THE CHRISMAN FAMILY

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THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« on: September 16, 2015, 03:15:59 PM »
I'll start with this.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2015, 03:42:25 PM »
California’s Baddest Hot Rodding Family • The Chrismans
In the early 1950’s, Compton was a Respectable, Sleepy Suburb of L.A. I know, my Aunt Ruth & Uncle Bill lived there in a little white house with roses & a Bird Bath in the backyard.

Art & Lloyd Chrisman lived in Compton, too, and the Chrisman’s Garage turned out some of the Nastiest, most Innovative, Well-Designed -Built, Fast & Feared Hot Rods anywhere.

In 1950 Art & Lloyd had been racing a modified ’32 Ford roadster on the dry lakes like Harper & El Mirage, north of L.A., near Palmdale in the Mojave. Then in 1953 they set their sights on the Salt Flats at Bonneville & built the nastiest Ford coupe they could conjure up. Based on a 1930 ‘A’ Coupe, Art & Lloyd built a very hi-tech for its day-tube frame, dropped in an injected, bored & stroked Flathead V8, running on a 50/50 Nitromethane & Pump Gas mix – behind the driver with a sectioned, lightened chop-top body channelled over the frame, and an ingenious streamlined nose made from 2 ’40 Ford hoods laid top-to-bottom, the Chrisman’s built what could be considered the world’s first Fuel ‘Funny Car’. A design concept basically shared by all Fuel dragsters & Funny Cars racing today, over 50 years later. but no one knew that…yet.

In 1954 the Chrismans returned to Bonneville, with a new Ford V8 in the Coupe, and used its previous engine for the Roadster, now fielding 2 cars on the Salt, and sponsoring a third. It would be 15 years before other Race Teams would have the organization, skill and funding to field 2 and 3-car teams. Today it takes millions of company sponsorship dollars to do so. Sporting a new Super-Flathead V-8, with Ardun ‘Hemi’ heads, the predecessor to all current drag-racing engines, The Baddest Motor Scooter of its Day. With about 285-300 hp available, the Chrisman Coupe was approaching 200 mph on the salt.

In 1955 The Chrisman Boys returned again, this time with a blown Chrysler Hemi, capable of pushing the Coupe well over 200 mph. The Chrismans withdrew from competition after a friend was killed that day in another car. Shortly thereafter the Chrisman Coupe was sold, never to be raced (by Art & Lloyd) again. In 2008, the restored version of this car was sold at auction for over $500,000.00 and is displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, not far from where it was built in the Chrisman’s Garage in Compton, not 5 miles away, 50-plus years before.

Keeping it All in the Family, along came nephew Jack Chrisman, following in his Father’s and Uncle’s footsteps…in the late 50’s, Jack built early innovative race cars for the dragstrip like the ‘SideWinder’ – one of the first with a rear-engine (and sideways-mounted, for balance), preceding the current practice not widely used until 15  years after this car was first built & ran, in 1959. About 5 years later, having earned a reputation as some of the Baddest HotRodders Anywhere, and now getting some albeit, Undercover Financing from the Ford Motor Company, Jack Chrisman stuffed a leftover 427 Big-block Ford engine into a brand-new ’64 Mercury Comet. My Mom drove the innocuous economy car street version. Jack Chrisman unleashed his Monster Comet on the Drag Strip and sanctioning body NHRA didn’t even know what to call it or how to classify it, the Ultimate Sleeper – The World’s First ‘Funny Car’. Chrisman created a spectacular Mind-Blowing Crowd – Pleaser – a California Hot Rod Revolution that would set Drag Racing on its ear, and Detroit scrambling to create cars to emulate that Evil ‘MuscleCar’ Style….The Chrisman Comet Super Cyclone. A Small, Safe-looking Family Car with a 750-horsepower Monster Motor . I saw it when I was 8 years old and, having seen a lot of Hot Rods already at that age, the sight of what looked like Mom’s Car laying down 500 feet of Nitro-burning tire smoke at 160 mph changed my life forever. The Baddest Hot Rod I ever saw.

Art, Lloyd & Jack Chrisman had and would go on to build several other Winning, Feared, and ultimately Legendary Hot Rods and Race Cars over 30 years, some of which now reside in Museums. Not all are shown here – But to me, because of their innovations – and adoption of into a sport known for design, technical innovation and  by nature, always moving forward – These famous Chrisman Dragsters are the most noteworthy.

The Compton, California Chrisman Boys, did first and best, initially without major financial sponsorship what would Evolve into the Multi-Million Dollar Industry that has become Today’s Spectacular Spectator Sport -Nitro-Burning Top Fuel & Funny Car Drag Racing- California Style.
From federicodecalifornia
 Not sure if this is all true.

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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2015, 06:10:56 PM »
Art Chrisman

Given his many achievements, pinpointing any single reason for Art Chrisman’s induction to the SEMA Hall of Fame is difficult. Yet, for many, it’s unlikely that a single reason is even needed.

Chrisman played such a pivotal role in the hot-rod movement that his list of contributions is legendary. In fact, his story inspired The Chrisman Legacy: Always Faster, a 224-page book by Tom Madigan chronicling the Chrisman family and its indisputable influence on motorsports.

Originally from Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, Chrisman moved to California with his family during the Great Depression, settling in Compton. Working at his father’s Southern California auto shop in the ’50s, Chrisman acquired his family’s passion for car building and eventually met and competed against many of early racing’s biggest names, including Ed Iskenderian, Vic Edelbrock, Wally Parks, Pete Petersen, Mickey Thompson, C.J. Hart and Lou Baney, to mention a few. Along the way, his dedication, sincere work ethic and racing skill attracted a legion of followers. As Tony Thacker, the executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, has observed: “Art Chrisman is just one of those heroes that drag-racing fans look up to even if you grew up in another country.”

And with good reason. Fifth to earn a place in the prestigious Bonneville 200 MPH Club, Chrisman’s accomplishments include many notable firsts: First drag racer to hit 140 mph in the quarter-mile. First to exceed 180 mph. First to make a pass at the NHRA’s first national event in 1955 at Great Bend, Kansas. Winner of the first Bakersfield March Meet in 1959. And, as a member of the famous Autolite race team, he also ranks 29th on the NHRA’s roster of top 50 drivers of hot rodding’s first 50 years.

“The first time I recall seeing him race was probably around 1957 or 1958, out at the old Riverside Raceway at a drag race,” said Carl Olson, another former racer, SEMA Hall of Famer and current motorsports manager at the SFI Foundation. “I was extremely impressed by his car and his driving ability. Suffice to say, he was one of my earliest racing heroes.”

Eventually, Olson found himself introduced to Chrisman at the latter’s Autolite sparkplug workshop, and the two became lasting friends. Of all the celebrated personalities deserving of SEMA Hall of Fame recognition, Olson believes that few exemplify the industry’s heart and soul more than Chrisman.

“He’s willing to share information, experience and knowledge with just about anyone who walks up to ask,” he said. “And the cars that he turns out, whether they be race cars or street rods, are just absolutely fabulous. They’ve won every kind of award known to mankind, including Pebble Beach and the Grand National Roadster Show. He’s a masterful engine builder. He’s just the nicest, kindest, most generous, caring individual that I know, along with being an absolute icon in motorsports.”

Olson is not alone in this view. Industry pros universally praise Chrisman’s integrity and gentlemanly demeanor both on and off the track. And the legacy continues: Chrisman and his son Mike now work side by side at Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties, which the elder Chrisman founded after his Autolite years—and where he still serves as mentor, role model and inspiration to hot-rodding’s next generation.
From SEMA.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 06:13:54 PM »
Among Chrisman’s many accomplishments is that he was the first drag racer to exceed 140 and 180 mph. He was also the first to make a pass in NHRA’s first national event in 1955.
From dragracingonline.com 


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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 06:33:07 PM »
The first annual U.S. Gas and Fuel Championship was contested on March 1, 1959. Garlits wowed the crowd when he ran 178 mph right off the trailer. But, sans a supercharger, his Don's Speed Shop Spl. was no match against more powerful dragsters like the Chrisman Bros. and Frank Cannon. Garlits lost in the first round and Art Chrisman would go on to win the inaugural event with a final round of 9.36-140.50 over Tony Waters and the Waters-Sughrue-Guinn A/FMR. Chrisman also set low e.t. at 8.70 and Gary Cagle ran top speed of the meet at 180.36.

