West North

A Visit to Big Daddy Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

If you are into cars and going fast then you have to check out Don Garlits Museum of Auto Racing and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Located in Ocala Florida, this museum has over 200 race cars and is wall to wall drag racing memorabilia. A Racing fans dream come true!!

Don Garlits known to his fans as “Big Daddy” was one of Drag Racing’s pioneers having begun his career in 1950. During the course of his career he won 17 drag racing world championship titles and had 144 national event wins.

Don Garlits is largely responsible for innovating the sport and improving it’s safety measures. After an engine explosion that resulted in near fatal burns and a transmission explosion that severed a foot, Big Daddy Don Gartlis was the first to wear a full body fire resistant suit and to engineer a dragster with the engine mounted behind the driver.

One of the exhibits that I found amusing was the souped up lawn mower used in a Citgo commercial featuring Big Daddy Don Garlits.

The Drag Racing Museum was opened in 1984 and has been expanding ever since with the current display area being over 50,000 square feet. The museum chronicles the history of the sport from it’s early days to present day action. In 1991, the Drag Racing Hall of Fame became a part of the museum thanks to the contributions of Mopar, and in an adjacent building is an equally impressive collection of antique cars and memorabilia.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is located right off of interstate 75 at 13700 sw 16th avenue in Ocala, Florida. Price of admission is very reasonable at $20 per adult, $15 for seniors, teenagers and college students and $10 for children under 12. Not a bad price for racing fans as you could literally spend the whole day here and not be able to read and see all the exhibits, films and memorabilia.

Click here for other fun and interesting attractions nearby in this region of Florida.

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