Key bit: Garlits, the man they call “Big Daddy,” is the greatest drag racer in history. Now 86, he lorded over the sport from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, winning every event of consequence, routinely obliterating speed records and racking up national championships. Incredibly, he did all of this inside race cars of his own design and manufacture, a series of pioneering, Hemi-powered dragsters dubbed “Swamp Rat.”
So when the Hemi-powered Demon set a new production-car quarter-mile record—9.65 seconds at 140 mph, confirmed by the National Hot Rod Association—Big Daddy came to mind. We dropped him a line, proposing to bring together the two drag-racing titans in his home state. Dodge agreed to provide a preproduction test car. It also sent Jim Wilder, an SRT engineer and amateur drag racer, to chew the fat.
A great read, here’s the link: www.roadandtrack.com