Completed in December 2000 I installed a 13’ version of my sculpture ENGLISHTOWN WHEELSTAND for the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala, Florida. This bronze and stainless steel sculpture of Don Garlits’ Top Fuel Dragster, Swamp Rat XXX at the apex of a dramatic vertical wheel stand rises over two stories tall on its base and is the largest piece I have done to date.
In the 1986 Summer National Drag Races, Englishtown New Jersey, “Big Daddy” Dan Garlits drove the streamlined Swamp Rat XXX into a dramatic vertical wheelstand. Big Daddy walked away from that terrible accident, rebuilt the car and campaigned it for the rest of the season. The Swamp Rat XXX was then retired to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC where it sits today. I originally created ENGLISHTOWN WHEELSTAND as a one twelfth scale bronze recreation of that dramatic event.
The enlarged sculpture is scaled to half-life size and is primarily bronze with many polished stainless steel elements. The engine, transmission, fuel tank, cockpit floor, armor shield, wheels and hubs are all stainless. The “God Is Love” cross, one of Garlits’ “trademarks”, is also raised, polished stainless. The polished elements are an eye-catching contrast to the jet-black Top Fuel racer presented at its vertical apex. Much of the dragster had to be fabricated out of bronze tubing and sheet, which is alloy-matched to the cast portion of the sculpture. Because the bronze car is mounted as it is, the open bottom of the dragster provides a full view into the space frame structure that is replicated in bronze at the front of the car. The piece is mounted on a granite monument, which bears the names of all the inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
*Under special arrangement with Don Garlits, the Museum of Drag Racing and the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame a very small number of these monuments will be available to suitable, approved venues.