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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Roy Fjastad: Drag Racing Innovator

By Dave Tuttle

Roy Fjastad was one of five notable Dragster Chassis builders here in the San Fernando Valley. A lot of folks think he built the P&S steering boxes and spindles we still use today. He didn't. That outfit is now called TAK Machine in San Gabriel (formerly P&S Machined Products)

Roy was the first to build what's known today as "Cookie Cutter Cars." His fixtures were set up so that he could build a left and right side in one operation and plug them together in another. Where he really deserves credit is for having all the tabs stamped and mass-produced so he could sell them to other builders. He could pop them out in a hurry! My first car in 1980 was a "Roy Car" that we found to be the old Beach Boys car of Jim Busby's. 

Barry Kaplan gave me an SPE brochure from 1969 or so. His base car with axles, brakes, shorty body, and aluminum can sold for just over 1500 bucks! His top of the line car included a Mag motor plate, Mag 3rd member, front wheels, a full Hanna body, and Tony Nancy upholstery. The price...2400 bucks! Larry Bowers told me that's why he bought a new one every year! 

Around 1972 or '73, Roy sold the SPE line to Dave Russell of Russell Performance, best known for his hoses and fittings. Herm Peterson's law suit probably had something to do with that. Although Russell never built any cars, we builders could still get the hardware we'd always used through him.

In the mid to late 1980s, Russell sold the line to Ken Cox, who soon after closed down his chassis operation and still uses the SPE name today. He has expanded his line to include some first class billet components at reasonable prices along with many of the same stamped tabs from the beginning. Funny thing is, all the stampings still have the same names as they did for Roy's front motored diggers!

Roy went on to start the Deuce Factory and was the first to sell repro '32 Ford frame rails along with a complete line of Street Rod suspensions. That company was sold to his son and from there, Roy formed Full Bore Products. He builds those trick wrenches for adjusting valves and Dzus fasteners that use an Allen wrench instead of a screwdriver. Roy is also very active in Bonneville, Land Speed Racing. He was last year's President of the Bonneville 200 mph Club and runs a Streamliner as well as a Modified Roadster.

Dave Tuttle
http://www.dragsters.net/

 

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