A gala celebrating Art Chrisman’s six-plus decades of land speed racing, drag racing, and hot rodding was held at the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, on October 15, 2014. The focal point of the evening was the opening of the Chrisman, Brinker Gallery of Speed.
The gallery opening was attended by more than 400 guests and featured a who’s who of racing legends, all in attendance to honor the greatest living hot rodder, Art Chrisman. Those in attendance included, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, “First Lady of Drag Racing” Shirley Muldowney, Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Dave “The Voice of NHRA” McClelland, Tom “Mongoose” McEwan, “TV Tommy” Ivo, Craig Breedlove, Gale Banks, Ed Iskendarian, Ed Pink, “Fast” Jack Beckman, Donald Ferguson, Jerry Ruth, Bob Muravez (aka “Floyd Lippincott”), John Abbott, Bill Simpson, Richard Tharp and many more.
The centerpiece of the new Gallery of Speed is Chet Herbert’s Beast III Streamliner, which Chrisman raced at Bonneville in 1952. VR’s own Mark Brinker, whose family donated the car to the museum last year, opened the program with the following remarks:
“This is truly a magnificent day. Today we honor a true role-model-of-a-man and the streamliner he raced to unimaginable speeds in 1952. Hot Rod magazine called Beast III the ‘impossible car that came true’ and the man we are here to honor was never even supposed to drive this outrageous machine. But drive it he did, to a single-engine streamliner record of 238 mph, and today we open the Chrisman, Brinker Gallery of Speed at the NHRA Museum…forever immortalizing the spirit and accomplishments of my dear friend Art Chrisman.”
According to Larry Fisher, Executive Director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum, “Dr. Brinker’s remarks summed up for many their admiration and respect for the legendary Art Chrisman, whose countless contributions encompass virtually every form of motorsports.”