A Calgary Alberta-based husband and wife team continue to help carry the Canadian torch within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing scene…..

Bob and Charlene Gullett are now enjoying some dividends of retirement and continue to do that — while including drag racing!

Bob & Charlene Gullett

The duo have a history of and continue to be a familiar and popular part of the Canadian drag racing family from Western Canada — while competing with two cars in two classes. 

Bob races a meticulous 1968 Chevy Nova in Stock while Charlene drives a very high flying 1985 Olds Cutlass with Super Stock.

Bob has owned his Chevy Nova since 1979 after purchasing that car (then a 6-cylinder) from its original owner in Saskatoon.  The street driven car was then first converted for drag racing when he installed both a 350 CID motor and a Turbo 400 transmission to go ET racing.

“I bracket raced it for a few years — winning 3 track championships and several races at SIR (Saskatchewan International Raceway),” he revealed.  “But then in 1985 I went to the NHRA World Finals with a friend who ran Super Stock — and right there and then I was hooked.”

Over the course of a few years the Nova was converted into a stocker with a 327 CID and a Powerglide trans.  He attended his first NHRA divisional race in 1992 (in Boise) and placed R/U.  Over the next few years he remained active while attending a few division races.  In 2004 Bob made a big decision however when he converted his racing program to a stick car.  Then in 2006 the Nova received a redo to its body and paint and that finish has been maintained to the present. 

Bob Gullett’s (very fun to drive) ’68 Nova was converted to a “stick” car and remains as such to this day.

“I always had done my own motors and used Ken Murray from Ken’s Kustom Auto,” Bob continued.  “But then I had the opportunity to buy a motor from Brian Tilburg (Tilburg Racing Engines) which is the current motor I still use today.  The best the car has run (as F/S) is a 10.72 secs at 123 mph.”

Bob’s biggest career accomplishment came in 2016 – when he won his very first NHRA national event by prevailing at the AAA Auto Club Finals at Pomona. 

Bob’s biggest moment in drag racing (so far) came in 2016 when he prevailed to win at the NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona.

“Winning Pomona is my highpoint so far,” he added.  “I’ve had 3 division race runner-ups, won class several times and have been #1 qualifier several times. I also went to the semis at the US Nationals in Indy 2014.”

Bob and Charlene first met in 1987 and were married in 1988.  At that time Charlene already did have a love of cars and had a built herself a ’66 Dodge Charger – street cruiser.

After the couple relocated to Lethbridge Alberta, Charlene fulfilled her dream by moving into her own race car after finding a 1980 Malibu. 

“We converted that into a stocker and I raced it for several years,” she revealed.  “But then both of us running in Stock became a problem — we always had to watch qualifying to avoid meeting each other in early rounds.  So we decided the best way to move forward and not have to worry about that — was to run a different class.”

Charlene Gullett’s ’85 Olds Cutlass was in fact one of the very first GT cars conceived for Super Stock racing.

Bob and Charlene then found a 1985 Cutlass (on Class Racer).   In fact this car is actually the Popular Hot Rodding Project “O” car — having it’s construction and assembly featured in that magazine.  It was originally done by Ed Quay chassis with some upgrades by Phil Mandella and it was one of the very first GT cars built for Super Stock racing.

“We bought the car, and made some changes over the years to it,” she added.  

The Oldsmobile is now using a motor program from Brian Tilburg and is run in GT/MA class trim.  Charlene has coaxed a best run of 10.28 secs at 127 mph from the car  so far.  Charlene has also had good success too with it, with numerous round wins to her credit at both NHRA divisional and national event races and multiple class wins.  While her first event victory still eludes her — she has come close — including a final appearance at a NHRA Lucas Oil divisional race.  She placed third in NHRA Lucas Oil Division 6 final points in 2011. 

Bob and Charlene point to a number of friends who have helped their team out over the years, including Brian Tilburg,  John Calvert (Caltracs), Ken Murray, Rob Youngblood (Advanced Clutches) Phil and Tony Mandella (PMR Racecars). 

Post by Bruce Biegler 

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Bob Johnson