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A Real Trailer Queen 1966 Ford Mustang
What else do you call a show Mustang pulling a camper?
Going to out-of-town car shows is always fun, but it can get expensive when you factor in a hotel room for the night. Marty Werner has the key to avoiding the hotel bill, and yet remaining warm and comfortable at night. That solution also got him noticed at the 2017 Carlisle Ford Nationals.
Marty tows a camper behind his 1966 hardtop to places like Carlisle, which is where we discovered him. “I actually had somebody come up to me at Carlisle and say, ‘Oh, this thing must be a trailer queen cause it’s so clean.’” Marty says. “And I replied, No, I drove it more than 75 miles here towing a camper.’ They looked at me like I had three heads.”
Marty had started camping in a tent, until one year, it rained all weekend. So he told his wife he wanted to get a camper. He bought this Runaway model, which weighs 800 pounds and measures 4- by 8-feet inside, big enough for sleeping. It has no bathroom, but the unit does have air conditioning and a flat-screen TV that picks up local stations with an antenna. Now, the Mustang and trailer are regulars at the show.
This year, Marty drove his “Trailer Queen” to Carlisle from Shillington, Pennsylvania, with camper in tow to join 23 other members of the Berks County Mustang Club. They all stay at the Clay Street Campgrounds, which is owned by Carlisle Events.
“We cook out every night and just sit there and play cards, have a couple beverages, and enjoy ourselves,” Marty says. He arrived on Thursday, June 2, and left on Sunday, June 5, for the 2017 Carlisle Ford Nationals. That trip would normally have cost him at least $600 had he stayed in a hotel. “I had friends that paid $150 a night.”
In contrast, Marty unhooked his trailer at the campgrounds and parked his Mustang on the show field, which is within walking distance right next door to the fairgrounds.
“It costs me $79 to register my car and pay for camping, if I do it while the sale is going on. It costs $11 in tolls each way and a half a tank in gas each way.” Marty has towed his camper to faraway places like Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis Raceway for a Ford Versus Mopar event.
Under the hood of his ’66 coupe is a factory C-code, 289 two barrel that Marty upgraded to a four barrel. He keeps the 289 detailed for show and has won over 50 trophies to date. Modifications include air conditioning from Classic Auto Air, a Borgeson power steering kit, and four-wheel disc brakes that are a “hodgepodge of parts,” according to him. Inside, Marty upgraded the stock upholstery with TMI’s Sport Seats that feature side bolsters for extra support and comfort.
We’ll bet you didn’t know that Ford offered a trailer hitch for early Mustangs, and Marty has one, an original Ford C6ZZ-19D520 trailer hitch for his 1966 model. His personal preference, however, is a custom-made hitch from U-Haul. How is the ride with the 800-pound camper in tow? “You only know it’s back there if you hit a big bump. It will bounce the back end a little bit, but I have some heavier springs, and it tows really nice.”
Marty gets lots of thumbs up when he tows the camper behind his Mustang, along with some strange looks, too. The Mustang and camper look so unusual, the combination of an old car and the small trailer convey a feeling of the open road from an America far removed from today’s age of computers and the internet. Driving a 1966 Mustang is a trip back in time, but a trip that can still be made today.