4 July 2011

Drag Racing History - Art Chrisman's No25

Generally acknowledged as the oldest surviving hot rod in existence, this historic vehicle dates back to the Muroc dry lakes competition of the 1930s. It has had just about every engine under the hood, from a Model T four-banger to an injected Chrysler Hemi. After the car's wheelbase was stretched from its original dry lakes configuration, Art Chrisman used it to record the first quarter-mile clocking in excess of 140 mph, in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1953, and it made the first run down the track in Great Bend, Kan., during the ribbon cutting for the inaugural NHRA Nationals in 1955. It also ran at the Daytona Beach Speed Trials with an overhead-valve Mercury in 1956, and NHRA founder Wally Parks drove it during the opening ceremony at the first California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield in 1992. Chrisman had retired the car from competition in 1957, when he constructed his Hustler dragster, but painstakingly restored it to its original running condition.

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