I want to clarify, I am not an expert on racing, cars or the "how to" of making the cars. I have been on the sidelines of the racing community for years. My dad and brothers, Sonny and Jeffrey, were the ones doing this drag racing stuff. My intent here is to tell the story of my hero, Joaquin Arnett, a drag racing pioneer.
I watched a man driven with unending zeal. He was driven to design and build cars. Always working on cars and trying to make them go faster. Dad and his childhood friends worked together to accomplish the”go fast” goal. They called themselves the Bean Bandits.
I also want to commemorate my brother, Joaquin Arnett III, “Sonny”. He died on May 7th 1995 at El Mirage. He was going over 200 mph in the streamliner.. It was his dream to set a new world record. He wanted to go an average speed of 409 in a two way run over a seven-mile course at Bonneville. He was on his way and was very happy the day his life was taken from us. He was doing what he loved. According to those with him that day. He was was full of smiles and glee and having a grand time. It was a tragic day for my family and his friends.I want to thank all the people that helped us get through this horrific time. I have not been able to write about it until now. This is where my heart was stuck for the longest time.
I have so many memories and creative adventures in my life. It is difficult to start putting them into an organized pattern. They are intermingled with today and long ago. There are many thoughts and feelings. Evoking a wide gamut of emotions. They range from positive, proud, happy, funny, and some trigger resentment, fear and sadness. I would like to include stories of the members of the early bean bandits. We have lost many of them and of course this web log is my point of view. Yet, I would like to hear more about the other bandits. And others' stories of dad. Please feel free to contribute to this blog.
Our family really appreciate Fabians' safeguarding and preserving the cars. I am happy to say that Fabian restored the big streamliner. He painted it and placed additional names on the car it looks great. Many thanks to all of Young Bean Bandits, (I affectionately call them). They are keeping the spirit and enthusiasm the Bean Bandits going. This is a group of talented and dedicated individuals. My father knows this group and they helped dad with the cars many times. They visit dad at the center he is living and keep in touch with him. You can see some of these photos on these links; Fabians’ and The Young Bean Bandits
They won races and had the passion to win more races. They painted the roadster a bright yellow. At first the bean bandit was an outline drawing on the car. Billy Galvin another of Dads' buddies painted an outline of the first Bean Bandit on the car. Dad loved that color and Bob McCoy painted a colorful Bean on the yellow roadster. They got beautiful yellow jackets and would wear them proudly. Mom even had one and I was upset because I did not have one. So I would wear dads that covered my entire body. The Bandits started to travel away from home to Ramona, Miramar, Santa Ana, and other southern California raceway. But the heart of their racing in the beginning was at Paradise Mesa. This is where several pioneers got their starts. This is where dad met fellow racers and lifetime friends
I have included a commemorative page for my brother Sonny Arnett.