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If Racing A Funny Car Required You To Haul It On An Open Trailer, Would You?

If Racing A Funny Car Required You To Haul It On An Open Trailer, Would You?

Last week I asked if all the giant Toterhomes, as awesome as they are, were a bit too much for some race cars. I asked if they were less cool if someone was hauling say a Stock Eliminator car in one or a bracket car. The feedback was great and I love it and want more of it. And in fact, it sparked some cool conversations among my friends, one of whom sent me the photo above of a funny car on an open trailer. (Thanks for the photo Ronnie!) And it got me thinking about two things. First off, I have personally been with a Funny Car being hauled on an open trailer, a single axle open trailer to be more specific, and it was none other than Jason Rupert’s NHRA Heritage Series winning Camaro Funny Car. We were taking it from his parents house to Gary Densham’s place across town to put it in the transporter for the upcoming March Meet one year. So I’ve seen it done.

Not only have I seen it done, but my first trailer, which started out as my father’s first trailer, started out before that as something that Jungle Jim put together to haul his funny car on. It was an open trailer with a plywood box on the front of it. And I’m not kidding.

So the second thing I thought about was something I also wanted to do years ago while trying to put together a Pro Stock Truck team. I didn’t have an enclosed trailer, in fact I have never owned one, and I figured if going racing meant hauling a Pro Stock truck on my open trailer then it was going to happen. Would you?

That’s today’s BANGshift Question of the Day. If racing in your dream category meant hauling your race car on an open trailer behind your pickup, would you do it? Or would you be too embarrassed to be pitted next to all the giant rigs?



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34 thoughts on “If Racing A Funny Car Required You To Haul It On An Open Trailer, Would You?

  1. stitchdup

    I dont see how it matters how you haul a racecar, but I like the idea of the underdog beating the rest. I guess its down to how much cash you have, and I’m sure racers with less spend it on the car and not an all bells and whistles hauler.

  2. Gary

    I tihink all the enclosed trailers serve to hide racing from kids, the same kids who have no possion or interest for the sport because they never see it up close and personal. Open trailers let the public see these cars, and that is what starts to generate a curiosity, spark an interest. Want to bring in more poeple? Want to fill the spectator seats again? That’s the way to start.

  3. David

    There wasn’t anything more cool than seeing the Laganas top fueler being hauled on their ramp truck.

  4. Clark

    NHRA should try something to help generate more fans, young fans. Get some backup cars from some of the big teams, put them on open trailers, and have someone haul them around the city close to the venue they will be racing in.

    1. Jim McGinn

      All the offshore boat races have a parade through the host city
      Yours sounds like a good idea

  5. Clarence Sifton

    Twenty years ago the Lagana Family Top Fuel team would regularly bring their 300 inch dragster to the IHRA national events on an old open Ford F250 ramp truck, It was something to see parked beside Clay Millican’s million dollar entourage.

  6. 75Duster

    I agree with Gary about enclosed trailers hiding racing from kids, I grew up in the era when you would see a 1/2 ton truck pulling race cars on an open trailer. If you are going to tow to a local event, by all means use a open trailer.
    I understand completely about using a enclosed trailer though if you are going to a long distance meet and you need the security of a enclosed trailer.

  7. What Trailer

    I used to drag my L-78 Camaro to the track behind my 6cyl 1960 Biscayne,
    without a trailer! those were fun days

  8. 172K Wayne

    I too agree with Gary. I haul my G/S car on an open trailer any time the weather permits. it\’s fun to see youngsters smiling at your car.

  9. Todd

    It’s way cool to haul a car on a open trailer, I do miss some of those days, kids staring at your car and people chatting at gas stations. But the reality of it is out here in the Midwest (SD) we have to deal with hail and severe weather, and if you have to sleep overnight somewhere you have to worry about someone stealing you stuff while your sleeping in a motel room. Just not worth having a open trailer out here.

  10. Marc Weller

    I was probably 11 or 12, on a family road trip in western Pennsylvania when we passed the Brutus GTO and Jungle’s Nova on their respective ramp trucks. I remember it like it was yesterday. Been crazy about this stuff ever since.

    1. gil coraine

      Jungle and Lew were two of the pioneers of “spectator appeal”. Worked hard for what they got – but they knew how to have a good time. Miss them both, and others from that era.

  11. Loren

    F the giant motorhomes/trailers and all the snobs glaring at you if you look at their stuff too close when you walk by. I stay out of that part of the pits.

