Harmon Shadow Roof-Mount RV Trailer Is The Best And Worst Of The ’70s
Ah, the 1970s. In this case, we’re talking about 1972, when this RV engine originated. Towing a large trailer with a car might seem like a daunting task, but full frames like the one under this 1972 Chevrolet Caprice were once common in the Americana, and such a platform is very powerful for such things. Or rather, if you attach the trailer to the frame instead of the roof. More on that in a moment.
First, let’s do a proper introduction. This is not a one-off creation – you’re looking at a double-axle gooseneck trailer called Shadow, built by Harmon Industries. Instead of connecting to a bumper hitch, the Shadow used its own mounting system designed to be mounted on the roof of a car. It’s actually a rather sleek design as it shortens the combined length of the trailer and towing vehicle, and it’s incredibly maneuverable. Even a very long car like this old Chevrolet can turn 360 degrees when connected to the trailer. Awesome, isn’t it?
This particular platform was posted on Facebook by Colton Graham, who was kind enough to share the photos with us. We don’t have the backstory apart from the trailer and the looking car remarkably good for their age. The trailer is decorated inside with the right 1970s green / orange color scheme, including a shag rug deep enough for small animals to get lost in. We hope the vintage stereo still works, let alone the old-fashioned corded rotary telephone for use.
There’s also a plethora of material featured in the photos, and some describe the trailer. Now is probably a good time to mention this design’s obvious flaw, which is why you don’t see much of it on the road. The history of Harmon Industries Shadow is hard to come by, but mounting a trailer on a roof not designed for such forces has apparently damaged more than a few cars.
Note that this is just towing – we shudder at the thought of how these drip rail mounting brackets would handle the forces of a crash. Yes, the exceptional handling is cool, but it’s a very unwelcome compromise for the car to become the trailer’s crumple zone in a crash. Therefore, it was an interesting but very short-lived foray into gooseneck caravans.
It’s still a really cool piece of RV history. Special thanks to Colton Graham for sharing this well-groomed survivor with the automotive world.