlits is 82, his wife of 61 years passed away a few months ago. Look at his hands, see how he laps valves, adjusts valves, torques a head, spins the long T handle for the spark plugs, checks the tension on the blower belt. You see the guy come into his "zone" as he did it a gazillion times, at a gazillion strips. Even at 82 the guy still gets in the "drag racer zone".
Q- Back in the day those guys did not have much of a pit crew.
A- Not much at all, the reason the car is black, he always wore black, the grease and grime did not show as much. Think about it, drive the car, rebuild the engine, drive the car again, rebuild again.
Q- He was the first to have a rear engine dragster.
A- Yes he was...he probably figured that he would have to "tip the can" further, tune the engine to grenade level, to keep on winning, while straddling a differential, and a blower in front of you was getting perilous.
The HEMI is 50 years old...take a look at more nostalgia.
We could keep on going...enjoy the video.