I will never forget in the early sixties when Walt Arfons came to Minnesota Drag ways, to race his Green Monster Jet Car. Up until then no car had broken the magic 200mph barrier. On the Green Monsters second run, this fire breathing monster ran 202 mph. Setting a track record that strode for over a year, until Romeo Palamides came to town with his Untouchable jet powered car, and raised the speed record another notch.
In the early seventies I got involved with Rocket powered Cars. We made exabition runs from one end of the country to the other. Usually the track promoter would book in a couple of Jet Cars at the same meets that we ran at so I had the privilege of knowing the Arfon brothers, Doug Rose, Fred Sibley, Bob Motz, Craig Breedlove, and many others. To this day, Doug Rose has remained a good friend of mine. Every summer Doug comes to Minnesota to burn cars at the local racetracks with his Green Monster jet car. This is the same car Doug raced in the mid sixties with, and is still making money with it. When he comes to Minnesota he stays at my house, so we get to reminisce about the good old days.
One of my favorite stories about Doug is when he was driving the Green Monster he had a serious crash and hit a guardrail. Doug loss both of his legs in that crash, he was fitted with a set of artificial legs and went through rehabilitation. When you saw him walk, if you didn’t no it, you would have never known he had artificial legs. When we were on tour together, after the race we would all go out and get something to eat. Doug would stretch his leg out on in the isle or even put it on a chain across the isle so when the waitress would come by it would be in her way. She would say excuse me, and Doug would move his leg so she could get by. Doug would keep putting his leg back across the isle. So every time waitress came by it would be in her way. Finely when the waitress would get eradiated enough and got a little warmed over. She would tell Doug not to put his leg in the isle any more. Doug would say what do you won’t me do cut it off? Then he would take this big knife he always carried with him and stabbed him self right in his wooden leg. The knife would wave back and forth. The waitress would almost have a heart attack. I never saw one faint, but there were a couple of times they were pretty close. Until Doug pulled knife out and showed the waitress his wooden leg. This prank would always liven up the restaurant. There are many good stores to tell about my days on the road with these jet jockeys but I will save them for a book that I am righting, but for now I would like to share some pictures out of my scrape book with you.