Lee Pendleton, of Cleveland, Ohio. Pendleton used an Allison engine from a P-51 fighter plane in his dragster. Capable of producing 2700 horsepower, it took Pendleton two years to build. Pendleton added small airplane-type wings mounted in front of the driver's seat in 1961, boosting its top speed to over 180 mph.. In 1963, he built a Spitfire II, also powered by an Allison engine.
Green Monster No. 14/Anteater
Art Arfons built this double-supercharged Allison-engined car to attempt to break a land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He raced it at Bonneville in 1960 and 1961, His best time on the salt was 271 mph in 1961. The car was fully wrapped with a fully-streamlined aluminum shell for those speed attempts. After that, he campaigned the car on drag strips, generally without the full streamlined body (as shown above). Click here to see video footage.
Green Monster No. 16
Walt Arfons debuted this Monster in 1960. It was the first dragster ever powered by a jet engine, a Westinghouse J-46 jet engine. It was driven by Walt Arfons and Nook Bakewell. 241 mph top speed. Click here to see 8mm footage of the Green Monster No. 16; (1) begins at 10:23 mark and goes to 10:38 mark, and (2) begins at 12:08 mark and goes to 12:14 mark of the video.
Brandes Motor Sales Special
Swanton, Ohio. Allison-engined dragster owned by George and Don Stoll. 168 mph top speed.
Built by Mickey Thompson for Bill Frederick, of Woodland Hills, California. Attempts by driver Gary Gabelich to set a land speed record with the Westinghouse J-46-powered car were unsuccessful. It was clocked at 218 mph on drag strips. In 1965, it was sold to Art Malone, of Lutz, Florida, who began campaigning it on drag strips. Roger "Lucky" Harris drove it for Malone. Harris was killed while driving it at Islip Speedway in New York on June 3, 1966. Malone sold it to Chuck Suba in 1967. 227 mph top speed. Fred "Airplane Freddy" Sibley bought and drove it from 1969-87. Click here to see video footage of Valkyrie at Fontana in 1962, (1) begins at 1:52 mark and goes to 1:55 mark, and (2) begins at 2:06 mark and goes to 2:08 mark, and (3) begins at 6:49 mark and goes to 7:11 mark of the video. Click here to see video footage taken at Great Lakes Dragway in 1971, (1) begins at 2:05 mark and goes to 2:34 mark, and (2) begins at 5:42 mark and goes to 5:58 mark of the video.
Cyclops/Green Monster No. 13
Art and Walt Arfons, of Akron, Ohio. Powered by a J-47 jet engine. Top speed 273 mph. Click here to see 8mm movie footage of the first public unveiling of the Cyclops. Click here to see Cyclops and Art Arfons at the World Jet Nationals at Oklahoma City in 1968, begins at 11:10 minute mark of the video.
Romeo Palamides, Harry Burdg, Vic Elischer, and Archie Liederbrand, of Oakland, California. Engine from F-86-D Sabrejet. Built for land speed record attempt. Glenn Leasher was killed driving this car on Sep. 10, 1962, at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Prior to that, this car was tested on drag strips. On the strip, it turned over 236 mph.
Speed Sport IV
Red Greth and Don Sullivan, of Phoenix, built a rear-engined dragster powered by three aircraft-engine starter turbine engines. 161.98 mph.
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. First ran with a J-47-17D jet engine, but was refitted with a jet engine out of an F-86 fighter jet in 1963. Bob Smith and Glen Leasher were drivers. Top speed 287 mph. Click here to see 1963 video footage of Untouchable at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio; (1) begins at 0:09 mark and goes to 0:23 mark, and (2) begins at 3:31 mark and goes to 3:56 mark, and (3) begins at 6:33 mark and goes to 6:52 mark of the video.
Phoenix, Arizona. Gas turbine engine. 181 mph top speed.
E. J. Potter, of Ithaca, Michigan, stuffed an Allison V-12 aircraft engine into a 1955 Plymouth Belvedere. 145 mph known top speed.
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. Untouchable V (upper left in photo) and Untouchable IV (lower right in photo). Archie Liederbrand and J. D. Zink drove Untouchable V. 234 mph top speed for Untouchable V. Click here to see footage of the Untouchable at Raisin City Drag Strip; begins at 0:38 mark and goes to 0:45 mark of the video.
McClure initially ran a go-kart with four piston-driven engines in 1963. It got up to 120 mph in the quarter. But McClure wanted to go faster. In October 1963, he debuted this go-kart powered by two rocket motors, 162 mph top speed. Click here to see video footage.