  12. Wolf

    I remember being parked next to a Super Stock racer at Route 66 the first year it opened. I can’t remember the name, but both he and his wife were corporate lawyers, so they had more money than God, and it showed with the massive stacker trailer and 40′ luxury motorhome pulling it. He had “National Record Holder” lettered on the back of his race car. I had a rusty old square body ‘burb pulling my Stocker on a run down open trailer. My car also had “National Record Holder” on the back. I felt really proud of that, especially when compared the big money car.

  13. Nitromike66

    Yeah, I agree, when I was a kid it was always exciting to see a race car on an open trailer and when I get my ’55 Chevy ready to go to the track, I’ll be hauling it with one.

  14. Jeff

    Remember the chi town hustler in 82 AND 83 winning the funny car championship in NHRA with a ramp truck for a hauler? I\’m sure anybody who talked down to them for it shut up real quick! I would do it in a heartbeat!

  15. Robert Hollasch

    Think about this for a moment, how many people could not pass this photo after seeing a funny car on a trailer. When i was a kid in Calgary i would see door slammers being hauled on open deck trailers on the main roads heading to the track. I would see wheelie bars, hood scoops, window nets, stickers all over the car and I would think those guys a super bad cool mothers. At that moment I knew I wanted and had to have one of those bad ass cars. Maybe that’s just one of the small changes today, no one sees no one knows.

  16. Steve Hammann

    It ain’t pretty, but this tow vehicle is reliable, cost effective, and have minimal track side comfort for over night stays. It also is what allows us to have a nice enclosed trailer to securely haul our bracket car and tools….



  17. Curtis Pitts

    I would, without a doubt. My goal is to complete my NA 10.5, 69 Dart and roll from SoCal to the mid-west and east coast to play with the big boys. Unless I hit the lotto or stumble in to a pile of money, it will be on an open trailer and a pick-up truck. Hopefully I will at least have a shell on my truck to sleep in. If I were to ever afford a pro stock, I would do the same if need be. And I would be down for the “Open Trailer Nationals” too.

  18. Toby Thompson

    A lot of people with \”less\”….seem to try and make it out about having \”more\”. Why is it okay to start with \”less\” and work your butt off to have \”more\”. Just to have everyone turn their nose when you have \”more\”? No, I would not drive around any car on an open trailer that had to stay overnight in a parking lot…anywhere or anytime. If it is in an enclosed trailer…stacker or shed…doesn\’t matter. The passing bum or even more dangerous, bored teenager passing by at 1:00 a.m. Don\’t have a clue whats inside and will typically keep passing right along. If your Toter is parked in a Home Depot parking lot in the middle of Gallup N.M. for the night. No one has a clue that you are actually sound asleep in the hotel next door. If you want to prove you have a big set????? Park an open trailer anywhere in Gallup N.M. twice a year overnight. I would be interested to see what happens. Just my thoughts…

  19. Pat

    The Greek uses small in closed trailer that he pulls with his duelly truck. He still has a major fan base. It would be great to park right next to him. At the end of the night the stories he can tell

    1. Hammer down

      Ya gotta love The Greek, when I saw him at Norwalk his hospitality tent

      was a picnic table and an umprella

  20. Gary Gibson

    It was back back in the 70\’s I remember riding in the back of our car or wagon when I was a kid at the time, it always seemed to me every time we were near Micanopy, FL. I remember seeing the 66-67 GTO\’S on a trailor, I remember they were orange and white, I thought they were the best I ever saw. I think
    they were the Tin Indians

  21. Dan Jones

    I used to help out “Nasty” Dave Benjamin in the 1980s. He’d sold his fifth wheel trailer, and whipped together an open trailer with a four or six foot box in the front. We hauled his new ’84 Corvette AA/FC up and down the west coast on that thing. It got a lot of attention…

  22. Scott Liggett

    I got to thinking if it was even possible to run a competitive funny car today without all the gear that is in a 40 ft semi trailer. I figure a 4 door dually pickup with a utility bed and a camper shell on it would be able to carry the tools, spare engine parts, car jack etc. A pretty decent sized open trailer with a good sized tool box on the front and tire rack would do the job pretty well.

    I am not a young man anymore so I would think about the life like that on the road every week. It would definitely be tough on my old bones, but I think it would be a helluva lot of fun.

  23. TNTBOO

    If you are worried about what others are thinking, then you have already lost. Don’t matter how you get there, the race is from the starting line to the finish line.

  24. john

    we race and open tow a front engine dragster. the open trailer is used for other stuff which a box is totally useless.

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