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Gary Gabelich: Wikis


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Gary Gabelich (August 29, 1940 – January 26, 1984) was an American race car driver of Croatian descent who set the land speed record with his rocket-powered vehicle "Blue Flame" on October 23, 1970, achieving an average speed of 622.287 mph (1,001.474 km/h). Only 13,000 lbs. s.t. was used during this attempt, and a peak speed of 650 mph (1,050 km/h) was momentarily attained (record speed was 622.407 mph (1,001.667 km/h) on a dry lake bed at Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. This record was the first over 1,000 km/h (621 mph) and remained unbeaten until 1983, when Richard Noble broke it driving Thrust 2.

Gabelich was seriously injured in the crash of an experimental 4 wheel drive Funny Car. Gabelich died in January 1984 in a motorcycle crash.

Gary was a delivery driver in his younger days for Vermillion's Drug store driving a split window 1960 era VW kombi delivery van. He lived at that time in Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach, Ca. with his parents.

Gary and his family appeared on the Family Feud with Richard Dawson, where he presented the key to the city of Long Beach, Ca. to Dawson.

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