C10 Builder's Guide

DON GARLITS

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DONALD GLENN “DON” GARLITS (born Jan. 14, 1932, Tampa, Florida) is an American race car driver and automotive engineer. He is considered the father of drag racing. He is known as “Big Daddy” to drag racing fans around the world.

Always a pioneer in the field of drag racing, he perfected the rear-engine top fuel dragster, an innovation motivated by the loss of part of his foot in a dragster accident. This design was notably safer since it put most of the fuel processing and rotating parts of the dragster behind the driver. The driver was placed in front of nearly all the mechanical components, thus protecting the driver and allowing him to activate a variety of safety equipment in the event of catastroph­ic mechanical failure or a fire. Garlits was an early promoter of the full-body, fire-resistant Nomex driving suit, complete with socks, gloves and balaclava.

Garlits was the first drag racer to officially surpass the 170,

180, 200, 240, 250 and 270 mile per hour marks in the quarter mile; he was also the first to top 200 mph in the 1⁄8 mile (0.20 km). He has been inducted into several halls of fame and has won many awards during his career. (From Wikipedia)

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