a jet driver, what do you think of guys going 4.40s at 335
mph in Top Fuel now?
GUSTIN: I think it’s
absolutely incredible. I’ve always had a pretty wild
imagination and I always said I don’t want to see a
cap on anything; I don’t want to see anything limited;
I mean, I believe they can continue to go faster. I’m
always concerned about safety and I think there’s no
question that there are some serious safety concerns now,
but I’ll tell you, to watch those cars go past you at
330 mph, it absolutely takes your breath away.
After I got the jets approved by NHRA in ’77, they
agreed that I could run my jet dragster at Pomona for the
Winternationals. Steve Gibbs told me they were concerned,
though, and asked how fast the car was going and I said, about
260 miles an hour. He just said, ‘Oh my God,’
because the dragsters were only going about 240 mph then,
so he told me, ‘Well, shut it off at the thousand-foot
mark. Don’t even consider running that thing to the
finish line because you’ll never get stopped in time!’
So, of course we used big parachutes on the thing and I knew
what I was doing, so I go burn the thing through and ran a
263 or something, everybody about fell over, the chutes hit,
and in 600 feet I’m stopped. They all thought it was
so incredible back then, but now they’re running on
the same racetrack and going 330 mph—is that not amazing?
here’s the big question: what do you drive personally?
GUSTIN: Well, I’ve
always had a ’55, still have one, it’s a street
car, a driver. I just redid it. It had a blower on it and
was a real 160-mph street car, but I took the blower off and
put Edelbrock heads and new parts like a Tremec five-speed
on it to make it a little more driveable. I’ve also
got a Chevy Tahoe. I am definitely a Chevy guy.