INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In February, Ford Performance Parts announced the creation of the Bob Glidden “85/10” Award, intended for recipients who share the same grit and determination that the legendary racer embodied.
On Thursday, at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, Ford Performance Parts presented the inaugural award to longtime Mustang Cobra Jet pilot John Calvert.
“I’m so honored to have been selected as the first recipient of the Bob Glidden 85/10 Award,” said Calvert. “I feel as though Ford Motor Company and Ford Performance, while helpful and generous to all, welcomed me into their family.”
Born in Lancaster, California on April 22, 1951, Calvert credits his love for speed to the lead-foot nurturing of his mother. He started out racing his own car in demolition derbies and dirt ovals before finally settling into drag racing. Calvert entered his first Winternationals in 1975 and by 1991 was an NHRA National Champion in the Stock division. In addition to his championship, Calvert and his high school sweetheart turned wife, Debbie, were blessed with twin sons, Brent and Johnny.
Calvert continued racing, racking up numerous additional final round appearances, including Winternationals wins in 1995 and 1996. He also started a business manufacturing leaf spring suspensions and prepping race cars. In 2009, he prepared and drove Brent Hajek’s second-generation Mustang Cobra Jet at the Winternationals, painted to honor the 1968 car that Al Joniec captured the first Cobra Jet win in. History repeated itself, Calvert captured the win and ignited a fire in the sportsman stock class culture.
“There will never be another Bob Glidden, it’s true, but we couldn’t be more pleased to have racers like John Calvert continue his legacy with Ford,” said Eric Cin, global director, Ford Performance Parts. “A family man who has definitely earned his own place in both Ford Motor Company and drag racing history, John is the perfect choice for our first recipient of the 85/10 Award.”
“Bob was such an inspiration to me, both personally and professionally, and to now have my name associated with such a legend is truly humbling,” added Calvert. “I hope that this award will inspire other Ford racers to even greater heights in the future.”
Though his family’s business, Calvert Racing Suspensions, has grown, he retains his competitive spirit, continuing to proudly campaign several Mustang Cobra Jets as well as managing his sons’ careers as the next generation of Calvert drag racers. To date, Calvert has achieved:
- 1 NHRA National Championship
- 2 NHRA Division Championships
- 25 final round appearances
- 3 Winternationals titles
- 10 divisional wins
- 3 NHRA Jeg’s All-Star appearances
- 3 NMCA Factory Showdown wins
- Multiple NHRA ET and Top Speed records