It's Time To De-Throne The Trailer Queens And Put 'Em On The Street
Personal opinion time here: I hate trailer queens. Let me clarify the term “trailer queen” before anybody gets the wrong idea. Trailer queens are vehicles that leave the safety of a garage, enter the safety of a trailer and head out on the street in an enclosure towed by another vehicle.
I saw a very nice car being shoved into a covered trailer this weekend and it just kind of set me off on the topic of trailer queens. Don’t get me wrong, there are many other vehicles beyond broken-down cars that should be towed behind another vehicle. A barely street legal quarter mile ride should be trailered for practical reasons like: microscopic gas mileage, finicky track motors, an earnest desire on the part of their owners to remain in one piece.
A theoretical situation might be a 10 second-or-less car that has just enough safety equipment like lights and wipers to render it a street legal vehicle. It also might have wheelie bars and laundry on the back end because, more than anything else, it is a quarter-mile track car. Who among us could resist a golden opportunity to unleash unholy high octane hell on some punk in a tuner car at a stoplight? There is no way that I, in a situation like that, could resist the stellar opportunity to make a 700-plus-horsepower-at-the-rear-wheels car dance on the street and teach valuable lessons in humility to computerized four-banger cars and their cocky owners.
I am weak and so would many car guys be, if we had access to that kind of awesome force under our right foot. Better to trailer this kind of temptation to a show.
The other side of the equation would be a very early antique vehicle with a top speed of 20-30 mph. They have their place on the road, but not on freeways. They would need a helping hand down a major expressway and that help would be a trailer ride. Nothing wrong with that. After all, if your car was built before the Interstate arrived, it’s probably unfair to expect it to be happy there.
My main problem is with the owner — no reason to say “driver”, right? — of a resto-mod or well restored car that is easily capable of freeway speeds and deserves a better fate than solitary confinement in a trailer. That is just plain stupid and owners of these kinds of trailer queens have no soul because they have clearly treated their rides as mere financial investments. I highly recommend that they set their trailer queens free and either drive them or sell them to a grateful new owner; the kind of owner that will drive them on the street. They should sell the cars and invest in a stock portfolio because they have a cold-blooded financial approach to the car hobby when they lock their cars into a trailer and suffocate any legitimate reason to own a vintage ride.
Most vintage rides are like horses. What I mean by that is this: you shouldn’t own one if your main game plan is to keep it locked in a pen, then shove it into a smaller pen and drive it around behind a truck. That is the way I see it, for what it is worth.
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While I agree that cars are absolutely meant to be driven, there is some reason required. For example, the road my house is on is the main drag leading from the local community college. You can count on many (I'm talking 3-5 if not more) collisions a day on the road from cars rear ending each other. I hate taking my daily driver out on that road during the day. If I had any sort of vintage, rare, or special car that I needed to move in that time, it would definitely go on a trailer. If I was taking the car to a vintage racing even, I'd probably trailer it. I'd want to know for sure that I would get to experience the car on a racetrack, and I would hate for something, whether an on road collision or some sort of mechanical malady that can't be fixed roadside, to happen that would keep me from really getting the most out of the car on a racetrack.
Well, remember there is a paradox at work here. For a really, really extraordinary car, the only thing that has to remain intact is the vin number. Otherwise, its not art. Its a car. Sure, its your money and you get to do what you want with it, like make an ass out of yourself.