NHRA Motorsport Museum

Bean Bandits Dragster

The famed Bean Bandits car club from San Diego, Calif., established itself as a major presence in drag racing competition with a series of rear-engine roadsters driven by Joaquin Arnett from 1950 through 1955. Among its biggest wins during this period was the first Pomona Valley Timing Association Southern California Championships at Pomona Raceway in 1953, the first sanctioned event conducted by the then new National Hot Rod Association.

(© 1999 NHRA Photographic Services)
In 1957, the Bean Bandits stepped up with this 331-cid early Chrysler Hemi-powered dragster that Anthony Ortega drove. Competing at the Colton Dragster Invitational in January of that year, Ortega defeated the Cook & Bedwell entry in the semi's before losing to John Bradley in the final.

The Bean Bandits came back to compete in the Colton Anniversary Race that August, and Ortega piloted the club's slingshot to the winner's circle with a best clocking of 9.78 at 154.63 mph.

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