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

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.

At the time, Ford was struggling to make a mark in this popular sport, falling behind fellow Motor City auto makers 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.


Ride along on a journey of determination, ingenuity and guts with champion drag racer Dick Brannan. This film chronicles his contributions to the sport, and how he transformed Ford drag racing during the 1960s, and features interviews with Brannan, fellow drag racers, car enthusiasts and automotive and racing historians.

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