My Haulers – gitty up go

During the early years getting to the drag strip merely required a good car and a tow bar. When I started racing every weekend I realized that I would have to upgrade my highway towing vehicle. Over the years I have driven some great highway haulers for my race cars. The following describes the trucks used when racing throughout North America and conducting Super Car Clinics across Canada.

1965-1966 Argyle Chrysler Dodge (1964 Dodge Ram D200 1 Ton Pick-Up)

Argyle continued to sponsor me by allowing me to use their truck and trailer.

Engine: V8 318 Engine
Transmission: 4 Speed Standard Transmission
Characteristics: Crew cab, enclosed box, long wheel base
Trailer: Open air tandem axle single car trailer.
Hauling: Dodge 65 Coronet, Argyle’s Canadian Highlander and John Petrie’s Canadian Highlander

CarsMyHaulers-DodgeBoysSide   CarsMyHaulers-DodgeBoys

1967-1968 Mainway Ford Racing Division (1966 Ford C Series Conventional Cab)

Mainway allowed me to use their ramp truck while racing with the 67 Mercury Cyclone Funny Car throughout Canada and the Eastern U.S. The 390 cubic inch V8 engine in the Mainway Ford ramp truck made this hauler a real performer on the highway. I was often pulled over by the police but was never ticketed for speeding. They were only interested in talking to me about the Funny car I was hauling and how fast it would run on the track.
Engine: V8 390 Engine
Transmission: 4 Speed Standard Transmission
Characteristics: Conventional cab ramp truck
Hauling: Ford Mercury Cyclone Funny Car

Image courtesy of Paul Paterson/Roy Gelling

Super Car Clinic Years
1969 -1971 Chrysler Canada (1969 Dodge 600 Heavy Duty Ramp Truck)

Cars-MyHaulers69Chrysler Canada allowed me to use this ramp truck and trailer for all of my Chrysler Supplied Racing Cars from 1969-1971. For 69′ and 70′ no major changes where made to the design of the hauler. The truck box handled all Car Clinic displays and memorabilia. The tandem axle trailer handled all racing related parts and supplies. A major change was made to the hauler in 1971. I went with the new T-box design which was already being used in the U.S. The new design gave me more storage for tires, it also allowed me to incorporate a sleeper over the cab. This provided me with room for two complete racing engines and a built in I-Beam hoist for replacing motors on the road. This was the first time I ever had a workshop on wheels Please note that the 1970 ‘Cuda C/Altered was transported by Dennis Warner to all Ontario and Quebec drag strips that he attended.

Box and ramp work on truck and trailer by Babcock of Toronto per my design. (See design scheme below).


1970 design scheme change and lettering to John Petrie Super Car Clinic logo and new stripping on truck and trailer. Same Dodge truck and trailer supplied to me in 1969 from Chrysler Canada. Stripping changes by Babcock in Toronto per my deisgn.


1971 I went with a new T-Box design including a sleeper over the cab, more storage for extra tires, two replacement engines and including a new engine hoist for on-the-road motor change outs. Same Dodge 600 series and trailer supplied to me by Chrysler Canada. All changes to the rig were contracted to Babcock of Toronto per my design.


Engine: V8 361 engine
Transmission:5 speed with Dual Range Differential
Characteristics:: Conventional Cab, storage box on truck for Super Car Clinic display boards and towers with water and gas storage tank.
Trailer:open tandem wheel with storage box for racing equipment including electronic braking system, open air ramp truck and trailer for 2 race cars.


Story: I was big into Country and Western music when on the road driving the hauler, I would enjoy all the country radio stations along the way. One of my favorite musicians was Red Solvine who I still like to this day. This was hard on my crew members who traveled with me, they were younger and liked to hear late 60’s and early 70’s rock and roll and heavy metal music on 8 track tapes. Thank God for “Giddy up Go” and “Phantom 409.” Yes Gary people still listen to good old country and western music…ha ha..John.

John Petrie’s Canadian Racing Team
1972 (Dodge C600 H/D enclosed ramp truck)

New 1972 design scheme and name change to John Petrie’s Canadian Racing Team. Truck box construction and assembly contracted to Bobcock of Toronto per my design.

Cars-MyHaulers72Side   Cars-MyHaulers72Front

Engine: V8 361 engine
Transmission:4 speed with Dual Range Differential
Characteristics:: Conventional Cab, totally enclosed box on chassis including sleeper over the cab, sitting area, kitchenette, full workshop bench, storage for all parts and storage for 2 complete engines and room for one car. Hidden storage tanks for water and gasoline also on board behind lower body door panels.
Trailer:No Trailer

Note: 69 Hauler image supplied by Bob Boudreau.
          71 Hauler image supplied Paul Eyman.


5 Responses to My Haulers – gitty up go

  • Dan Trigiani wrote on June 24, 2014 at 6:22 // Reply

    As a very young man in Toronto I remember all these great cars and John and the shows and clinics. Its great to see some of these cars again it brings back my youth.

  • Robin McQueen wrote on October 11, 2014 at 11:43 // Reply

    With the 1972 season, why wasn’t there a Dodge product in the Petrie race camp? Instead, two Plymouths, a Duster and Cuda. Also, with the new enclosed hauler, and no trailer, did it mean running one car or the other? Thanks!

  • John Petrie wrote on October 21, 2014 at 8:06 // Reply

    Chrysler Canada and I made this decision based on the popularity (sales) of the Plymouth 340 Dusters and 426 Hemi Cudas. In regards to the Hauler, I believe you will find the answer in the ’72 section (My Final Year) that I just posted.


  • Robbie Shaver wrote on October 27, 2014 at 9:36 // Reply

    Hi John,
    Great website.I am a friend of Doug Miller,a former partner of the Miller & McCallum Hemi Cuda that Donnie Cloak ownes now.Doug and I went to see Donnie last spring at his shop,I see you have been there too.Your website brings back a lot of good memories.I remember seeing the 59 Plymouth Northern Light and the 65 Dodge , Canadian Highlander, at Deseronto , Iwas 14 or 15 years old then and just loved drag racing,still do!
    Do you have any memorabilia ( Pictures,old or newer Driver Cards that kind of thing ) I could purchase from you.If so just Email me back and let me know.
    I own a large collection of Diecast Drag Cars from the late 50’s to present day.I live in Iroquois Ontario about 1 from the 401 on the ST.Lawrence River between Brockville and Cornwall. If you are ever down this way stop in and I will show you my large diecast collection of drag cars which is all on display in my rec’room, dust free.Just Email me for the address.
    Thanks for all the great pictures and memories, Robbie

  • robert longboat wrote on November 19, 2014 at 2:17 // Reply

    have any hats ..shirts ..decals for sale

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