The final between Art Chrisman and Tony Waters at the very first March Meet; Tony had a length or two on Art, but got wiggley-squiggley down track and had to click it.
Don Prieto photo

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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 06:36:54 PM »
4th Annual U.S. Gas and Fuel Championship in 1962.
Art Chrisman in the Hustler 1 winning one for the West Coast against Bob Sullivan's Pandemonium III.
Brad Kittredge photo

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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 06:51:23 PM »
Jack Chrisman
From Wikipedia
Jack Chrisman (May 5, 1928 — August 17, 1989) was an American drag racer. He was a drag racing pioneer and 1961 champion. He was influential in the formation of the Funny Car class, as he introduced the first blown injected nitro-burning Funny Car. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) ranked Chrisman 23rd on their Top 50 drivers in 2001.

Background
Chrisman was born the youngest of 13 children in Grove, Oklahoma. The family moved to Southern California to escape the Dust Bowl.

Racing career
Chrisman began drag racing in 1953 when he raced a 1929 Model A. He switched to a Chrysler car, continuing to race at Southern California such as Lions, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Ana, and Saugus. He purchased the Purple Car from Ed Lusinski, and used the car to win drag races at many of these tracks. He started racing Top Fuel for Pat Akins. Masters & Richter flew Chrisman to the Bay area to race in their Top Fuel dragster.

In 1959 he started racing in Chuck Jones Sidewinder dragster. The car, wrenched by Joe Maillard, had its motor mounded sideways. It was shorter than the 100-inch (254 cm)[clarification needed] common at that time. The car consistently recorded 9.0 second elapsed times (e.t.) at 160 miles per hour (260 km/h), which typically defeated local competition.

In late 1960, he moved to Howard Johansen's team. He raced the Howard Cam Twin Bears gas dragster, which featured two side-mounted engines. In 1961, he used the car for the first 8 second run in NHRA national event history, when his 8.99 second pass beat Dick Rea in the Top Eliminator (Top Gas) final at the first Winternationals. That summer he drove to a 8.78 e.t. at Caddo Mills, Texas, which was the lowest e.t. of the year. Chrisman won the 1961 World Championship after winning in national, regional, and divisional meets throughout the United States.

Chrisman changed to Mickey Thompson's team in 1962. The Tommy Ivo-built machine ran on either gas or nitro. Chrisman set new top speed record of 176.60 miles per hour (284.21 km/h) at York, Pennsylvania and a new e.t. record in A/GD (A/Gas Dragster) with an 8.34 second pass. The team debuted a new Pontiac Hemi engine a few weeks before the U.S. Nationals at Indy, and won the Top Eliminator crown.

During a regular afternoon event at Pomona in May 1963, the dragster's rear end broke. Chrisman spent 42 days in the hospital recovering. After he had recovered, he started working advertising for National Dragster. Chrisman intended to drive Thompson's dragster to defend his title at Indianapolis, but Thompson's hauler tipped over while transporting the vehicle to the dragstrip.

Funny Car pioneer
Chrisman was working for the NHRA in late 1963 or early 1964 when Ford's Fran Hernandez gave a Mercury Comet to Chrisman. After Chrisman did not race it, Hernandez asked, "What's going to get you to race that car?" Chrisman responded he wanted a blower to be installed in the car. Chrisman went to a dealer, picked up the racecar, and brought it to Bill Stroppe's shop. The pair and their crew assembled the car. The car was debuted at the 1964 U.S. Nationals with Chrisman doing a burnout to half track. Chrisman toured the eastern half of the United States with the car though the end of the 1965 season. In 1966, he added a flip-up fiberglass body on the car, following a trend started by Don Nicholson and Eddie Schartman. Chrisman won his first race, at the Hot Rod Magazine Championships at Riverside Race, in the Exhibition Stock category. It is generally considered to be the first funny car to exceed 180 mph (290 km/h). The car ran the quarter mile in 8.72 seconds at 184 mph (296 km/h), beating Jungle Jim Liberman in the finals. On July 10, 1966 he set a class record at 188 miles per hour (303 km/h), only to have the engine blow up two weeks later at the Super Stock Magazine Nationals. The car burned to the ground.

