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Pictures From The Big Daddy Don Garlits Museum


Guest shadetree77
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Guest shadetree77

The wife and I recently celebrated our 7th anniversary by taking a trip to Daytona Beach. On the way home I convinced her to let me take the "scenic route" that included a stop at the Big Daddy Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum. Unbeknownst to me, they were having a big car show that day. Big Daddy himself was in attendance and signed some shirts for me! I bought my dad a shirt for his birthday and had Mr. Garlits sign it. My dad remembers seeing Big Daddy race when he was a kid in Spokane, Washington. It was one of the things that got him into cars when he was young and this made the perfect gift. Here are some pictures of the early Buicks in the museum as well as some Buick racing engines and a Buick dragster called "Swamp Rat Too Buick". Enjoy!

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Guest shadetree77

Here are some of my non-Buick favorites from the museum and car show. If you're ever in the area of Ocala, Florida, I suggest you stop here. Admission was only $15.00 for both museums and it is well worth it. I could have spent days in here but unfortunately I had to snap pictures and run through as we were on a deadline to return the rental car! It's much more than just cars. He has piles upon piles of antique auto-related stuff in every nook and cranny. Enjoy!

P.S. Interesting little factoid, the 1950 Mercury on the right in the pic below was driven by the Fonz in Happy Days. It used to be purple with green flames but was re-painted when restored.

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I'd like to know what a 600 HP nailhead feels like directly connected to a 4-speed manual transmission!

As the sign I have seen says "SHUT UP, SIT DOWN, HANG ON" ahh to go back to the days when Big Daddy was racing, times were good and life easy. A really good time to be alive. Everybody I knew was into drag racing. It was fun then not a big business

Chuck Kerls

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I was racing when garlits, Malone ,and Kalitta all were towing the dragsters on open trailers. Theyall came to Central Michigan Dragway .Karamisineesand all the BIG guys ran there back in the 60s because the promoter (Bob George) paid money, and he was one of the first to do that.

EJ Potter and his Chev V8 powered motorcycle and Arfons were also there quite regualarly

This was 1959-1960 time frame

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Guest shadetree77

Here's a few more. I especially like the story about his first dragster being so ugly Hot Rod Magazine wouldn't run a picture of it!! Also love the "Pollutionizer" dragster with a WWII fighter plane engine. I have a bunch more pictures of his old dragsters, mainly the "Swamp Rat" ones. The lighting in that area was odd and caused the pictures to not come out so great. I may post some of those later too. Enjoy!

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The red fender in the model T sign pictureabove, is a Metz roadster and I striped that fender over 45 years ago. I lived in Clearwater FL and was a flagger at the Golden Triangle dragstrip in Oldsmar FL where Garlits was based. All the racers came to Florida in the winter to race Garlits.

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Guest Bob Call

Great pics. I donated the radiator grille shell and instrument panel for the Chrysler air raid siren. It came from a Chrysler 354 industrial I bought for a hot rod engine back in 2003.

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Cool, you still do striping? how's the Skylark comin? :)

Still striping. see pics.

Skylark is coming along. see pics.

Tub is done and I am converting Roadmaster fenders to Skylark.

Apologize for hijacking thread, but you asked.

Got any old 820 whitewalls? One of my rollers is leaking.

See attached pics

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