One of the much loved and revered members of the Australian drag racing community, "Gentleman” Jim Reed, has passed away aged 86. 

Reed was involved in drag racing for over 70 years and in 2014 was inducted into the ANDRA Hall of Fame.

He began his career behind the wheel of a 1935 Ford flathead V8 Coupe in 1955 and became one of the country's finest racers over the next three decades. To many purists, the 1970s was the golden era for Altered racing in Australia and Reed’s battles with fellow Hall of Famer Graeme Cowin have passed into folklore.

Reed, co-founder of the Queensland Drag Racing Association, won the first Winternationals at Surfers Paradise International Raceway.




Reed also shared driving duties with his wife Nelma, whom he married in 1957. "From the early days, Nelma wanted to run the car," said Reed. "We were one of the first husband and wife driving combinations. Nelma would run in Altered and I would compete in Elimination." 

In the early 1980s, Reed and several fellow racers campaigned for a new heads-up eliminator category featuring blown alcohol-powered dragsters, altereds and funny cars. 
This led to the introduction of Top Alcohol Eliminator, which continues to this day as one of Australia's premier Group One race categories. 

In 1972, Reed won Altered eliminator at the Nationals and Competition titles in 1974 and 1976. He started to share the driving duties with his son Steve the following year until retiring in 1982. 
Steve Reed continues to race and has won three Pro Alcohol titles and third-generation Daniel Reed claimed the ANDRA Supercharged Outlaw title in 2007.
Over the journey, Reed became one of the leading authorities in the country on the fine art of tuning methanol-fuelled engines. That talent and capacity to share that knowledge was critical to the development and growth of the Pro Alcohol category.
That legacy continues to this day. 

Reed earned the “Gentleman Jim” moniker due to his kind and generous personality. 

RIP, Jim Reed.