The Coastside sky was an endless milky white as 29-year-old Don âBig Daddyâ? Garlits towed his âSwamp Ratâ?, the strange looking, low-slung drag strip racing machine, into the isolated Half Moon Bay Airport.
Bold block lettering on the multi-windowed tower announced that Big Daddy had arrived at the Half Moon Bay Drag Strip: Where World Records Are Broken.
It was 1966 and 1500 drag strip fans, young and old, gathered to witness the highly publicized battle of the year–a quarter-mile, 7-second rush of acceleration– between arch rivals Don Garlits and Don Prudhomme.
Garlits, a Floridian, was always a star attraction, a âhired gunâ? that brought in the crowds, wherever he raced. But this time Garlits had had a bad year, losing important races on the East Coastâbut eveb worse he heard from a reliable source that the big trophy had been etched in advance with Don Prudhommeâs name.
As the day of the big match approached, excitement soared among the dedicated group of drag strip fans.
Who would win the giant trophy and the $5000 purse?
Did the trophy really already bear Don Prudhomme, the Southern Californian’s name?
Which man– and which machine–would emerge as #1?
…To be continued…