These days, wheelstanders are relatively few and far between as they frequent some of the more popular “shows” in drag racing as exhibition vehicles, and while not of much interest to the hardcore fan and racer, they do still reach out well to their intended audience: the new or casual fan looking for pure entertainment who revels in the fact that a car can remain on its rear wheels for a quarter mile whether purpose-built or not.
But once upon a time, the wheelstanders that would become drag racing legend were a common site at venues all across the country during an era when the sport was a “show” in and of itself. This little clip on YouTube features some of the iconic wheelstanders of the time, highlighted by perhaps the most legendary of them all: Bill “Maverick” Golden’s Little Red Wagon. Others including the fabled “Hemi Under Glass” driven by Bob Riggle, “Dodge Fever,” The Backup Pickup,” and Bob Perry’s “Hell on Wheels” are featured, giving a glimpse of the old school exhibition vehicles that paved the way for today’s vehicles such as the “Cool Bus” and the “Airborne Express.”
These clips are part of an original film entitled “Smoke” that was produced by former wheelstander pilot “Cool” Richie Travers who made the “Dodge Material” pickup famous. Thanks to DragZine for the article.