When Chad and I settled on making a list of the top 11 Wheelstanders we knew it was an impossible task and that we’d get roasted for leaving off some hella cool cars. We had a list of nearly 30 and pared it down to 11. It was far too agonizing, and frankly, our wives asked why we were crying and screaming at one another. We take this junk seriously.
Anyway, there’s no set metric on how these cars were chosen. Some are here because of performance, some for looks, and others for pure freak factor. Wheelstanders embody pure, unadulterated dragstrip fun and so does this Top 11. If we gave you the full skinny on all of these cars it would be half a mile long. Instead we’ll give you the reason each made the list.
11) Gary Watson’s Paddy Wagon Corvair Van: Greatest Wheelstander photo ever. That’s Watson and yes, he’s standing outside of the damn van.
10) Back-up Pickup: It was the first of the gimmicky wheelstanders and probably the coolest.
9) Ed “The Outlaw” Jones’ Candyland Stagecoach: Jones built this thing in 1976 and has been running it ever since. Weird, but strangely cool.
8.) Fugitive Corvette: With zoomie headers coming out the windows and a driver sitting where the motor should really be, this thing defines insane.
7) Chevado: A Chevy Nomad with a rear mounted Algon-injected 455ci Olds motor, straight front axle and license plates. This mother was street legal.
6) Cool Bus: Ken Nelson drove the biggest and possibly slowest wheelstander ever. It went mid 12s, but was a complete showstopper. Kids worshipped the bus!
5) Superwinch ’34 Ford: Danny O’Day drives the quickest and fastest wheelstander ever. This one goes 8.50s on two freaking wheels at over 150mph. O’Day has built and raced a bunch of these machines, but none are gnarlier than the ’34 Ford. It is powered by a blown alky burning big block Chevy engine mounted about where the rumble seat would be.
4) The L.A. Dart – Wild Bill Shrewsbury’s LA Dart was known around the country as the wildest wheelstander of its era. There were a couple of versions of this car, but the first, which was immortalized in a model kit that sold a zillion copies is our favorite. Shrewsberry was a truly crazy person and would actually drive the second version of this car while standing up through the non-existent windshield when the spirit so moved him!
2) Hemi Under Glass 1: George Hurst + Bob Riggle + 426 Hemi under the rear window of a Barracuda = Four wheels off the ground and immortality.
1) Little Red Wagon: The first wheelstander. Created in 1965 for competiton in B/FX, this Hemi-powered truck was an abject failure are a racer but, made Bill “Maverick” Golden a living for more than 40 years. This is the granddaddy of them all.