Friday, January 19, 2018

Don Garlits' 1st Swamp Rat... so sketchy and ugly, that Hot Rod wouldn't run a photo of it. Possibly the origin of the term Rat Rod

“I learned later that the guys in the California office of HOT ROD…took one look at my heap and laughed out loud,” Don Garlits asserted in his 1967 autobiography, “King Of The Dragsters” (coauthored by Brock Yates).

 “They decided it was just too ugly to deserve a picture.”

Then again, perhaps that improvised rollbar scared stiff a staff led by Wally Parks, the safety-obsessed HRM editor and NHRA president who’d renamed 1954’s initial Drag Safari as the Safety Safari this year.

Hot Rod March 2018 issue

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