I was nine when I first set eyes on one of Art Arfons’ Green Monster creations (MOTORSPORT, May). My father drag-raced at a clapped-out facility in Ohio called Thompson Drag Raceway. Arfons, who was from nearby Akron, would utilise the dimly-lit track as a `shakedown laboratory’ for his crazy contraptions.
One evening Arfons showed up with a larger-than-life machine which left a huge impression on me. He pulled up to the start area and lit up the entire sky with belching jet exhaust flames. It was crazy! He unleashed the beast and shot down the quarter-mile track sounding like an F-16 fighter. However, the thing was far too fast for the length of the track and he couldn’t get it stopped. He flew off the end of the run-off area, through a big cornfield, smashed through a big shed and crashed into the back of an old woman’s house who lived at the far end of the field. (If I have it right there were cows in the field as well.) When it was announced that he was OK, the crowd went wild. However, I don’t think they ever let him run there again.
Back to reality. I have never seen a Formula One Grand Prix, but I watch all the events on ESPN the races air at 4.15am over here. I think your magazine is fantastic, especially the haunting `Parting Shot’ images, and it allows me to see the dazzling history and heritage that makes F1 the greatest motorsport in the world. I can’t wait , for the next issue.
I am yours, etc
Eric Johnson, Manhattan Beach, California