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AMERICAN JET CARS
Dedicated to the memory of Bobby Tatroe
7/2/1936 - 11/27/1998

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 Welcome,

  This site is for my father, Bobby Tatroe and his involvement in the Drag Racing world, both 1/4 mile and Land Speed.

  And of course the Arfons Family, including Walt, Craig and Art.  (May all four race in peace)

  It is also about the beginning of the modern Jet Powered Drag Racing era, which is still happening ! !

  My name is Chip Tatroe and I'm attempting to piece all of this together myself, as Dad passed on 11/27/1998.

  I used the name American Jet Cars because that is what Dad was calling his jet car business after he bought it from Walt. Although I don't know if it was ever made official. There are a lot of pictures, magazine and newspaper articles to look at and read, along with a few records and bio's. Of course I have to give thanks and praise to Gertie & Walt Arfons if not for them none of this would have happened. They treated Dad like a son and he thought the world of them also.

  "Walt is one of the Original Pioneers of Drag Racing. He is the Greatest as far as I'm concerned !" (Bobby Tatroe)

  I also wish to thank Doug Rose, Bob Motz, Fred Sibley, Craig Breedlove, Art Arfons and countless other people across the USA and Canada that knew and accepted Dad for what he was and did. If you knew Bobby and or Walt and have a story or any info about them I would be more than happy to hear from you.

  One last thing, I've seen the TV programs, video tapes and the interviews with the jet car people of today and have heard some of them say that the early jets were death traps and unsafe to drive. To that I say if the car said Walt Arfons, or Bobby Tatroe on the side you were safer than in your family car. Safety was always first and foremost. Dad averaged 80 to 90,000 miles a year taking these cars all over these United States and Canada for almost ten years and only got injured once. That injury was in an experimental steam car and required only two or three stitches! Compared to the jets of today they were heavy and cumbersome, but they also were just exhibition and the fastest thing on the 1/4 mile! Just ask Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo or any other Top Fueler of the same time period.

  All of these jet cars, including the first "Wingfoot Express", used a J-46 Westinghouse Turbo-Jet Engine taken from the F 7U-3 Cutlass USN Carrier Plane. They had 7,000 lbs. of thrust with 10,000 hp and used full military afterburners.

They made a lot of Noise,Smoke and Fire ! ! !

  If you would like to see what one of their shows were like, read this four part article, it appeared in Dragworld 9-29-67.  Count how many runs Bobby made that night in two different cars, plus burning a car ! Say what you will, to us who were there, they will always be the best because it was just for fun and show.

  I will be adding to and updating this site whenever I can, so pick an area from the new menu at left (or the old menu at the bottom) and enjoy a bit of history.

Walt "Poppy" Arfons & the 1st successful Jet Dragster 1960-61
"Green Monster #16"
(Touch the picture)


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