Project Description

Swamp Rat I-B: This car was the modification of SR I to fit the tall and lanky Art Malone who took over the driving chores for Don when he was seriously burned at Chester SC In 1959. On its first competitive outing at Sanford Maine in August 1959, the young rookie set the drag racing world on its ear by setting a new World’s Record of 183.66, breaking Don Garlits’ record of 182.54 set at Houston, June 1959. Then Art won the California Challenge at Riverside in December, beating the famed “Hustler” driven by Art Chrisman. The next season at Bakersfield Art again raised the 1320 Record to 185.56 and the next weekend at Fremont raised the mark again to 187.10. The drag racing world was stunned, how could this backyard dragster, built from a set of 1931 Chevrolet frame rails run faster and quicker than the world’s finest drag racing equipment? They would never know the answer to this perplexing question. Art went on his own early that year and Don returned to the seat of SR I-B. He lowered the 1320 ET Record to 8.23 Seconds at York PA and ran an unofficial 204.54 at the Bainbridge Georgia airport before retiring the car, which was in the tornado of 1966 that hit North Tampa. When Don restored the car in 1979, he put it back to its original configuration. Then in 2003, Don decided to build a replica of the SR I-B for exhibition. The car was completed and first taken to the NHRA Reunion at Bowling Green. SR I-B was a big hit and has made many appearances around the country doing burnouts for the fans. Today it can be seen in the Drag Racing Museum. This was the first dragster in the sport to have port nozzles and the original setup is on the car now.