Art Arfons Green Monster
The Green Monster is a land speed record racer owned and raced by Art Arfons. In 1961 Art and his friend Charles Mayenschein took the Green Monster to Bonneville to try for a record. They soon realized that the car couldn't hold enough gas to get the speeds they wanted. They needed a new car. Art found a J79 jet engine in a surplus store in Miami, Florida. Charley rode down with Art to get the engine. On the way back home Art asked Charley "If this was your car, how would you build it?" Charley sat down with a piece of cardboard and a pencil and begun sketching out a car. While sketching, Art would try and get a glance of it, but Charley wouldn't let him see it until it was done. When the drawing was done, Charley showed it to Art, who immediately pulled the bus over to check it out. He glared at the picture for a few minutes before he started grinning and said, "This is exactly the way I was thinking!" When they got home Charley made a wooden scale model of the car in his garage. Working at Wright Patt, and having friends in all the right places, Charley was able to put the wooden model in the wind tunnel. The car they actually built for the World Land Speed Record in 1964 is very close to the model that Charles made and sketched.
In 1964, during the first speed run the Green Monster made on Bonneville, Charles sneaked into the spare seat of the Green Monster to go for a ride. Art wasn't aware of it. During that run Art was trying for 500 mph. Three quarters thru the mile the car went a little out of control, and Art had to let up on the throttle. Because of that ride, Charles became the World's Fastest Hitch Hiker at 396 mph. Later on, without Charley in the spare seat, the Green Monster went 536.76 mph at Bonneville for a world land speed record.
In 1966, when Art and the team were getting ready to try for the record one more time before the season ended, Charles was killed in a motorcycle accident, and Art and the crew had to head to Bonneville without him in September. During that run, the front wheel came off. The car's front dug into the salt and the Green Monster crashed and rolled for a mile. Art told Charles' son that there were pieces of the car scattered over a mile. Art survived the crash with salt in his eyes, and needed some stitches over his eye.
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