In September 1963, Jim Lytle raced his 1934 Ford (steel body) powered by an Allison aircraft engine at Lions Drag Strip. He had built the car in Texas before moving to California. His best run was 10.56 at 147 mph.
Spitfire II/Mighty Monster
Built by Walt Arfons. Driven by Doug Rose. On July 4, 1966, Rose crashed at the Cedar Hills Drag Strip in Richlands, Virginia. He had to have both of his legs amputated. 271 mph top speed. Click here to see footage of the Green Monster at Great Bend, Kansas; (1) begins at 1:42 mark and goes to 2:20 mark, and (2) begins at 2:40 mark and goes to 2:51 mark, and (3) begins at 3:01 mark and goes to 3:10 mark, and (4) begins at 3:16 mark and goes to 3:48 mark of the video.
Big Al II/P-51 Engine Masters
Jim Lytle switched out his steel-bodied 1934 Ford with a fiberglass 1934 Ford body to race in 1964 with his Allison aircraft engine. His best known time was 9.31 at 163 mph at Lions Drag Strip. Ray Alley bought it from Jim Lytle in 1965 and renamed it "P-51 Engine Masters." Click here to see "Speed Scene Live" TV feature on Jim Lytle's Allison-engined cars including "Big Al," begins at 37:19 minute mark.
E. J. Potter stuffed a supercharged Allison aircraft engine into a 1964 Dodge Dart.
Red Demon/The Joker
Ces Darnell, of Lansing, Michigan. Westinghouse J-46 jet engine. The dragster was wrecked in a crash in Batesburg, South Carolina, in early 1965, but rebuilt. The dragster was reportedly sold to James Bowman, a rookie jet driver from Williamsburg, Kentucky, in early 1966. Bowman renamed it "The Joker." 230 mph top speed.
Cecil Darnell, of Lansing, Michigan, raced his jet dragster for several years, having replaced his old Red Demon, which he sold, with a new jet dragster. It was powered by a Westinghouse J-46 engine. Ron Crippen, also of Lansing, Michigan, drove the dragster. 235 mph top speed.
Bonneville Avenger/The Liquidator
Built by Walt Arfons. In 1964, Paula Murphy drove this J-46 Westinghouse-powered car at the Bonneville Salt Flats to a speed of 226.37, becoming the world's fastest woman. It was called the STP Special. Debuted on drag strips in 1965. Driven by Bob Tatroe and Fred Sibley. 236 mph top speed. In late 1966, the car was bought by three young men from Dayton, Ohio: Dave Corey, Dale Hubler, and Jack Hale. They renamed it "The Liquidator." Hubler and Corey were the drivers. 247 mph top speed. Click here to see 1967 interview with Dave Corey regarding "The Liquidator."
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. J-47 jet engine. Driven by Al Biscay and J. D. Zink. Top speed 246 mph.
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. Untouchable VI (right) and California Kid (left).
Marlo Treit, from Oregon, built a three-wheeled dragster employing a Turbonique engine on a frame built by Kent Fuller.
Jack McClure ran this '65 Chevelle, employing a 396 engine assisted by a Turbonique jet turbine in the rear. He was sponsored by the Chitwood Auto Thrill Shows. 150 mph top speed. Click here to see video footage of the "The Sizzler" driven by McClure; begins at 0:50 minute mark in the video.
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. Twin Westinghouse J-34 jet engines. 232 mph top speed.
Built and driven by Emery Cook, of Pasadena, California. Powered by a 1700-hp turbo supercharged Allison V-12 aircraft engine. Nearly 200 mph top speed.
Ces Darnell built this jet dragster after crashing his first, the Red Demon, in early 1965. Powered by a Westinghouse J-46 jet engine. 223 mph top speed.
Roy Drew drove this 1958 VW owned by Gene Middlebrooks, sporting a 1300 hp Turbonique Drag Axle. 183 mph top speed. The car was demolished in a crash. Click here to see video footage of the "Black Widow" racing Ivo's 4-engined dragster (probably driven by Tom McCourry when he owned it); begins at 1:29 minute mark in the video.
Gene Canham, of Mundelein, Illinois, and William Hagood, of Chicago, co-owned a 1966 Dodge Dart running on a combination of compressed fuel and oxygen. Canham was the principal driver. 160 mph top speed.
Harrison Arthur, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, fitted a Turbonique drag axle on a '65 Mustang. Ray Finn did the driving. 155 mph.
