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NHRA Hall of Fame Driver Bob Glidden Passes Away

By SEMA Editors

Bob Glidden
Bob Glidden

Bob Glidden, 73, a 10-time NHRA Pro Stock champion and one-time IHRA series champion, passed away December 17, following a brief illness. He was joined at his bedside by his wife of 54 years Etta, and their sons Billy and Rusty.

Glidden had battled heart issues since 1994 when he underwent a six-way bypass surgery in which doctors initially gave him two to four years to live. However, Glidden returned to drag racing and drove an NHRA Pro Stocker in competition more than a decade later.

A Ford campaigner from the beginning, Glidden’s success in Pro Stock stemmed from his apprenticeship in Stock and Super Stock. He campaigned a series of 427 Fairlanes before switching to the more potent 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs in 1968. With sponsorship from Ed Martin Ford, where he worked as a line mechanic, Glidden became one of Division 3’s most prolific winners before turning Pro in late 1972.

Known as “Mad Dog” for his work ethic, Glidden dominated the class in the late ’70s and ’80s, winning back-to-back season championships in ’74–’75, three in a row (’78–’80) and five straight (’85–’89).

Glidden retired in February 1997 to concentrate on engine development for some of Ford’s NASCAR Winston Cup teams, which he ended after just two races into the 1997 season. He came out of retirement to drive occasionally through the 2010 season.