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Old 4 Weeks Ago
slugbelch slugbelch is offline
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Cool Don Garlits' Swamp Rat 38

New car, new thread!

It’s electric: ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits builds new dragster
Garlits plans to soon test his new Swamp Rat 38 electric racer, which has been specially designed for a shot at the elusive 200 mph quarter mile record for electric dragsters.

By Andy Fillmore / Correspondent Oct 15, 2018 at 2:01 AM

At 86, the King of the Dragsters is still going full throttle.

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits may no longer strap himself into a nitro fueled drag car and rocket down the quarter mile in three-plus seconds but he plans to soon test his new, in-house built, Swamp Rat 38 electric racer, which has been specially designed for another shot at the elusive 200 mph quarter-mile record for electric dragsters.



Garlits piloted Swamp Rat 37, an earlier version of an electric dragster, in April 2014 and ran 185.6 mph at 7.274 seconds in a quarter mile. He never was really pleased with the progress and now has built Swamp Rat 38, which is about half the weight of No. 37 and has revisions to the electric drive set up. He looked over the electric dragster project recently in the garage adjacent to his Museum of Drag Racing, at the intersection of Interstate 75 and County Road 484 south of Ocala, with his grandson Rod Garlits, comptroller of the museum, and master machinist, museum restoration specialist and shop foreman Chris Bumpus.

Garlits and Bumpus worked together on the design of the new dragster. Garlits, with his usual enthusiasm for anything related to racing, pointed out the changes from Swamp Rat 37 to SR 38. “SR 38 is all new. We analyzed SR 37 and realized it was set up for a 10,000 horsepower engine and we needed a platform for 1,000 foot pounds of torque electric motor.” He said Swamp Rat 38 is about 500 pounds lighter and called the lighter, tubular frame car a “skeeter.” Bumpus’ fabrication work on the car includes the metal skin.



The dragster uses one motor and a chain driver, using Harley-Davidson chains, and a fast change primary drive gear for quick adjustments. Garlits said all the work has been done at the museum garage, which includes a fully outfitted machine shop.



Swamp Rat 38 is the latest version in the line of record setting race cars.

Swamp Rat 1, which is on display in the museum, has a sign that states the car was built in 1956 and was used to set Garlits’ first world record in Brooksville in 1957 and a championship in Kansas in 1958. He is currently also building a recreation of that racer in the museum shop.

Garlits, a Tampa area native, has lived in Marion County and operated the museum complex, which also houses a separate Antique Car Museum, for 35 years. The most recent addition, Don’s Garage, contains many of his famous Chrysler Hemi engines used during his drag racing career.

A biography of Garlits on www. garlits.com states his drag racing career spanned more than 40 years. In 2001, he drove a top fuel dragster in a 4.27 second quarter-mile time at 303 mph at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. In 2002, he pulled Swamp Rat 34 out of the museum and ran the quarter mile at the NHRA Nationals in a “career best” 4.76 seconds and 318.54 mph. The biography lists 17 World Champion titles, eight U.S. Nationals Championships and says that Swamp Rat 30 is on display in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

After checking on Swamp Rat 38 on a recent day, Garlits paused at his office before he entered the museum to greet visitors. He took a plastic trophy, with a small round base and a goddess holding a wreath, from a shelf. “I wouldn’t take $10,000 for that trophy,” he said as he placed it on his desk. The trophy, about as tall as a soda can, marked “Lake Wales, 1953” is his first drag race trophy. He got the award when he stopped with his wife, Pat, to run in a quarter-mile race held by a group called the Track Twirlers in March 1953. Garlits entered his stock flathead engine powered 1950 Ford and covered the quarter mile in 19 seconds.

Article:
https://www.ocala.com/news/20181015/...s-new-dragster

SR37 and the beginnings of SR38:
http://forum.competitionplus.com/showthread.php?t=11358

What will you be doin' at 86?
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  #2  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Twostep Twostep is offline
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That guy is simply incredible. No other way to put it. And if the hurricanes will ever leave Florida alone, towards the top of my bucket list is getting to visit his museum.
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RVT1000 RVT1000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twostep View Post
That guy is simply incredible. No other way to put it. And if the hurricanes will ever leave Florida alone, towards the top of my bucket list is getting to visit his museum.
I was lucky enough to go back in the 90's, I was on a work trip and had some free time.

As soon as I got there I ask if "Big" was around and was told I had just missed him.

I still have the T-shirt!
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HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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I just wish he'd hurry up and do it before someone beats him to it. In other interviews he's said he has competition for this record.
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mossyback mossyback is offline
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Yes, 4 other teams
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slugbelch slugbelch is offline
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Top EV Racing is getting close to completion. Video posted in March and head developer Michael Fragomeni said testing to begin March or summer 2019

Video:
https://youtu.be/F1UDforSoTE

Exclusive superconductor magnetic drive motor producing 5,000 hp for 30 seconds




http://www.topevracing.com/
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GolfRacer GolfRacer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twostep View Post
That guy is simply incredible. No other way to put it. And if the hurricanes will ever leave Florida alone, towards the top of my bucket list is getting to visit his museum.
True statement. Big is a true American icon of more than speed...he defines the word "driven." Certainly "Big Daddy" has become a term used as an adjective in many sports and areas of life....the "Big Daddy of"......

And all he's been through with injuries at 86 he is just incredibly impressive and we are blessed to have him.

Spoke with him again at Indy this year and bought his updated book - other than hard of hearing he is a stud.
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Yvonne* Yvonne* is offline
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500 lbs light?? Wow, I wonder how the managed that? Must have a pretty good budget.
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HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvonne* View Post
500 lbs light?? Wow, I wonder how the managed that? Must have a pretty good budget.
I believe better batteries and a smaller motor are partly responsible for that. It's a shame Elon wouldn't toss him a bone or two.
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Yvonne* Yvonne* is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HEMI_guy View Post
I believe better batteries and a smaller motor are partly responsible for that. It's a shame Elon wouldn't toss him a bone or two.
Okay, that makes sense. You never know, Elon may have offered. There would be drawbacks though. He doesn't strike me as a silent partner.
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