Art Arfons dies at age 81
One of the most colorful figures in automotive competition died Monday at the age of 81.
He was Art Arfons, former world land speed record holder and a legend for his jet-powered dragsters. He named all of his cars “the Green Monster,” and the description was apt.
Arfons held the world land speed record three times, see-sawing back and forth at the Bonneville Salt Flats with Craig Breedlove as the records were ratcheted upward. Arfons ultimately set an LSR of 600.601 before being injured in a crash occurring during another attempt to boost the record higher.
After terminating the LSR efforts, Arfons devoted himself to drag racing, tractor pulling, and gave exhibitions of the jet-powered Green Monster dragster at most major U.S. drag racing tracks. Knowledgeable fans covered their ears before the run – the sound of the Green Monster on a quarter-mile was what it must be like standing next to an F-18 at takeoff.
Arfons had been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame, the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and the Nationa Tractor Puller Association Hall of fame. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, his two children, and his sister.
The world will be a little less colorful without him.