R.I.P. Ray­mond God­man

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Scrapbook - Larry P. Cham­bers

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.

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