Trailer The Ultimate 340R accessory ?
by Peter Crook
Whilst it is undoubtedly a fantastically exiting car, there comes the time in many owners lives when the less practical aspects of 340R ownership become apparent. Principally these are :
Particularly those who use their cars on the track will have had the experience of having booked a track day in advance and having to drive to the track in poor weather conditions arriving pretty wet and slightly stressed by the experience. Also even after a dry track day it is not uncommon for the journey home to be subject to thunderstorms and other undesirable weather conditions I know, Ive had the lot!
Many owners, having hammered their cars round the track all day then have to drive long distances home in a semi exhausted state, and full of the adrenaline of the day may be tempted to exercise their cars performance on the public roads in a similar manner to on the track a recipe for disaster and an easy way to lose your license.
Eventually those owners will look longingly at other track day users who use a trailer to transport their cars to and from the track, arriving fresh and departing in comfort whatever the weather preferably with someone else driving the towing vehicle whilst you chill out with the air conditioning (or heater) on full blast.
The towing vehicle also allows luggage, tools, spares and even additional track fuel to be taken along meanwhile your precious 340R is not subject to unnecessary wear and tear.
The ability to tow the vehicle then opens up the possibility of relatively stress free travel to tracks further away from home with Spa, Le Mans, Nurburgring etc much easier journeys from the UK. All without to any additional mileage on your 340R.
In the event of mechanical failure or some other incident which incapacitates your car you just load it back on the trailer and take it home (no waiting 4 hours for the AA to recover you) and the next day it is easily towed to a dealer for repairs to be carried out.
The major benefits of trailer
use can be summarised as :
Obviously a towing vehicle is required, but with most 340Rs used as second cars some sort of vehicle is usually available. Those with 4x4 vehicles have an ideal solution . Personally the author favours a long wheelbase turbodiesel van which offers both excellent towing performance and an excess of interior space for storage.
The towing capacity of the towing vehicle (see the handbook) should be checked against the combined weight of trailer and 340R, otherwise insurances may be invalidated and problems encountered if spot checks are carried out.
Most owners will want to keep their trailer (with 340R on it) parked inside their garage the 340R can be driven on and off the trailer for normal road use by using the ramps leaving the trailer parked in situ. This will normally require a double garage unless the garage is a non standard size.
A trailer requires a positive weight on the towbar for safe towing and as the 340R is a rear engined car this means that the 340R must be reversed on to the trailer (the rear of the 340R nearest the towing vehicle). If you are going to park your car on the trailer inside garage and drive it on and off for everyday use then the trailer will need to be pushed manually out of the garage to be turned round when you want to hitch it up however this can easily be accomplished by one person with the trailer empty and easily by two persons with the 340R on the trailer.
The owners choice of trailer will be dictated predominantly by cost considerations, however dependant on the size of garage to be used size constraints may also be an issue.
It is important to choose a good quality trailer as the safety of your pride and joy depends upon it. In the case of second hand trailers it is important that these are in good condition with brakes, suspension, tyres and towing hitch all operating efficiently.
In the case of a new trailer within the UK the author is happy to endorse the use of Brian James trailers. These have also been used successfully by myself and several other 340R owners and are generally acknowledged to be both bullet proof in build quality and excellent in design. Although many other good trailers are available, as this is the trailer which we have most experience of, I will confine my comments to these trailers when examining the options available.
In order of ascending cost the recommended trailers are :
Brian James A Series 1.25 tonne (1250kg) load capacity
A Series with 340R
This should be the 12ft (3.65m) bed length and 6ft 1in (1.85m) bed width model. This model has twin axles and has the advantage of having 13 inch wheels which are more suitable for high speed towing than the smaller wheels.
If you want to park the trailer in the garage and reverse the car on and off in situ you will need the trailer to be fitted with the optional Rear Support Stands, allowing the trailer to be loaded whilst uncoupled from the tow vehicle.
You will also need to specify Extra Long Low Profile Ramps. These are needed because of the low ground clearance of the 340R.
We would also suggest you consider the following additional options and accessories:
Nested Assistor Ramps These are a mini ramps placed beneath the main ramps when loading to prevent the 340R nose spoiler grounding on an uneven paddock. They clip inside the main ramps for storage and have an added benefit that they can be used off the trailer beneath the 340R in the pits to allow the 340R wheels to be changed without the need for an ultra low profile (expensive) trolley jack.
Centre Decking Non slip decking which makes the transporter into a flatbed trailer and reduces the amount of turbulence, spray and debris hitting the 340R. Essential if you wish to use a cover on the 340R whilst traveling or to convert your trailer to enclosed at a later date.
High Capacity Larger Jockey Wheel This makes hand maneuvering the trailer when loaded much easier and is essential if uneven surfaces are to be crossed.
Spare Wheel Essential for long distance and overseas travel where a puncture might spoil your day.
1.5 Tonne Two Speed Manual Winch Useful for getting the 340R back onto the trailer on your own in the event of mechanical failure (although two persons can usually push the car back up the ramps) , or needed in case of serious damage where the car might have to be dragged back on (pessimistic thought!)
Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps with custom fixed D rings A fixing system (developed by the author) which secures the 340R on the trailer by strapping around the tyres only, thus preventing any strain on steering or suspension (see further technical details below)
Fixed Rear Chocks Allow you to reverse the 340R back onto the trailer blind until the rear tyres hit the chocks. Gives perfect positioning every time.
Integral Towhitch Lock Medium security measure. Prevents opportunist thieves making off with your trailer and 340R when you stop for a cup of coffee or to answer the call of nature.
Wheel Lock High security measure. Very visible and effective immobiliser similar to a wheelclamp. Ideal for protection whilst parked in the hotel car park overnight.
Brian James Sprint Shuttle
This is a small enclosed trailer recently introduced and is an ideal size for transporting a 340R.
The obvious benefits of a sleek body fully weatherproof and protected from prying eyes, make this the trailer of choice for those with an adequately sized garage or storage facilities.
Click here to read Alan Nagles review of his Sprint Shuttle.
Brian James Race Shuttle
This is a larger enclosed trailer
which is also suitable for transporting larger cars and has adequate room
for additional spares or equipment.
This will be the trailer of choice for those with the requirement to be able to carry larger cars. And of course for those with larger wallets!
Modified Open Trailers
It is quite possible to modify an open trailer to weatherproof enclosed at a later date.
The author did this with his A series after realising that a low height restriction within the garage meant that a Sprint Shuttle was too high to fit in.
A series with modified cover
An aluminium welded box section cage was fabricated and bolted to the A series. This was then covered with a custom built trailer cover made from commercial vehicle trailer fabric.
Side view of aluminium frame
Rear view of aluminium frame
A slight extension to clear the nose of the vehicle was manufactured with a hinged down section to allow loading.
This design of trailer allows you to work on the car in the garage with the cover off with good access to the car and fit the cover prior to departure.
Can be obtained from :
Drayton Fields Industrial Estate
Tel : +44 (0)1327 308833
Fax : +44 (0)1327 308822
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