Famous Green Monster dragster coming to Arizona Nitro Jam
Nitro Jam Media
Mar 18, 2011
Arizona fans take shelter, the Green Monster is coming!
No, not Godzilla, but another well-known monster that fans of drag racing lore know all too well as the Green Monster Number 5 will be invading southern Arizona later this month to take part in Arizona’s biggest motorsports entertainment event.
Fans of drag racing history will be in for a special treat at the upcoming Arizona Nitro Jam March 25-26 at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson as, for the first time in over five decades, the legendary Green Monster Number 5 dragster will come out of hibernation to take part in the festivities at the inaugural Nitro Jam event in the state of Arizona.
“Green Monster 5 went into hiding, so to speak, in Arizona about 52 years ago. It is a thrill to finally present it to the fans once again at the Nitro Jam event,” said Jon Rowley, current owner of the original Green Monster Number 5. “They are not going to believe how well it survived the hibernation.”
Built in 1955 in Akron, Ohio by Art and Walt Arfons, the Green Monster series of dragsters were the predecessor to modern Top Fuel racing and paved the way for the dragsters of today that easily top 300 miles per hour nearly every trip down the quarter-mile.
These machines have been used as everything from competitive drag racing machines, to show cars to land speed record holders, but no matter what its purpose, fans of high-speed acceleration action are well versed in the history of the Green Monster.
“Not only is this car at the front line of what we now know today as Top Fuel, it also evolved to become one of the very first exhibition cars in drag racing and all of motorsports,” Rowley said. “It was also part of the Arfons brothers learning program as they moved from drag racing to attempts at the world land speed records.”
The very first Green Monster was built in 1952 and was a three-wheeled dragster powered by a six cylinder Oldsmobile engine slathered in ugly green tractor paint. That look garnered it the famous Green Monster nickname and paved the way for a series of dragsters built over the next four decades by the Arfons brothers that won races and set records all across the United States.
Later on in the life of the Green Monster the Arfons brothers strapped an F-104 Starfighter GE J79 jet engine on the back and began chasing the land speed record. Throughout the 1960s the brothers held the record three different times before getting out of the land speed business altogether in 1991.
Prior to all the land speed racing and track records, however, one of the most successful and most famous Green Monster dragsters was the Green Monster Number 5 built by the Arfons brothers in 1955. Weighing in at over 3,000 pounds and powered by a supercharged 2,000 horsepower, 12 cylinder Allison World War II aircraft engine, Green Monster Number 5 ran in the first four NHRA national events plus the very first International Drag Championship in South Carolina in 1957. Its best speed was 169 mph in the mid-eight second range, a marvel at the time.
“Going down the track in this thing is strange because, from the driver’s position, you can’t see any of the car but the windshield,” Rowley said. “There is no view of the front wheels or the nose. You have the feeling you are sitting in a powerful tea cup.”
Now, after more than five decades locked away in the deserts of Arizona, the legendary Green Monster Number 5 will join the festivities at the Arizona Nitro Jam at Southwestern International Raceway. Fans can get an up close and personal look at a piece of drag racing history during FanFest beginning each day at 5:30 p.m. The Green Monster will also take part in the Parade of Champions prior to the start of Nitro Jam both nights.
Don’t miss a chance to witness a piece of drag racing history as fans watch the original dragster prototype followed by modern day Top Fuel Dragsters that will roar down the Arizona strip at speeds approaching 320 mph.
Tickets start at just $25 if purchased in advance and tickets to FanFest and an all-access pit pass are free with admission. Come be a part of the fun March 25-26 at Southwestern International Raceway at the Arizona Nitro Jam. Visit www.nitrojam.com for complete details.