Dean was one of the original members of the Hutters car club. The club was named after their hang out out at the Hula Hut Drive-In in Whittier, California. Dean built his first hot rod, a 1932 Ford Tudor sedan, out in the open behind the cafe his father owned. The cafe was called "The Moon Cafe".
Dean did his first Moon Fuel Block in High School class. In 1950 he made sand cast molds and the first production models were offered for sale. Later on he designed the famous Moon Throttle Pedal which was followed by the hand-spun Moon Discs that were a hit with Land Speed Racing enthusiasts, street rodders and kustomizers. The Moon Disc was an instant success, and they were claimed to add 7 mph at speeds over 190 mph. In the late 1950s Dean sold over 10,000 Moon Discs in a single month. The Mooneyes stickers have been applied to virtually everything with wheels and have become a symbol of hot rodding world-wide.
In 1957 Dean sponsored Creighton Hunter’s Slice-O-Pie dragster. He later built a Bill Devin bodied, Harley Klentz tube chassis combination drag racing and land speed racing car called The Moonbeam. The Moonbean was initially powered by a Potvin blown small block Chevy that set an AHRA record of 12.29 seconds at 132.35 mph in 1961. Later it went 10.52 seconds at 144 mph. In 1961 Dean gained national attention when he built the famous Mooneyes Dragster. Built from a Dragmaster Chassis Kit, the dragster was built as a test-bench and promotional tool. It was initially powered by a Potvin blown Chevy, and at its first outing in 1961 it went 147 mph at 10.29 seconds. In 1962 the dragster was changed to a top mounted blower. Gary Cagle drove it 153.06 mph at 9.52 seconds, and won the Middle Eliminator at the Winternationals.
Dean had Jocko Johnson build him an Allison V-12 powered streamliner called The Moonliner. Dean intended to run The Moonliner on the dry lakes and the Bonneville Salt Flats, but for some reason, the Allison was yanked out and a Chevy Big Block motor installed. It was only run for exhibition runs and car shows, and never competed at any speed trials.
Dean Moon's Cars
Cars Photographed by Dean Moon
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