Hall of Famer Bob Glidden Dies
Bob Glidden died at the age of 73 on Sunday, after being admitted to an Indianapolis hospital for an undisclosed illness. He left behind his wife, Etta, and his two sons Billy and Rusty. “Everyone in the NHRA community is saddened to learn the news of Bob’s passing,” from NHRA President Peter Clifford. He was a true competitor who left a lasting legacy of excellence both on and off the track. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences are with the Glidden family at this difficult time.”
Bob Glidden was one of the most dominant forces in NHRA drag racing history. His career was long, spanning more than 25 star studded years beginning in the 1960’s and continuing into his retirement in 2010. He won 85 events, 10 season championships and was voted number 4 of the top 50 racers. In 1994 he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and in 2005 he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Upon his induction as number 4 on the NHRA’s Top 50 Drivers, Bob Frey said “There never was, and probably will never be, a more dominant driver in our sport.”
He was known as “Mad Dog” due to his tireless work ethic and for dominating the class of the 70’s and 80’s. Certainly, his skills were due to his experience in Stock and Super Stock classes. His cars, a 427 Ford Fairlane and a 428 Cobra Jet Mustang, were sponsored by Ed Martin Ford, his employer. Glidden worked for Ed as a mechanic during the week. His Fairmont remained unbeaten in the 1978 Summernationals, and through the remainder of the season. This gave him his third championship.
In recent years, Glidden was a crew chief and mentor to younger drivers. However, from time to time, he would climb back into the cock pit to drive the occasional race. He will truly be missed in the community.