Hagerty.com

At 70, George Poteet still has records to break.

George Poteet speaks slowly with a relaxed southern accent, drawing out the syllables as he talks cars and racing, his favorite subjects. “Chev-ruh-lay,” he says, and, “Bonn-uh-vull.” He’s about six feet tall, clean shaved, with close-cropped silver hair. He comes across as gentle but focused. It’s not hard to imagine him dishing out advice and support from the sidelines of a basketball court as a coach, a profession his sister chose. It’s more difficult to imagine George in a fireproof racing suit and scalloped, metal-flake helmet, stuffed into the cockpit of a streamlined land speed car barely wider than his shoulders, calmly preparing to run in what he calls “a five-mile drag race” at more than 400 mph. That’s exactly what he plans on doing—for the 46th time—this August at Bonneville Speed Week. And that’s where he was in 2012 when I first met him, the year he made 12 passes, each at more than 400, in one of the fastest wheel-driven cars in the world, his “Speed Demon.”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/05/16/george-poteet-at-70-has-records-to-break

This a great article. Would have liked to see some more pics of his garages though. It is so very cool that George gets to live his dream everyday and for most of his life. I have had many cars, trucks and motorcycles in my life… but I am very far behind a guy like this. Good luck on the 450 and 500 George. Ihope the rest of your runs are all safe!

I met and talked with George last August at the Salt. Friendly, down home, truly nice guy. To watch his crew between runs is like watching an Opera on stage. Crew was friendly too. Offered to answer any questions I had, about the car and different engines. George sat and held court and was very approachable.

I have seen the Speed Demon run on the Salt four times and it is the greatest piston powered thing there. Really appreciate Poteet and Main building the beast and running on the Salt so often.

The Salt is, as far as I am concerned, the only real racing left. It is just like drag racing was in the 50’s and 60’s when I was a drag racer, you can build and race anything that passes tech inspection
regardless of how much money or sponsorship you have.

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I like to take my best camera to the Hotel San Jose parking lot on the Saturday morning of the Lone Star Roundup in Austin because there are usually some amazing hot rods parked there in the morning light. About ten years ago I was there early wandering around and shooting interesting car details. A guy came out of the hotel, took some detailing stuff out of his ranch wagon, and started spiffing it up. I introduced myself to George, having no idea who he was. Asked if he built the car himself, he said no, he had some guys who do good work for him. Asked if the wagon was customized much, and he told me it had a dashboard from… maybe an Impala… can’t remember. Nice conversation. Later other other people showed up and seemed to show deference to him, and I then noticed his Bonneville club hat. Can’t remember what mph it was. Told my car-nut uncle I had met a guy named George Poteet and he seemed to be famous. He called me an idiot. : )