Chrisman came back with another Comet to race the rest of the 1966 season through 1970. Chrisman did not race in 1971. He built a "sidewinder" Mustang funny car for 1972, but never raced it. He sold it to Ray Maheu, and the car later became John Force's first ride, Nightstalker.

Chrisman Driveline Components
During that time, he started Chrisman Driveline Components at his hometown Long Beach, California. The company builds car rear ends and driveline components for dragracers. It has supplied components to Kenny Bernstein, Frank Bradley, Darrell Gwynn, Eddie Hill, and Joe Pisano. He continued running the company until his death in 1989.

Jack Chrisman
Drag Racing - Class of 2013

Jack Chrisman was drag racing royalty from the sport's early days through the 1970s, not just for his success behind the wheel but his countless innovations on and off the track. It seems crazy now, but he rose to fame in 1959 behind the wheel of Chuck Jones' rear-engined Sidewinder. The name means exactly what you think it does; the engine was mounted sideways in the chassis, driving the rear wheels via chain. Chrisman came back the next season with a car that would become even better known, the Howards Cams "Twin Bears" dragster. With its two Chevy engines tilted outwards, the one concession to "aerodynamics" was a plywood board in front of the powerplants. Trust us, there was no science involved. It was just a bunch of drag racers doing what they do best – innovating.

Chrisman remained an innovator throughout his life (he passed away in 1989 at 61), and it's for that which he is most remembered. After a severe injury in a front-engine dragster in 1963, he spent almost a year regaining his health. It was then that he became friends with Ford's Fran Hernandez. Hernandez had a keen eye for nascent trends in motorsports, and with Chrysler's introduction of the first altered-wheelbase cars, he knew Ford had to step up or be bypassed. So Hernandez made sure every Ford factory racer had a fuel-injected Comet or Mustang. Chrisman received one of the former but never raced it. When Hernandez asked why, Chrisman said it needed a supercharger to be competitive. Hernandez told him to do what he wanted, but even Ford was stunned in 1966 when Chrisman hit the match-race trail with his now-topless Comet powered by a blown SOHC Ford. It was not only competitive, it was a media magnet, landing on the cover of Bob Petersen's Hot Rod Magazine among many others.

The hugely popular drag racer opened Jack Chrisman Enterprises in Long Beach, California in 1972, the company still operated today by his son, Steve. The list of championship-winning competitors who have relied on Chrisman-built ring and pinions, axles and related rear-end parts is legion, and with good cause. Chrisman brought the same innovation to his aftermarket operation that he'd applied to his racing career, and it paid off not only in sales, but the list of those who refused to race with anything but Chrisman-built parts.

Another measure of Chrisman's legacy came in 2001 when the NHRA compiled its list of the Top 50 Drag Racers of all time. Chrisman was #23. He may not have won dozens of races with "Nationals" in the titles, but he won hundreds of match races and thousands of fans for a sport he helped grow. And when you see some of today's champions making record-setting runs, in a lot of instances a part of Jack Chrisman is along for the ride in the form of the cutting-edge components he engineered.

by Jon Asher




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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 06:58:32 PM »
Sidewinder dragster driven by Jack Chrisman.Chain driven. The blown 392-inch Chrysler hemi was rated at 550 hp on gasoline.
This was a killer car for a couple of years.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2015, 12:52:57 PM »
Magwinder driven by Jack Chrisman.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2015, 12:53:38 PM »
The Chrisman Roadster & Coupe in the Background, Bonneville.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 12:57:23 PM »
Chrisman HRM Oct 1954.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 01:02:47 PM »
Jack Chrisman's sedan.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 01:05:07 PM »
Jack Chrisman's sedan.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2015, 01:06:43 PM »
Jack Chrisman's sedan.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2015, 01:10:38 PM »
Art (sunglasses), Lou Baney (straw hat), engine builder Ed “The Old Master” Pink.
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Re: THE CHRISMAN FAMILY
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2015, 01:15:10 PM »
Art Chrisman.
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