“Big Daddy” Don Garlits is a legend in the world of drag racing, and his Swamp Rat-37 all-electric dragster will begin full-power testing next week. For Garlits, who has been racing professionally since the 1950s, making the jump from Top Fuel dragsters to electric vehicles is a major victory for green gearheads the world over.
Full-power testing is scheduled for April 30th at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, and Big Daddy is hoping to take his EV dragster past the 200 MPH mark for the first time. Like, ever. Other EV dragsters, like the Assault & Battery Miata, have managed to dip their vehicles into ths single-digit drag race range, but none have even come close to exceeding 200 MPH in a quarter-mile.
Enter Big Daddy and his electric dragster, which has already made a few trial runs, but none at full power. The dragster itself was created by Mike Gerry and built by Brad Hadman with sixd GE electric motors churning out a combined total power of 1,500 kilowatts, or about 2,000 horsepower. Yup, this badass EV is every bit as powerful as the Top Fuel dragsters Big Daddy is used to.
Electric vehicles have conquered the likes of Pikes Peak and the Nurburgring. Is drag racing next to fall under the sway of EVs? If Big Daddy has anything to say about it, you betcha.