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Roy Fjastad, 1935-2018

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Roy Fjastad. Image via Facebook.

From the drag strip, to the salt flats, to the street, there was very little in hot rodding that Roy Fjastad didn’t touch in the course of his career. Fjastad, who died February 26 at the age of 82, began his six-decade career in a garage with some friends at the age of 19, crafting dragster chassis for the Santa Ana crowd. His talent as a welder and fabricator soon caught the notice of Scotty Fenn at Fenn’s Chassis Research, who employed him for the next two years.

In addition to building race cars and parts, Fjastad was a racer himself, garnering his first trophy at the Santa Ana drags in 1952. He was a member of the Road Kings, of Burbank, California, which also boasted such members as Don Prudhomme and “TV” Tommy Ivo. The latter eventually hired Fjastad away from Fenn, where he worked for another two years before going into business for himself as Speed Products Engineering.

At SPE, he would pioneer well-known innovations like hydro-formed bellhousings, two-piece couplers, and a new take on the traditional Dzus fastener that used hex drive instead of the traditional slot. In the 1970s and ’80s, it is said that few drag cars did not sport some creation by Fjastad.

In the mid-1950s, Fjastad also discovered land-speed racing and the Bonneville Salt Flats, where he quickly became a fixture. Over the years, he would campaign multiple cars including a rear-engine roadster, a lakester, and a GM F-body that would propel him into the 200 MPH Club, of which he would later be president.

As drag racing became more formulaic, Fjastad turned his attentions to the rebirth of street rodding in the late 1960s, eventually leaving race fabrication and opening The Deuce Factory in 1976. At The Deuce Factory, Fjastad was among the first to reproduce 1932 Ford frames, a staple of the street-rodding scene that had become incredibly scarce by the ’70s.

Ultimately, Fjastad returned to his drag racing roots with Full Bore Race Products, offering a tightly focused product line, the star of which were his hex-drive Dzus fasteners. He is survived by his children, Carl, owner of the Deuce Frame Company, Roy Jr., owner of West Coast Street Rods, and Kathy, each of whom remains involved in the hobby and sport to which their father contributed so much, along with multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren.