Drag-U-La and the Coffin Car Fascination - TBucketPlans.com

Drag-U-La and the Coffin Car Fascination

In 1966, I was fascinated by way-out show cars like Steve Scott’s “Uncertain-T”, so when the “Hot Rod Herman” episode of The Munsters appeared with Grandpa’s Drag-U-La, built to win back the family Munster Coach, I was glued to that blurry Black & White television!

Just in case you’re too young to know or too old to remember take a look at this brief video highlight.

The Drag-U-La was created by legendary designer Tom Daniel to be built by Barris Kustom and its influence was more widespread and longer lasting than anyone could have imagined at the time. Not only did it inspire a multitude of clones that were created for both recreational and commercial purposes, but it also inspired scores of other coffin cars.

Drag-U-La Coffin Cars Casket Car (34)

I became aware of just how great the Drag-U-La influence was when several years ago while picking up an old Ford Y-Block in a remote part of Southwest Missouri that I spied a ragged coffin car parked in the side yard of a farmhouse.

I can understand the widespread popularity of coffin cars. Most are built on a narrowed version of a typical T-Bucket chassis and the only real challenge is where to find a donor casket by legitimate means.

Drag-U-La Coffin Cars Casket Car (58)

The variety of Drag-U-La inspired coffin cars is mind-boggling. While some are built on a T-Bucket chassis, others use a VW pan or anything else readily available such as a golf cart. Motivation runs the gamut from a simple electric motor to mild small blocks to full-on blown and injected or nitrous boosted big blocks,and even all the way to being jet engine powered.

Drag-U-La Coffin Cars Casket Car (23)

So, with Halloween approaching it’s only appropriate to bask in the glory of the many coffin cars inspired by Grandpa Munster’s Drag-U-La. Enjoy this growing gallery of photos and if you’re a coffin rodder whose ride has been left out, send us some pics and we’ll be sure to add them.

Click on any Gallery pic to enlarge and scroll through the Gallery.

Since last Halloween even more T-Bucket inspired spooky car pics have come to light. Enjoy this new gallery addition.

And, if you still can’t get enough Drag-U-La here’s a longer clip from the Munsters.

If you’ve enjoyed this Halloween season feature, please be sure to share with your friends. Thanks.

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John Morehead

Founder at TBucketPlans.com
T-Bucket fanatic since 1957 when my 8 year old eyes became glued to a full page LIFE magazine photo of Norm Grabowski in the wildest hot rod I had ever seen! I later discovered the fascinating T-Buckets of TV Tommy Ivo, Marty Hollmann, Bob Johnston and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s T-Bucket inspired Outlaw. I was hooked for life on T-Bucket hot rods!

TBucketPlans.com originated in 2005 as a personal blog extolling the virtues of T-Buckets. In 2009 I blogged about Chester Greenhalgh, the "how to" genius who wrote the legendary, out-of-print “How to Build a T-Bucket Roadster for Under $3000”. That led to a friendship with Chester and our partnership in marketing the updated eBook version of his T-Bucket building bible. The T-Bucket fire burns stronger and stronger.
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