Owned and driven by Jim Costilow, of Duncannon and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 1966 Mustang powered by an 850 hp Turbonique engine. In 1967, he refitted it with a 1967 Mustang body. 160 mph top speed.
Walt Arfons, of Akron, Ohio. Built to run on Bonneville Salt Flats, but tested and campaigned on drag strips. Bob Tatroe and Mike Evegens, drivers. 271 mph top speed. Click here to see video footage taken at Great Lakes Dragway in 1971; (1) begins at 1:18 mark and goes to 1:32 mark, and (2) begins at 5:12 mark and goes to 5:23 mark of the video.
Flamin' Funny Wagon
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California. Al Biscay, driver. 1966 Ford Falcon station wagon. Westinghouse J-34 jet engine. Brian Murphy, driver. 197 mph top speed.
Bob Rauth and Bill Venetti built this Turbonique turbine-powered Mustang. Bob Rauth, of Thompson, Ohio, drove the car. 160 mph top speed.
Reaction Dynamics X-1
Chuck Suba, of Calumet City, Illinois. Rocket engine. Also called Rislone Rocket. 265 mph top speed. Click here to see the X-1 at Rockford Dragway, Great Lakes Dragway, and the World Jet Nationals in Oklahoma City in 1967.
Walt Arfons built what is considered the first-ever steel bodied jet funny car. It was a 1967 Dodge Dart powered by a Westinghouse J-46 engine. It was driven by Bobby Tatroe. Arfons sold the car in late 1967 to Jet Car Enterprises, of Dayton, Ohio. Jet Car Enterprises was a company formed by Dale Hubler and Dave Corey. Hubler and Corey removed the Dart body in 1968 and replaced it with a Dodge Charger body, calling it "American Charger" (see below). Hubler was the driver. 234 mph known top speed.
Romeo Palamides, of Oakland, California, built this 1967 Dodge Charger jet funny car powered by a Westinghouse J-34 engine. Ray Maurel was the driver. Don Beeman may also have driven it and it may have also gone by the name "The California Kid." 203 mph top speed.
Wayne Knuth, of Chicago, built what was advertised as the world's only turbine-powered dragster. On September 3, 1967, he was making a run at Great Lakes Dragway when he lost control and the dragster was demolished. Knuth suffered only cuts and bruises.
Another in his series of jet cars built by Romeo Palamides. General Electric J-47-33 jet engine. Driven by Don Beeman. 280 mph top speed.
Rick Schrameck, of Alameda, California, built and raced a go-kart powered by two Turbonique engines. Built to attain a speed of 150 mph, which he never quite achieved.
U. S. Turbine I
Built by Jim Busby, of Newport Beach, California. Owned by Fling Traylor of Paso Robles, California. Driven by Hank Westmoreland, Brad Pruitt, and George "Stone Age Man" Hutcheson. 900 hp turbine-engined dragster not permitted to run on NHRA-sanctioned tracks. 192 mph known top speed. Click here to see video footage of U.S. Turbine I at San Fernando Drag Strip.
Built by Walt Arfons, of Akron, Ohio. This is considered to be the first-ever fiberglass-bodied jet funny car. It was driven by Ted Austin. It was a 1967 Mercury Cyclone Comet powered by a Westinghouse J-46 jet engine. 205 mph known top speed.
Built by Walt Arfons, of Akron, Ohio. 1967 Plymouth Barracuda driven by Fred Sibley, of Peoria, Illinois. Powered by J-46 Westinghouse jet engine. 205 mph top speed.
Romeo Palamides built a jet funny car with a Westinghouse J-34 engine in a 1967 Mercury Cougar. Driving duties were handled by Brian Murphy, Ray Maurel, and Mike Savage. 230 mph known top speed.
Glen Blakely and Arvil Porter built a rocket-engined go-kart for Jack McClure, of Treasure Island, Florida. In about 1974, McClure sold the kart to Rocket Stars, Inc., a group from Tampa including Russell Mendez, Ramon Alvarez, and "The Duke" Dorough. Ramon Alvarez piloted the kart. Click here to see brief video clip of McClure driving the kart. Click here to see video footage of McClure driving the kart at Fremont Raceway in 1973.
Built by Romeo Palamides. Driven by Ray Maurel. 256 mph top speed.
