Anyone that is in the “know” about automotive racing history will be familiar with the name Art Chrisman. He was of the first to do a lot of things in racing history including being one the five charter members of the 200 MPH Club at Bonneville, the first drag racer to hit both 140 MPH AND 180MPH, and the first winner at the Bakersfield U.S. Fuel & Gas Championships. After making racing history, Art and his son Mike formed Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties (C.A.R.S). There you can find some of the best engines and cars in the Hot Rod and Racing world being built right here in his shop.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the weekly impromptu get together at Art’s shop in early March this year. Art was gracious enough to show us around and let us drool over all of their handiwork. One signature theme you will notice with engines coming out of Art’s shop is “smooth”. Everything, including trans cases, engine blocks, and everything seems to get smoothed and then painted. Not only do these engines make some serious power, they look great doing it!
The amount of cool old industrial sized tools around the shop was staggering. From giant Bridgeport mills to bead rollers, ERCO shrinker and stretcher, and english wheels that would make any of our DIY home shops setups look like fisher price play sets! Art and crew are in the business of making seriously fast cars and the shop was filled to the brim with tools that could make an ordinary sheet of metal into just about anything, or an ordinary classic into a bonified Hot Rodding legend.
We are thankful to have the chance to meet Art and wander around his shop. Make sure you check out the rest of the photos we snapped along the way below.