L. W. “Knot” Farrington started breaking automobile speed records in 1960, after pushing his custom-built car past the 200 mph mark. And as he approaches his 104th birthday, he says that hard work is the key to his success and longevity.
Farrington’s morning routine includes driving to a Tastee Donut shop at 7am for breakfast with his longtime friend Benny Harrell. The two laugh together as they trade stories over cups of coffee and plates of eggs, hashbrowns, sausage and bisquits. Farrington jokes that he, “loves his bisquits golden brown, because they make the lips go up and down.” And the two reminisce about the time when Farrington was building the world’s fastest gasoline-powered car in his auto repair shop in New Orleans.
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hard work is the key to success and a long life
Farrington says he has been blessed with good health. He sold his auto repair business after operating it for 35 years. Then he worked another 30 years as the motor vehicle fleet manager for the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Department. He was in his nineties when he retired the second time. He tells me, “work won’t hurt you at all”.
breaking speed records
Starting in 1960, Knot Farrington, set the record for the fastest gasoline-powered car at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. He repeated that feat four years in a row. His top speed was nearly 242 miles per hour. Farrington donated his record-setting car to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Natchitoches. Click here to learn more about the Hall of Fame Museum.
still working at 104
As he reaches the age of 104, Farrington is still quite active. He regularly drives his pickup truck, cuts his grass, and plants vegetable gardens in the Spring and Fall months. And he does all of the work by hand, mixing in fertilizer with his shovel, and carefully planting young cabbages 18 inches apart. Before he calls it quits for the day, he cranks his lawnmower and trims the edges of his lawn to keep it looking neat. “I’ve always had pride in whatever I do,” Farrington says. “I want to do it right” he adds, “because it makes me feel a hell of a lot better.”