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British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Attendee

Photos: Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

Although there is no real substitute for being at the track and witnessing drag racing firsthand, a crucial role in its history has been played by publishing, by spreading the word about the sport and promoting it. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has announced that the former publisher of Hot Rod magazine, Harry Hibler, will be attending the BDRHoF Gala on November 19, 2016.

Harry (pictured above with Don Garlits) started by building and racing dragsters and jet cars in the early 1950s, becoming known as 'Hand Grenade Harry' after a number of on and off-track incidents. He was the manager of San Fernando Raceway for over 15 years and then spent the next almost 30 years with Petersen Publishing, eventually becoming publisher for numerous automotive publications culminating with Hot Rod. He sat on the Board of Directors of SEMA and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame.

Harry was part of the team that created the concept of CadZZilla for ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons in 1989. He was inducted into the Northwestern College Hall of Fame in 1994 for his contribution to its High Performance Motorsports Education Program and was named California Business Man of the Year in 2002 by the Business Advisory Coucil. Harry currently sits on the Board of Directors of Quarter Mile Foundation/Project 1320, and the SEMA Hall of Fame committee and Task Force. He was also inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

"I've had a great career and have plenty of stories to tell about San Fernando Raceway which I look forward to sharing with folks in November," said Harry. "It was a real privilege to become publisher of Hot Rod and that opened a lot of doors for me including the heads of major auto manufacturers and politicians. It's certainly been a blast."

Harry isn't the only one who is excited. BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury said, "It is a real privilege and honour to have Harry, such an important person in the development of Hot Rodding, to be able to attend the Gala Dinner and other exciting events we are planning for the daytime on November 19. He has a fund of amazing stories about his experiences on the track and in publishing. Everyone should make sure they are available for the whole day and book their tickets because they are going fast!"