Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick


Dean Fait


Arnie “the Farmer” Beswick was called “the consummate underdog” by Hot Rod magazine. While there was good reason, there is much more to his unbelievable career.

Born a third-generation farmer in the small town of Morrison, Illinois, Arnie Beswick’s driving career began not behind the wheel of a straight-line terror but that of a tractor. On local dusty roads, Arnie’s budding reputation grew with street cars, as the “flying farmer” was coined to describe his driving style. When drag racing began in the Midwest in the early 1950s, Arnie was one of the pioneers who campaigned Dodges and Oldsmobiles. In 1960, he purchased his first Pontiac and never looked back.

At the beginning, he didn’t like the “farmer” nickname, but he quickly learned to utilize the name to lull his competition into complacency. After all, what could a simple farmer know of the world of high-performance drag racing? Throughout the 1960s, Arnie’s Mr. B’s Passionate Poncho, Mystery Tornado, Star of the Circuit I and II, Tameless Tiger, and Super Judge all contributed to dispel the myth that a simple farmer couldn’t dominate straight-line racing.

Arnie was an innovator, fierce competitor, entertainer and showman who always gave fans their money’s worth at the track. He is still brand loyal–sticking with Pontiac long after production models ceased. Arnie has always been a fan favorite for this reason, and he continues to exhilarate fans at the track with his cast of potent Pontiacs.