The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Feb 26, 2018.
David (@Bigcheese327) Conwill - very nice tribute! ...
Roy Fjastad, 1935-2018
Here's another nice tribute by John (@John D) Drummond of Goodguys / Fuel Curve:
Hot Rodding Genius Roy Fjastad Has Passed Away
In 1953, Roy was a member of the LAGGERS car club:
In 1953 thru 1955, Roy campaigned a '41 Willys ... with a GMC-6 (on gas), it ran 98 mph:
In 1956, Roy painted his Willys "Coral" and swapped out the Jimmy Six in favor of a 365ci Caddy ... he campaigned it in '56 & '57 ... it consistently ran 106 mph on gas .. in B-Altered class, it ran a best time of 110.96 mph with a 12.56 ET:
By 1957, Roy was a member of the Road Kings of Burbank car club ... here's his (GMC-6 powered) '50 Chevy:
In 1958, Roy built an A/Gas Dragster with a 408ci Chrysler HEMI & crank-driven blower ... Roy named the car "The Mistake" as it would never stay together to make a full pass:
Later that year, he scrapped the supercharger and ran the dragster in the B/Gas class ... in 1959, the car ran a best time of 134.32 mph with an ET of 10.16:
In 1960, Roy and @Don Johnson borrowed Ted Worobeiff's #7A dry lakes car ... put Roy's 472ci injected Chrysler HEMI in it ... and ran in the B/Competition Coupe class at Bonneville ... with a top speed of 189.92 mph:
Here's a few photos of Roy Fjastad & @Don Johnson's #121 "CAR CRAFT MACHINE" (lie-flat) Belly Tank Lakester at the 1961 Bonneville Nationals:
The B-class (unblown 470ci Chrysler HEMI on 85% nitro) Lakester ran a top speed of 245 mph!
Of the 225 dragsters that Speed Products Engineering produced, one of the most famous was Daryl Greenamyer's "Smirnoff Vodka Special" AA/FD (with 1967 SPE chassis, body by Bob Sorrell, Chrysler HEMI prepared/tuned by Dave Zeuschel, and typically piloted by Larry Dixon Sr.):
Roy Fjastad was so proud of the Smirnoff car that he included it on the cover of his 1968 SPE catalog:
He lived a big life around the hobby going real fast that's for sure. Love the Hotrods and related stuff. Very nice tribute to Roy @HEMI32. Thank you.
RIP it looks like he lived a pretty incredible life. Thanks for posting this HEMI32
I've had the pleasure to have had Roy as a friend and lunch buddy for the past 20 years . Almost everyday we along with Art and Mike Chrisman would get together for lunch ( Wednesday was ALWAYS Mexican day ) and to hear the old racing stories and insight to their fabrication skills is something that will always be very special to me . Not only was Roy a great fabricator , craftsman and innovator but he was first a great father , grand father and friend to many . RIP my friend .
's tribute to Roy (by Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor):
... I received word earlier this week of the passing of Roy Fjastad, who built the Lisa & Rossi “wedge” streamliner dubbed the Flying Doorstop, that I wrote about a few years ago.
Fjastad was a hot rodder’s hot rodder. Over a 60-plus year career, he had his hands in everything from drag racing to Bonneville to street rods. Fjastad died Feb. 26. He was 82.
Drag racing fans know Fjastad because of his prolific chassis-building enterprise, Speed Products Engineering, which built a reported 225 race cars, with an A-list group of clients that included John Wiebe, Larry Dixon Sr., and Don” The Beachcomber” Johnson, and other landmark cars like the Howard Cam Rattler and Ray Godman’s “Tennessee Bo Weevil.”
Fjastad reportedly learned to weld while employed at a sliding door company and began building race car chassis in his garage for friends in the early 1960s. His work caught the eye of Scotty Fenn, who hired him to work at his prolific Chassis Research race car factory for two years.
Fjastad joined the famed Burbank Road Kings, whose membership included stars like Don Prudhomme and Tommy Ivo, and worked with Ivo for a year before opening SPE, where he primarily built dragster chassis (a notable exception being Robert Contorelli’s rear-engined Funny Car) and developed numerous innovative parts.
The Lisa & Rossi car stands out not only for its innovative (though not copied) shape but for its prowess. Billy Tidwell set the national record in the car in July 1972 at Lions at 239.64 mph, and Danny Ongais upped that mark to 243.24 at that year's Supernationals at Ontario Motor Speedway for the first 240-plus-mph national record.
“It’s one of the most interesting cars I ever got to do,” Fjastad said in a recent interview. “It was my idea to do the body like a boat on the bottom so the air wouldn’t get trapped. That car ran 10 mph faster than everybody else for a whole year—you know why? No wing. Tom Hanna did the body for me. I convinced a customer this would work, but he ran out of money and sold it to Rossi. It was so successful, I don’t know why others didn’t adopt the ideas.”
Fjastad closed his race car shop in the mid-1970s and opened the Deuce Factory to build street rod components, most notably reproduction ’32 Ford frame rails. He later sold the Deuce Factory to his son, Carl, and started Full Bore Race Products to market his take on the Dzus fastener (replacing the slotted head with an Allen-wrench head) and other components and tools for hardcore racers.
Rjastad’s long love of the salt included a campaigning a number of cars, including a modified roadster, a streamliner, a rear-engined roadster, and a Pontiac Firebird that earned him membership in the 200 MPH Club.
Despite his passing, hot rodding still runs deep in the family. Carl still owns the Deuce Frame Company in Santa Ana, Calif., and another son, Roy Jr., owns West Coast Street Rods in Huntington Beach, Calif. Roy’s only daughter, Kathy, is married to former Top Fuel racer and former NHRA Vice President Carl Olson of the Kuhl and Olson team.
Hemi32 , thanks for sharing that nice video tribute to Roy . It brought back some great memories and featured some of his good friends who sadly have also passed on . RIP
In the beginning of the eighties, I crew chiefed Joe Pironne Sr. to top speed of the meet at Englishtowns very first Old Time Drags. I was awarded a gift certificate from The DueceFactory, I still have it as a memorial. GOD SPEED Roy !
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