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
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional information or photos to share about Dean Moon.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.