Corsair – with dragster connection – set for revamp

An LTV A-7 Corsair II linked to a famous dragster car is to be refurbished this summer

The jet appeared in a photo with the distinctive car during the Vietnam War. The former is now at a museum in Ocala, Florida. FlyPast correspondent Nate Leong is among those looking forward to working on the distinctive aircraft later this year. Nate reports:

“This is a tribute to ‘Big Daddy’, Don Garlits, a United States dragster legend who just turned 91 years old on 14 January. At the height of the Vietnam War in 1972, there was a US Navy recruiting photo of a ‘drag race’ between Don Garlits in his ‘Swamp Rat’ dragster and an A-7A Corsair on the deck of the USS Lexington.

“When NAS Cecil Field, Florida closed its doors in 1999, Mr Garlits found out that the actual A-7 he "raced" was a gate guard at the base and he made the arrangements to have the aircraft transported to his museum in Ocala, Florida. According to the folks at the museum, they have plans to "rejuvenate" the A-7 this summer and I already have volunteered for the honour.”

The Corsair jet at Ocala
The Corsair jet at Ocala NATE LEONG
An image from 1972 showing the Corsair alongside Don’s ‘Swamp Rat’ dragster. The photographer is presently unknown
An image from 1972 showing the Corsair alongside Don’s ‘Swamp Rat’ dragster. The photographer is presently unknown
A plaque explaining the jet’s connection with Don Garlits
A plaque explaining the jet’s connection with Don Garlits NATE LEONG