The Festival of Speed weekend didn’t go entirely to plan for Don Garlits and his legendary ‘Swamp Rat’ dragster. The drag racing veteran faced a few problems during his time in West Sussex this year, but none that were insurmountable given the ingenuity of Don and his crew..
This video comes from his final run of the weekend. Swamp Rat had not been behaving itself on the Sunday of FoS, but was patched up for one final sprin up the first half of the hillclimb (drag cars and bikes don’t attempt the tighter parts higher up for obvious reasons).
Earlier in the day an issue with Swamp Rat’s engine had caused one cylinder to be destroyed and another left damaged, but operable. Never ones to be put off by a slight hitch Don and his team set about making it work for one final tilt at a full power burnout.
So how did they fix it? Denture cream and a can of Sprite of course. Showcasing what an amazing man Don Garlits really is. After watching the video above of his exploits with his fixed machine (which was so ferocious the mount for our TomTom Bandit Action Camera was unable to hold itself straight, leaving the latter part of the clip slightly wonky) head over to Henry Hope-Frost’s article on the history of this extraordinary machine to learn more about it and the great man behind it.