As a teenager, Carrillo would often make trips to Vic Edelbrocks garage to try and understand the secrets of speed. It only took a few trips to get Fred hooked. At the age of 14 Fred bought a model T for five dollars. With the help of some friends and much trial and error, he managed to turn it into a suitable hot rod.
During the war Fred served with the air force and worked developing the radar gun. But his desire to go fast lead to an early discharge. In 1946 he and Bob Betz went to Bonneville to witness John Cobb break the land speed record. On their return they had one goal in mind: to build the fastest hot rod.
While working at Eddie Meyer Speed Equipment alongside the legendary Tommy Sparks and Ray Brown , Fred learned the art of porting and relieving and souping up engines. Soon Fred was hooked up with Earl Evans and his team. Their Bonneville and lakes successes began to add up. In 1953 Betz and Carrillo built a streamliner that they believed could do 300 mph. With Fred driving, the left front wheel exploded and sent the streamliner into a 1500 feet cartwheel. While Fred came out of it alive, he lost part of his leg.
Carrillo's later foray into the connecting rod business has resulted in an internationally successful business and involvement in racing across the board.