Art and Walt Arfons were brothers and drag racing pioneers who gained fame in the 1950s and 1960s for their innovative approach to high-speed racing.

An Arfons Mill calendar from the late 1950s showing Walt Arfons (right) and Art Arfons with three of their dragsters (courtesy Tom Joswick, Walt and Art’s nephew) (Source Samuel Hawley –

Art Arfons, born in 1926 in Ohio, was a mechanic by trade who became interested in drag racing as a teenager. He began building his own race cars in the early 1950s, and soon gained a reputation for his engineering and driving skills. In 1953, he set a new land speed record of 145.16 mph in his self-built “Green Monster” jet-powered car. He went on to set several more records and was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Walt Arfons, born in 1916, was Art’s older brother and also a skilled mechanic and racer. He began building race cars in the 1940s and teamed up with Art in the 1950s to form the Akron-Canton Airport Dragway team. Together, they built and raced a series of jet-powered cars, including the “Green Monster” and the “Wingfoot Express,” which set new land speed records and became crowd favorites at drag strips around the country.

Tom Green working on the body of the first Wingfoot Express in his garage in Wheaton, Illinois
(courtesy Tom Groh, Tom Green’s stepson) (Source Samuel Hawley –

Although the Arfons brothers eventually went their separate ways in the 1960s and 1970s, they left an indelible mark on the sport of drag racing and high-speed racing in general. Their innovative designs and engineering approaches helped pave the way for the modern era of high-speed racing, and their names remain synonymous with speed, power, and daring.

If this article has peaked your interest I’d suggest listening to the excellent Dork-O-Motive podcast episode showcasing the Arfons Brothers