The Chrisman Story
This is the story of the Chrismans, an all-American family made up of honest, hard-working men and women who always made their own way, and never asked for a thing they hadn’t earned.
During the Great Depression, Evert “Pops” Chrisman closed his auto repair shop in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas and moved his family to Compton, California, where he could find work in the war effort and start a new life.
After World War II was over, Pops returned to his first love—being around cars—and opened an automotive repair shop in Compton, right at the very beginning of the Southern California “hot rod” movement. Soon he and his sons, Art and Lloyd, were deeply involved in building these exciting new vehicles, and their reputation for doing high quality work and being honest and fair spread quickly throughout the Golden State; a handshake from a Chrisman was considered better than any legal document.
No one in the Chrisman family realized it at the time, but they were starting to build a legacy that would last for decades to come, and be passed on to future generations. In addition to building amazing machines, they also raced them—and with tremendous success.
I believe you will find The Chrisman Legacy/Always Faster an informative, entertaining history of a hard-working, hot rod-loving family embodying every characteristic we Americans hold dear: tenacity, ingenuity, honesty, loyalty, independence, determination, and the will to succeed against long odds.
- Tom Madigan
- The driver of the first dragster over 140mph
- The driver of the first dragster over 180mph
- The driver of the first dragster down the strip at the first NHRA Nationals at Great Bend, Kansas
- 5th member of the Bonneville 200mph club
- Winner of the first Bakersfield March Meet
- NHRA & Motorsports Hall of Fame member
- Member of the legendary Autolite race team
- Number 29 on NHRA's list of the top 50 drivers of the first 50 years
"Over the years I have gathered my impression of Art Chrisman and the best way to describe him, is professional. He always did things first class."
- Don "Big Daddy" Garlits
"The fire still burns in his belly."
- Don "the Snake" Prudhomme
"Art Chrisman is just one of those heros that drag racing fans look up to even if you grew up in another country."
- Tony Thacker, Executive Director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
- Winner of the 1st NHRA Winternationals driving the Howard Cams Twin Bears Chevy dragster
- Driver of the famed Magwinder dragster
- Driver of the famed Sidewinder dragster
- Considered to be the father of the 1st Nitro powered Funny Car
- Considered one of the best dragster drivers in history
- One of the first professional dragster drivers to go on national tour
- Number 23 on NHRA's list of the top 50 drivers of the first 50 years
"The most unrecognized superstar. The epitome of NHRA racer/pioneer."
- Steve Gibbs, former Director of Competition NHRA
"One of the greatest early drivers. He won the NHRA World Championship when it was open to all categories, won the U.S. Nationals, and pioneered the fuel Funny Car that changed the face of the sport forever."
- Greg Sharp, Curator of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
"Multi-talented as a driver, tuner, engine builder and crew chief in the twin-engined, gas dragster era and later with his series of fast, quick and spectacular SOHC Ford-powered, nitro burning Funny Cars. He was an early world champion with the famed Howard's Cams "Twin Bears", chasing points at drag strips across the nation."
- Jim Hill