Recreating the Green Monster

Recreating the Green Monster

Tim Arfons has recreated one of the famous Green Monster front-engine dragsters and is using it as a high-speed history lesson for today’s drag racing fans. The car made its initial test pass at Quaker City Raceway before being prepared for an extensive schedule of exhibition and grudge match racing.

Art Arfrons – Tim’s dad – always wanted to have a competition car to drag race in both International Hot Rod Assoc. and American Hot Rod Assoc. events. “We knew the National Hot Rod Assoc. would not allow turbines to race, but the IHRA and AHRA gave us a waiver to run a turbine-powered car,” he explained.

Recreating the Green Monster

The Arfons bought the front engine chassis from a racer in Cleveland. No one wanted a front engine dragster anymore, so Art was able to buy the chassis at a good price. It would be the only front-engine drag car Art Arfons built. He used a General Electric T58 gas turbine, designed for use in helicopters; it became the first turbine engine to receive FAA certification for civilian helicopter use in 1959. Art bought the engine from Craig Breedlove.

Recreating the Green Monster

The Arfons’ newly completed turbine dragster made its debut in 1971 at Rockingham, N.C. It ran a little faster than 180 mph in the quarter-mile. Later that year, the Arfons’ car qualified for a couple of IHRA events and an AHRA event at the bottom of the field,  and was never very competitive.

Tim got to drive the front engine T58 dragster for the first time at Thompson Raceway on his 16th birthday and went 170 or 180 mph. He only got to race it a couple of times a year while 16 and 17. In 1975, Tim qualified the Green Monster for the IHRA Nationals at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio. He had fun racing against Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudohmme and TV Tommy Ivo. That was the year the car made its last pass on a drag strip.

Recreating the Green Monster

Tim wanted to get back into drag racing, so in 2012, he set out to resurrect the Green Monster front-engined turbine dragster. He made a decision to pick up where he had left off with the front-engine car. When he started building it, he made everything in it absolutely perfect. Every piece on the engine is polished. It has a beautiful SCS gearbox, a Dustman Brothers chassis and a body from Rooman of Indianapolis. As a tribute to the car that he and his father built and campaigned in the early ‘70’s, Tim named his new car Green Monster No. 19.

Recreating the Green Monster

“The original car was always slow to come off the line,” Tim said. “I always thought it needed a drive-line brake to get a better launch off the line. To get a better ET, that feature was incorporated into the SCS gearbox.”

The original front engine T58 car never had a reverse, so Tim added that as well.  He also went to a newer style General Electric T58 that has 1,325 total horsepower.

Recreating the Green Monster

After Tim finished the new Green Monster No. 19, it made several test passes at Quaker City Motorsports Park. “The car worked perfect,” Tim noted. “On its second run, it had a better E.T. than the original car and I even shut off at 700 feet.” The car went 170 mph with Tim shutting it down just past half track.

It had been 40 years since Tim last drove a dragster. “I was a bit apprehensive about getting back onto the track,” he reported, “but when I got to the other end of the track, I felt great.”

Recreating the Green Monster

About John Gunnell 103 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.
Email us - Support@RacingJunk.com
Call us - 867.326.9227
Copyright © 2005-2017 RacingJunk.com All Rights Reserved.

Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the RacingJunk.com
Terms of Use, Classifieds Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy