One of the state's most decorated drag racers and a 2006 inductee of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame died Saturday.
Known as the Georgia Shaker, Hubert Platt of Cumming was 83.
A pioneer and legend in the sport of drag racing, Platt's fascination with fast cars began in the 1950s when he hauled "a million gallons" of illegal moonshine between Georgia and South Carolina.
"He was to drag racing what Dale Earnhardt was to NASCAR," said Dawsonville racing historian Gordon Pirkle. "He was always the star of the show. He was the type of fellow that always stood out, and he loved life."
Last year, he served as grand marshal for the 47th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival.
Platt said he loved to attend nostalgic events and reunions like the Mountain Moonshine Festival.
"I've had one hell of a great time. I've been all over the world, met all kinds of really nice people and I've enjoyed every minute of it," he said.
Platt joined the Army and was out of the bootlegging trade until a buddy convinced him to make one last run. But the authorities got a tip, he was caught and had to pay a $300 fine to get out of jail.
While Platt enjoyed the thrill of the chase, he was finished with hauling moonshine and began to focus on his racing career, which started on the streets of Atlanta, but soon moved to the local drag strips.
By 1964, he was drag racing fulltime, running and winning against some of the top drivers in the circuit.
One of his proudest moments in racing was when he defeated NASCAR star Richard Petty at Lassiter Mountain drag strip in Birmingham, Ala.
He retired from racing in 1977.
Platt was inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame in 1986, into the Super Stock & Drag Illustrated Hall of Fame in 1995, into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Old Drag Racers Reunion Hall of Fame in 2003.
Platt was diagnosed with gallbladder and liver cancer nearly nine weeks ago, according to a Facebook post by his son Allen Platt.
"He told me to tell everyone he was one of the happiest people to ever live and he had a great life," his son wrote. "I loved my dad very much. He meant the world to me. We had great times together my whole life traveling and going to drag races and car shows all over the United States."
Services were held Monday at Ingram Funeral Home in Cumming.