This is a rare exception to Les Mayhew’s always loud and rocking drag racing videos. No, we’re not saying that the quality or story telling is lacking but what is not present is the noise we are so used to hearing. There’s no cackling hemis, no screaming small blocks, and no thumping mountain motors on the starting line. What there is though are images of Don Garlits and his crew attempting to be the first people to run 200mph in the quarter mile using electric power. As we all know by now they didn’t quite get there, but they did crest 184mph before having to pack it in last year. While we have not heard a direct update in a short while we’re virtually certain that they’re not giving up and will be back again when the weather allows to make another attempt.
Outside of the swoopy and neat looking Hadman dragster that the team is using as their 200mph tool, the best part of this film is watching Don Garlits interacting with the crew, driving the car, and operating inside his own aura. While it is great to see Garlits at shows and events displaying stuff, this is a rare look at him in “race mode” and what that is like. Sure he leans in and cups his ears a lot more to hear stuff these days and there’s no denying that he has a few more wrinkles, but those forearms that look capable of ripping a telephone book in half are still present and accounted for and his ability to stab and steer seems as good as it ever was.
We had no idea that Les Mayhew was down at this testing session when it happened. He does his typically awesome job telling the story and letting the players in that story shine. The camera seems more like an electronic portal in this video than some sort of thing people were trying to work around and that gives you the feeling that (as a viewer) you wee invited in to hang out and watch the action as part of the team. We always fawn over Les’s stuff but there’s not one out there making his types of films these days. 30 years from now this thing will be a relevant piece of historical video that people will probably use a s some sort of a reference. That’s probably the highest compliment we can give it.
Here’s to hopeing Garlits rockets past 200mph this year in the car.