Take Me Back To The ’60s Right Now

The other day, when we took a look at the four-engined Mach IV Mustang that’s part of the Galpin collection, I talked a bit about the spectacle that was drag racing in the 1960s.

As another piece of evidence, I thought we’d take a look at the Back Up Pick Up, a one-of-a-kind exhibition wheel-stander that toured drag strips during the motorsport’s golden era.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-25 copy

This actually isn’t the original Back Up Pick Up, but a faithful recreation built by the talented Dave Shuten for the SEMA Show back in 2013. If you’re looking for the perfect throwback to the wild days of exhibition drag racing, this is it.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-121 copy

The truck is all custom, but if there is one defining feature of the Back Up Pick Up, it’s that what appears to be the rear of the ’65 Ford Econoline is actually the front. The body was essentially reverse-mounted over the chassis.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-14 copy

It’s powered by an injected 427ci Ford V8 placed in the bed, providing more than enough twist to run the entire 1320ft strip with the nose in the air and ETs in the mid 9-second range.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-27 copy

Here’s the cockpit view. As can imagine, you couldn’t really see anything with the nose in the air, so drivers Dick Harding and George Tuers would hang out the side of the cab to see where they were going.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-15 copy

From the Cragar wheels to the wild paint job and parachute mounted on the ‘front’ of the Econoline cab, it just doesn’t get better than this. There really was nothing like the ’60s when it came to crazy machines like this one.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-16 copy

Needless to say, Shuten’s recreation has been a massive hit wherever it’s gone. The Back Up Pick Up even made the trip all the way to Japan for the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show in 2014.

Oh what I’d give to see this thing wheelie down the drag strip once more…

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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Um...wow. Crazy piece of work


And here I was trying to figure out why the exhaust dumped in the wrong direction in the opening image. The 60's had some really crazy stuff, I'm ecstatic that nostaligic drag cars are having a big comeback. This was the golden age of drag racing!


George Tuers!!

That was my neighbor when I was growing up. Unfortunately, it was after the days of this car. I never got to see this one. 

However, the last car he ended up driving/owning was a Chevy Nomad wheelstander (held a world record for a period of time that he set at Point Mugu airbase - longest wheel stand). Obviously, the motor was in the back with a boat transmission. He had a hole cut out in the floor of the car to see where he was going. The Nomad was steered by an extra braking system. He had two levers that would control each side on the rear. If he needed to adjust the car to the right going down the strip then he would pull the lever to use the brake on the right rear wheel. He never actually touched the steering wheel once it was on two wheels.

Sadly, "Hollywood" George Tuers passed away recently. He had sold the Nomad to the owner of Oakley sunglasses. He in turn made it a street-legal car (the car used to shoot flames out of the exhaust - extra injectors attached at the end)

I used to get pit-passes from George and watch the Winternationals every year he ran them.

Damn, it is so cool seeing a reproduction of the older car he drove. He always talked about it and would show me pictures of him in it.


Here is a video of his world record wheel stand 



Does anyone have any info about the tennis balls???


Used when motor wasn't running. It keeps stuff from falling into the intakes.


does the original no longer exist?


My favorite'60s car was ford gt40 mk1


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