Robert Truax developed a steam rocket engine for a dragster built by Walt Arfons for Duane Landon, who drove the car several times. Arfons owned the car. Unfortunately the car had severe handling problems and Landon crashed at least three times in the space of eight months. One of the crashes was at the Jet World Nationals at Oklahoma City on September 15, 1968. He rammed into the fence about 500 feet from the finish line. He was unable to shut off the engine, popped the chute, which whipped around in the blast from the rear of the car, throwing it to the right into the fence, which then flipped the car over. Click here to see Duane Landon's steam rocket dragster at the World Jet Nationals in Oklahoma City in 1968; go to the 11:24 minute mark of the video. The video shows it crash.
Walt Arfons built a jet funny car using a 1967 Chevy Camaro powered by a Westinghouse J-46 engine. It was driven by Bob Motz. On August 18, 1968, Motz clocked a best run of 218.84 mph at Dragway 42. On June 22, 1969, Duane Landon was driving the Camaro jet funny car at Eastside Speedway when he crashed after turning 224 mph in a race against Bobby Tatroe's Mustang jet funny car. The car was totally destroyed. 233 mph known top speed.
Mr. Cal Automotive
Tex Collins, a Hollywood stuntman, bought Jim Lytle's "Quad Al" four-Allison-engined dragster in 1965. Collins owned Cal Automotive and a fiberglass company called Ford Duplicators in North Hollywood. Collins was crazy about Allison engines. He built an Allison-engined Mustang funny car that he debuted at San Fernando Raceway in February 1968. Known best time was 8.04 at 187 mph in 1968.
World's Fastest Garbage Truck
Tex Collins, of Van Nuys, California, used a White truck cab powered by an Allison aircraft engine. News reports in 1968 stated that it had turned 170 mph. On June 8, 1968, Collins raced his Allison-engined Mustang funny car in a match race against Dave Souza's blown Mustang. Newspapers also stated that he was also bringing his White truck, which they reported was the "World's Fastest Garbage Truck."
Built and owned by Walt Arfons. Westinghouse J-46 jet-engined Mustang. Driven by Fred Sibley, of Elkhart, Indiana. 212 mph top speed.
Joe Mazza, of Lynn, Massachusetts, drove a dragster powered by a Turbonique drag axle with direct drive.
Built by Art Arfons and driven by Bob Motz and Garth Hardacre. This car, powered by a Westinghouse J-34 jet engine, was an unnumbered dragster in the Green Monster series. Arfons began construction on it in January 1967, initially trying to propel a wheel-driven setup with a turbine engine, which didn't work. In initial runs in 1968, the dragster didn't sport the fin. 249.30 mph top speed. Click here to see video footage taken at Great Lakes Dragway in 1971; begins at 4:09 mark and goes to 4:29 mark of the video.
Walt Arfons built a jet funny car using a 1969 Chevy Camaro powered by a Westinghouse J-46 engine.
Walt Arfons built a '69 Mustang-bodied jet funny car using a Westinghouse J-46 engine for Bobby Tatroe. Jim Taylor, driving for Tatroe, turned 211 mph on June 24, 1970, at Capitol Raceway. Walt Arfons bought it from Tatroe in 1970, renaming it "Raven Industries, Inc." In 1972, Mel Winter bought the car and had Roger Gustin do the driving. In 1973, Gustin bought the car from Winter and drove it through 1974.
Romeo Palamides built a jet funny car using a Westinghouse J-34 engine in a 1969 AMC Javelin. He first exhibited it in March 1969 at the Chicago Auto Show. He raced it at Green Valley Raceway in Texas on May 10, 1969 and Miami-Hollywood Speedway Park on August 18, 1973.
Super Cyclops I, II, III
Art Arfons campaigned a jet dragster powered by a massive General Electric J-79 engine. The body was configured with a passenger seat on the right side of the car, just opposite the driver seat. Art Arfons drove the car from February through October 1971. He had planned to turn over the driving duties to Ted Austin after racing at Dallas International Motor Speedway. On October 16, 1971, he was making a warm-up run at Dallas International Motor Speedway with a TV broadcaster seated in the passenger seat. The vehicle crashed, killing the passenger and two IHRA crew members on the sidelines. Arfons was uninjured in the crash. 293 mph known top speed for Super Cyclops I. Arfons built a Super Cyclops II that was raced in 1973 and a Super Cyclops III that Bob Motz drove in 1974. Click here to see video footage taken at Great Lakes Dragway in 1971, (1) begins at 1:50 mark and goes to 2:04 mark, and (2) begins at 3:37 mark and goes to 3:54 mark of the video. Click here to see video footage of the fatal crash in 1971.