Greg Sharp’s love affair with hot rodding and drag racing began as a highly curious “car crazy” 12-year-old who devoured the enthusiast magazines of the 1950s. Absorbing their contents like a sponge he later became an expert on the history of hot rodding and virtually all forms of motorsports. His first drag race was at age 13 at Lions Dragstrip and he still remembers that Jack Chrisman in the “Sidewinder” was top eliminator with the stunning 9.05 second ET.
He has been described by several magazines as the “go to guy for data on the history of hot rodding and drag racing”. When it comes to knowing the history of our sport, having written documentation, and photos to back up his knowledge, Greg is the man.
Sharp grew up in San Pedro, California and went to school with such drag racing notables as Carl Olson and Mike thermos. A neighbor worked for Frank “Ike” Iacono and having Ike’s dragster pull up in front of his house on its trailer was experience he would never forget. Years later he drove a dragster at Orange County and was thrilled with its 150 MPH ride.
In 1967 Greg began his day job as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department retiring in 1995. However, that did not keep him away from his love of hot rods and motorsports.
More than a historian Greg Sharp is a participant. He joined the famed LA Roadsters Club with a 1929 roadster pickup he owned for over 30 years. Through the club he got the opportunity to drive on Bonneville salt; meeting and becoming friends with many of the legends of the land speed fraternity. He has served as an International Show Car Association official and Judging Supervisor for over 10 years. He helped select the prestigious “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” at the Oakland Grand National Roadster Show. In 1989 Greg began acting as Master of Ceremonies and historian for the show.
In the early 1970s Greg began to use his storehouse of knowledge to write hundreds of magazine articles ranging from the history of “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” to pieces on historic Indy cars plus personality profiles from AJ Foyt to George Barris. He has an extensive collection of historic hot rod and custom car photographs which have been invaluable to the restoration of numerous historical hot rods and race cars.
Falling retirement, he was named director NHRA Historical Services where he had a key role in the formation of the Wally Parks/NHRA Motorsports Museum. He has served as curator since its opening in 1998. Working closely with several drag racing Hall of Fame members he’s helped to locate vehicles and produce a wealth of information that makes visiting the museum educational and enjoyable. Many of his personal photos and artifacts are on display including rare race programs dating before the 1920s.
He served as event director of the California Hot Rod Reunion for several years and is credited with coining the term “cackle fast” after Steve Gibbs created the concept that has become such a major part of historic drag racing activity.
Greg is a member of the Oakland Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame and was named The Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame Historian of the Year. He received the Dean Batchelor Award from the Motor Press Guild for the “Best Article of 2012” for his story in “The Rodders Journal” on the history of the famed So-Cal streamliner, ironically a car driven by Batchelor.