R.I.P. Raymond Godman
This is to call your attention to the death of one of drag racing’s pioneers, especially in the southern part of the USA. Early on, Raymond Godman was known for his Modified Roadster, later going to a Top Fuel dragster known as the Tennessee Bo-weevil. And then there was his Funny Car. According to my notes, the blown Hemi A/modified Roadster ran 9.89 and 150 mph and was a winner at the 1960 NHRA Nationals in Detroit.
Raymond was a founding member of the Shelby County International Raceway (originally known as Lakeland Dragstrip), which operated from 1961 through 1979. Raymond was injured in the Korean War and raced for all those years from a wheelchair. In more recent years, Raymond participated with three cars at the Hot Rod Reunions in Bowling Green through 2015.
Raymond was a big player from the beginning of the rather large Memphis hot rod scene. He was able to be at the annual Memphis Rodders Reunion in November 2017. This car club was founded in 1947 and celebrates hot rod history once a year now.
Thanks for a great magazine. I’m at an age that I can relate to or remember most everything you cover.
Eric Rickman shot Red Dyer (near lane) driving Raymond Godman’s “extremely torrid blown Chrysler A Modified Roadster,” as HOT ROD called it in the Dec. 1960 issue, as it headed to victory in the A/MR class, setting a record along the way of 9.97 at 153.84 mph. In fact, Godman’s roadster made it all the way to the Top Eliminator final, but was beaten by the Albertson Olds Special.