Art Arfons "Green Monster, Cyclops"


Date Location Driver Driver Country Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
1962   Art Arfons USA Cyclops jet car F104 J79 Starfighter jet engine   342.88 MPH  
1965 Bonneville Betty Skelton USA Cyclops jet car F104 J79 Starfighter jet engine   277.52 MPH Womens Land Speed Record

In 1962 Art Arfons built this jet powered car in an attempt to break the world land speed record. Although he didn't break the record in this particular car, he did set the record for open wheel/open cockpit cars at 342.88 MPH. That record is still in the books today. Art Arfons was once described as the "junk yard genius of the jet set". His cars were often crude, but they were extremely fast and were built for a fraction of the cost of his better financed rivals. His talent was in crafting scrap parts into race cars. The powerplant for this car is an U.S. Government scrap F104 J79 Starfighter jet engine that produced 17,500 HP.

After Art moved on to other Green Monsters for Bonneville he used this car for drag racing exhibition runs. The car was a crowd favorite for its spectacular nature. Upon opening the drag chutes the front wheels would often lift a foot off the ground! Drag racing fans in Detroit still remember the time Art's chutes didn't open and they found him five miles past the end of the drag strip. Amazingly he was unhurt and the car was repaired.

Art removed the wheels from the car and attached pontoons to see how fast it would go on water. Only Art Arfons would attempt to break both the land and water speed records with the same vehicle.