Who needs a gas-thirsty Suburban to pull a trailer when he has a perfectly good Corvette to do the job?
At least that’s the philosophy of Jonathan Einfeld, who used his good ol’ American ingenuity to create what might be the world’s first Corvette used to tow another Corvette. If not, let us know.
Einfeld, who also goes by the name of c4drifter on Instagram, had been using his 1999 Chevrolet Suburban to pull a trailer hauling his C4 drift car to the track but wasn’t too happy about the poor gas mileage he was getting.
Then providence struck. Since he had two C4s – and we all know how economical these Corvettes can be – why not use the ‘94 to pull the drift car?
“A little over a year ago, probably, I had taken the back window out of my car for some reason and thought it was like a truck with how the back is without its window,” Einfeld told Peter Holderith of The Drive. “And eventually for some reason I thought it would be fun to build a gooseneck.”
Fearful of damaging the ‘94’s frame with a conventional hitch, he decided instead to use a gooseneck, which is similar to a fifth-wheel but is very maneuverable and able to tilt in all directions. While a fifth-wheel uses a large horseshoe-shaped coupling device mounted a foot or more above the bed of the tow vehicle, a gooseneck couples to a standard ball mounted on the bed of the tow vehicle.
Einfeld first cut a small hole in the rear carpet and floor and then bolted a fabricated gooseneck to the differential, which is central to the rear axle and firmly attached to the rest of the car. He followed up by building a custom gooseneck trailer for the drifter that even offers plenty of room at the front for extra tires, and after wiring up some lights, he was ready to head to the track.
Along the way, even rolling along at 70 to 75 mph, Einfeld says he managed an impressive 14.5 mpg in the tow rig, much better than the miserable 8 to 10 mpg he was getting from the old Suburban.
The project didn’t go off without a hitch, though (pardon the pun).
“My mirrors are the same as what is on the car I am pulling,” he says, “so I can’t see right behind me going straight, but if I do a little zigzag in my lane I can see if anyone is behind me.”
Since the gross weight of the loaded trailer is 8,220 pounds, the ’94 is being asked to perform some serious duty it didn’t sign up for, prompting Einfeld to consider some mechanical changes to help out.
“I want to change the rear from 3.07 to 3.54 if it isn’t too expensive because right now stock gears are 1,500 at 65, so a little lower RPM than ideal,” he says. Also in the works are some type of window behind the seats to seal off the front compartment, and he’d like to put some fenders on the trailer.
Overall, though, Einfeld is more than satisfied with his creation.
“Having this Corvette as my daily/tow rig I get 18 mpg around town and up to 24.5 if I am highway driving,” he boasts, “so a lot better and cooler than the Suburban.”
We’d tend to agree.