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American Jet Cars
Arfons Family

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  Welcome to the Arfons Family section.

 I have a lot of articles and pictures that Dad saved and a bunch that I have found since starting this site. I didn't realize there was so much documented material on this family and I still don't have it all, if that's possible !


They are given credit for :

  • The first "Slingshot" and "Sidewinder" style dragsters.

  • In 1955 the first Allison Powered "Green Monster" made a two pass average of 132 mph on it's first time out.

  • The first 150 mph in "G.M. #6" at the 1956 Nationals Labor Day weekend in Kansas City (Art), also 131 mph top speed gas class in "G.M. #5" (Walt).

  • Ran 157.89 mph in "G.M. #5", at the First International Drag Meet in Chester S.C., winter 1957, on pump gas ! Also the first crash at an ITA supervised strip, same event, 152 mph (Art).

  • The first 170-172 mph National Record 9-3-59 (Art).

  • The first 180 mph at Brookville Fla. 1959, also 8.43 et at Chester S.C..

  • Collected the first significant appearance money ever paid to a drag racer,
    $500, 1953.

  • Contributed two important safety devices since made mandatory for drag cars:
    The overhead roll cage, 1954 and The parachute in the Eastern USA, early
    1959 (Art & Walt).

  • The first to use Jet Engines in race cars (Walt).

  • The first run of the first successful Jet Dragster was Aug. 6 1960 (Walt).

  • One super low E.T. of 4.18 set at Houston in 1961 (Walt).

  • 213.23 mph and 7.38 et on July 29 1961 at Fontana Raceway (Walt, Nook Bakewell driver).

  • The first Jet Funny Cars both Steel and Fiberglass bodied 1967 (Walt).

  • The first 324 mph 1/4 mile run 1979 (Craig).

  • The first 370 mph on water 7-9-89 (Craig).

  • Land Speed Records include 413 mph, 434 mph, 515 mph, 536 mph, 559 mph,
    and 571 mph.

  • Art set 8 different National and InterNational records in just two passes on
    the Salt.

  • In 1962 at Bonneville, Art's first Jet Dragster (Cyclops) topped 342 mph, the fastest run ever recorded by an opencockpit vehicle.

  • Walt had the first rocket powered Land Speed Car, also the only private citizen
    to use J.A.T.O. (jet assisted take off) bottle rockets.

  • At age 65, Art was the oldest active driver ever inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

  • Art was timed at 615 mph before losing a wheel and surviving one of the most violent crashes in motorsports history.

 I`m sure there are countless numbers of individual records all over the United States. Imagine what we will never know about, but still happened !

 This is an amazing group people when you look at what they brought into this world for us to enjoy and be in awe of. I welcome any stories, pics or articles you my want to help out with.

 If any other family member would like to be added, just contact me, all I need is the material.


 The Brothers 

 Walt Arfons 

 Craig Arfons 

 Art Arfons 

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