Art Arfons | 2001
Art Arfons | 2001
Innovation has been a key ingredient in pulling. Over the history of the sport, many people have shaped the sport which is still being felt some 32 years later. Another 2001 inductee into the NTPA Hall of Fame is such a man, whose innovations have changed pulling and motorsports as a whole. And a man whose name is virtually synonymous with the word, turbine - Art Arfons.
Art Arfons’ name gives many motorsport fans visions of blistering runs down the Salt Flats of Utah, conquering land speed records with his “Green Monster”, and setting NHRA track speed records piloting an unconventional, Allison powered dragster. However, it is pulling that undoubtedly gave Arfons his truest joy. He finally found a home where he could be different - and for the most part - be accepted.
Arfons was involved in bringing the first turbine Modified to pulling, along with partner, Bob Frock, in 1973. In August of 1974, Arfons debuted his own “Green Monster” puller in Bowling Green, Ohio, taking first place in the 7,000 pound class. Arfons commented in a 1974 Puller magazine interview that, “Pulling requires more skill than drag racing. A driver has to read every track and really know what he is doing.”
Arfons not only brought an impressive resume with him to the NTPA, he also brought a new professionalism that he learned from his days of going straight and fast. Not only from an attitude side as a driver, but also as a sales icon for business enterprises. His long time, sponsorships with Firestone and Busch corporations were among the first of their kind in pulling. Art undoubtedly helped raise the sport to a new level.
Art’s lone NTPA Grand National title came in 1979 in the 9,000 pound Modified class, and it wasn’t an easy title to achieve. Arfons had open heart surgery that year, and son, Tim had to handle much of the driving duties. Even though it was Arfons’ only title, that is not to say that he wasn’t competitive over his career. That’s hardly the case. The fact is the “Green Monster” has won every major pulling event imaginable over Arfons’ three decades in the sport. The fact that Art saw Tim and daughter Dusty be successful with their own turbine powered machines coming from the Akron, Ohio shop was also very satisfying.
After seeing the multiple V-8 engined Modifieds flourish, Arfons simply went back to work, and debuted the first twin T-64 powered Modified in 1985 that was equally impressive in terms of “go” and “show”. Sitting in the middle of the twin engines and with ten foot flames licking the sky from each stack, truly made this creation worthy of the “Green Monster” stamp. Once again, Arfons’ name was seen at the top of many NTPA result sheets.
With all of his innovation and accomplishments in the sport, it’s no wonder that Art Arfons caps his unbelievable career with an induction into the NTPA Hall of Fame.