where the writers are
Don Garlits and His Cars
A fast read


I went to the races in Pomona, California, an event on Car and Driver’s bucket list but probably not on mine, since I’ve never been to a car race, much less the National Hot Rod Association finals. It takes place at a race track known as Fairplex, home to such events as the world’s largest tomato fight and Polynesian tattooing, which involves several naked men, a foot-long pointy stick and a jeroboam of Vodka (just guessing.) At Fairplex I got a free poster, water bottle, earplugs, car wax and a Jack Daniels tour. Me and a guy in a shirt that said “Holy Crap, its tomorrow” watched people try to beat the time of a pit crew. The Greek was having a birthday and I got a giant piece of really good cake. I completely recommend attending this event! My only complaint was that there was a lot of annoying noise coming from somewhere to the right of me, loud roars, roughly like standing next to a 747 taking off every five minutes. That seems kind of dangerous, don’t you think? I mean when people are trying to eat curly fries?

Just funnin’ ya. My car and driver and I arrived at ten in the morning and he was reluctantly pulled away at three in the afternoon. Not even descriptions of Jack Daniel girls wearing little but the equivalent of three well-placed brake pads could budge him off the stands. We watched Sportsman Class, Funny Car and Nitro. They are extremely loud. They are extremely fast. If you like things that are loud and extremely fast, you will love this place as much as my car and driver did. When I looked into his eyes, his pupils were spinning like tires.

Did I mention it was our anniversary?

Yes, Reader, I married him and when you marry that kind of guy, don’t be surprised when he takes your hand and passionately runs away with you in pursuit of Don Garlits. Who? Only just Big Daddy and the designer of the championship rear engine dragster. To the untrained eye this is a handsome gent of a certain age, willing to have his picture taken with a flotilla of obsessed fans and never once lose his good-humored smile. I saw he was selling a book. I asked him for a quote for my blog.

“I wrote it in two years, I put it on two discs, I sent it to the printer and I published it.” Official Blog Quote, Dan Garlits

Called “Don Garlits and his Cars” this is the best titled book ever. Here’s what you get: Don Garlit and his Cars. Written in a knowlegable, charming and unpretentious style the book is packed with incredible pictures and equally thrilling stories of why the guy on page 190 appears to have set Swamp Rat 16 on fire and is now heading out for some curly fries. I strongly recommend this book. There is no better way to spend a winter evening than with a shot of Jack Daniels, this book, a cheerful fire the size of a burning Swamp Rat and your beloved whispering into your ear 392 CID 1958 Chrysler Hemi with a 9:1 compression ratio.

Special shout out to Mike Rodriquez, a complete stranger who so kindly led us to Don. He’s the spirit of these races, a true fan and a real gentleman. Thank you, Mike!