GAINESVILLE, FL – February 9, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – One of the marquee attractions from last year’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals is back in 2024, as the special “Swamp Rat Alley” returns to Gainesville Raceway on March 7-10 for the 55th edition of the race, featuring historic cars from legendary driver “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and others.
NHRA and Garlits, one of the most iconic drivers in drag racing history, again teamed up to feature “Swamp Rat Alley” inside the Hot Rod Junction. This year’s display will feature a pair of famous Garlits cars, as well as vehicles from “Jungle Jim” Liberman, Dick LaHaie and Ray Godman. The cars will be displayed all weekend at Gainesville Raceway, giving fans the unique chance to check out historic cars driven by legendary names in the sport. Garlits will also be on hand throughout the weekend at Gainesville Raceway to meet with and sign autographs for fans.
Included in the Swamp Rat Alley in 2024 will be:
- Garlits’ Swamp Rat VIII: This was the first of Garlits’ Swamp Rats to run the legendary 426 Hemi. Driven by both Garlits and right-hand man Connie Swingle in 1965, the car was later lengthened and became Swamp Rat X before being recreated in its original form.
- Garlits’ Swamp Rat I C: One of Garlits’ earliest cars and was uncharacteristically painted purple for a short time. In a time before Garlits burned nitro, this car ran on gasoline with six carburetors and competed at the 1956 Florida State Championship where it set low E.T. and top speed but broke in the finals. The car was quickly painted black and went on to great success.
- Ray Godman’s Front Engine Tennessee Bo-Weevil Top Fueler: Raymond Godman’s Tennessee Bo-Weevil cars were mainstays of NHRA competition throughout the 1960s and one of his earlier Bo-Weevil cars won Middle Eliminator at the 1962 Nationals in Indianapolis. This car is the final front-engine Top Fueler campaigned by Godman and driver Preston Davis in 1971.
- Dick LaHaie’s 1981 Top Fueler: The car, driven by Michigan-based great Dick LaHaie, who would win the Top Fuel world championship in 1987, was one of many cars that kept LaHaie’s name perennially in the NHRA Top 10 throughout the 1980s in cars that were wrenched his son, Jeff, and daughter, Kim.
- “Jungle Jim’s” 1972 Camaro Funny Car: This ’72 Camaro from the legendary “Jungle Jim” was only driven a handful of times before the Funny Car driver sold it, but it was…