Monday, November 10, 2014
November 7: Art Arfons sets a 576-mph speed record on this date in 1965
It's easy to look at pictures like this one of Art Arfons and his jet-powered Green Monster on the Bonneville Salt Flats and imagine there's some high-dollar engineering and technical work that went into pushing to 500 mph and beyond.
What it doesn't show was that Arfons was the ultimate shade-tree mechanic, an Akron, Ohio, gearhead who started building drag racers so powerful they got him banned from sanctioned events, and who managed to scrounge jet engines the U.S. Air Force considered worthless. On this date in 1965, Arfons topped 576 mph, a record he would never beat. Hear his secret to getting a broken turbine running for not much money: