Hot Rod Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've put together another video that land speed aficionados might enjoy. It's of ultimate hot rodder Art Arfons with his Green Monster on the Bonneville Salt Flats in November 1966. This is footage from the Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 14 and 15) of Art's week on the Salt. The Monster was not performing well, in part due to the double rear wheels Art installed to guard against the rear tire blowouts that had plagued him in '64 and '65. They were causing more drag than expected. Two days after this footage was shot, Art suffered the mother of all crashes--at around 600 mph. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Nice video, thanks. The last time I was at Bonneville I made the trip from Anchorage, that was for speed week, August 2008, a member here gave me one of his reserved rooms in Wendover, you can't get a room in August for speed week, they reserve them almost a year in advance. Unfortunately there was a bad accident that year, running two tracks, East and West, there was a miscommunication and a record bike rider collided with a vehicle going the other direction.

The nice thing about Bonneville, you can get right up close and personal with the vehicle owners and drivers, ask questions, I learned a lot about their setups, tires, etc. Great experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
Used to watch Arfons run his old Allison V-12 powered rear engine car at Lions way back. Even when he put dual slicks on it he still smoked the entire 1320.....pretty neat stuff back then.
 

·
Semper Gumby
Joined
·
373 Posts
At Christmas a couple of years ago, my son gave me a copy of "Speed Duel" which details the LSR runs of the late 50's and into the 60's.

The 1960 "Flying Caduceus" of Dr. Nathan Ostich, the Mickey Thompson attempts, Athol Graham's "Spirit of Salt Lake City" and on to the onset of the jet cars, with the Art Arfons Green Monster vs Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America both of which were massive advertising campaigns with Firestone (Arfons) pitted against Goodyear (Breedlove)

Those were the last times there was any excitement about the LSR, and until recently, the last times anyone did any serious WHEEL-DRIVEN LSR attempts. Absolute records have belonged to "low-flying jets" ever since.

Now, with several cars going for it with wheel-driven attempts again, times are getting exciting for the idea of "real cars" (wheel-driven as opposed to jet engines on free-wheeling wheels) again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,733 Posts
You have to go to bonneville at least once.

a few years a go my son took his Boy Scout group out, camped on the big turn Free, The Scouts and leaders in uniforms got in Free at the USFRA run meet. Athol Graham's "Spirit of Salt Lake City" My older Brother was a friend of Athol Graham" He took my brother and me down to the shop to look at the car in 1959. Athol's son has now restored the car, they haven't run it again but it's at most of the intermountain car shows.
 

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,312 Posts
Very cool stuff, I never saw "The Green Monster" run that I can remember but I saw someone copying him I guess with "The Green Mumba" jet car. Here he is at the Fremont Drag Strip. I saw him a few years later there and the shoot opened and collapsed sending him thru the fence at the end of the strip!

Brian

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,733 Posts
scorched paint at Fremont.

Romeo Palamedes jet car scorched the paint on a few spectators cars , they were driving toward the parking lot on the west side of the strip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
Yea 68 I remember that 3 wheeled rig, he popped the chute going waaay too fast and ripped it right off the car. He was "free wheelin
' from then on till he jumped the road and almost drowned. I think the last wheel driven LSR car was the Summers Bros. Golden Rod with the 2 blown Hemis. It was in Hot Rod mag a few years back, had been sitting for decades and in pitiful condition. Forgot who but it was rebuilt for the Smithsonian I think. Now some of these guys are going 400 in a single engine car, I think it was George Poteet, forgot the info on the car but it did haul the mail. There's a video of it on youtube.
 

·
Semper Gumby
Joined
·
373 Posts
Poteet's car is the Poteet & Main Speed Demon - (George Poteet & Ron Main) and he has gone over 460 with a single 347 inch SBC for power. Engine is called "Hellfire" and was built by Kenny Duttweiler

He now holds the piston engined LSR at a combined (2 way average) of 437.183, set 09/09/13

(And I missed it! I had been planning to go for the 2013 Speedweek, but life got in the way)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
Yep that's the car, imagine those big multi engined monsters barely breaking 400 and these guys running a SBC cranking 436!! Of course it helps to have one of the best...if not the best engine builder making huge ponies for you. Pretty amazing accomplishment.
 

·
Semper Gumby
Joined
·
373 Posts
And Ron Main has run over 300 mph with a FLATHEAD! (called Flatfire) and had a 2-way average of 287. Used a 1946 Ford 59a, punched out to 301 inches and a vortech blower to make over 650 HP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,518 Posts
........and you know to show what a dumb chit I am, I've been retired here in So. Utah for 10 yrs now, about 260 miles from Bonneville and have never gone to either meet. Like you said, seems like something always gets in the way.

My brother graduated from high school with Gale Banks in '60. We used to go to El Mirage and the old Riverside raceway where they had 1/2 mile drags with him. He had a '53 Stude with a 364" Hilborn SBC that ran like ape chit. Banks was a brilliant guy even back then, he would talk about engine and chassis set ups, I would listen, nod my head but had absolutely no idea what he had just said. We had a lot of fun though, the 60's were great till '66 when I got drafted, Viet Nam wasn't fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,733 Posts
bonneville weather

You MUST always check the weather reports when planning a bonneville trip , a few years ago summer rains brought the return of lake bonneville. The meet was cancelled. I was living 2 hours away but we met a guy at the barracades that had traveled all the way from the east coast, had done a lot of work to his street driven firebird to make a few fun runs.
SCTA runs 2 events each year
http://www.scta-bni.org/events.html
USFRA now has TWO events planned
http://www.saltflats.com/
 

·
Semper Gumby
Joined
·
373 Posts
Oh yeah! When I was there in 2011, I had to leave early due to other commitments and the skies opened up just as I was leaving. Stopped in Wells for supper and overheard a guy at the next table, on his cell, talking about "the kids are playing in a foot of water at the bend right now"
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top