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The Hill Files

A Tribute to Ann and Buster Couch

By Jim Hill

Buster Couch lifts up Don Garlits after Don ran Florida's first 200 mph pass. Photo by Jim Hill
Buster Couch lifts up Don Garlits after Don ran Florida's first 200 mph pass.
Photo by Jim Hill

Losing Buster Couch has taken one of drag racing's genuine characters from us all. Eddie Hiram Couch, "Buster" to all of us who knew him and to millions of others who saw him as THE starting line judge for decades, was indeed one of a kind.

Unknown to all but old-timey Division 2 folks is that during his early years as NHRA's Division 2 Director, Buster's "right hand" was his wife Ann. This lady was absolutely a saint, enduring Buster and his eccentricities while raising a family and being the REAL force behind Buster that made the Division 2 office work. Buster lost Ann to cancer many years back, and all of us who looked to her for assistance and guidance in "things NHRA" missed her dearly.

The attached photo is of Buster hoisting Don Garlits atop his shoulders after Garlits had turned the first-ever 200 mph speed in the state of Florida. This was 1964, at Miami's Masters Field, during an official NHRA "Record Meet."

Rest in peace, Buster and Ann.

Jim Hill
JHill@cranecams.com

 

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