© 2024 Lakeshore Public Media
8625 Indiana Place
Merrillville, IN 46410
Public Broadcasting for Northwest Indiana & Chicagoland since 1987
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Lively One: Dick Brannan’s Rise to Drag Racing Fame

Ride along on a journey of determination, ingenuity, and guts with Dick Brannan, who rose from obscurity to become a legend on the national grad racing scene.

At the time, Ford was struggling to make a mark in this popular sport, falling behind fellow Motor City automakers in capturing the attention of the youth market at the track. Ford cars were generally considered too heavy to win. However, that changed the day the 22-year-old underdog went on to beat more than 60 other cars and take first place.

Following his win, Ford appointed Brannan race coordinator of their factory drag team. Brannan’s racing knowledge and automotive innovations would help rewrite the history of one of America’s most iconic brands.

The Lively One tells the unlikely story of a racing legend who captured multiple records and led Ford Motor Company to national prominence during the “golden age” of drag racing. In 1962, Dick Brannan, a virtually unknown driver, showed up at the Detroit Dragway in a Ford Galaxie to compete against some of the biggest names and fastest cars in drag racing.

Dick Brannan's Ford Legendary 427 Fairlane "Thunderbolt" Drag Car
Dick Brannan's Ford Legendary 427 Fairlane "Thunderbolt" Drag Car