was a custom hot rod
created for The Munsters
TV show by LA customizer George Barris
. Barris had also created the Munsters' Wagon. It was created for a specific episode, where Herman Munster
had gotten boastful and bet the Munsters' overpowered hearse
would prevail in a drag race
. Bet the car, that is.
The Munstermobile is a trifle heavy, and Herman lost. The car that is. Naturally Lily Munster was incensed, and Grandpa further convinced of Herman's inadequacies as a husband. But they needed their car. So Grandpa Munster built Dragula, a dragster based on a coffin.
At the time, drag racing's fastest racers were what was called a 'slingshot' dragster. Slingshots were a type of dragster where the driver sat behind the rear wheels, his knees hooked over the differential. The clutch and transmission (if any) would be located between the driver's feet. Combined with a very long wheelbase, the heavy rear weight bias of the dragster, produced a lightweight vehicle very efficient at going fast in a straight line. Slingshots dominated drag racing until the early seventies, when a transmission explosion led Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits to create the first fast rear-engined dragster. Dragula itself was clearly built as a slingshot.
The basic construction was of a steel beam frame, which would make it more typical of late fifties dragsters. On top Barris placed a purple coffin. The driver's compartment, with roll bar was where the head would typically be viewed, and covered with a glass canopy. A Ford 289 K-code V-8 was installed at the coffin's front, with a small keg behind the front wheels to hold fuel. A parachute provided a true emergency brake. Atypical of dragster practice, Dragula also mounted a small radiator.
Dragula looked pretty cool, and with its light weight probably worked up a lot of speed in a hurry. Grandpa used it to win back the Munsters' car in a match race. I'm also sure that as a car it was cramped, uncomfortable and handled like a pig. But what mattered was it looked way cool, and is still popular at car shows today. However, Rob Zombie drove the Munster Koach in his video 'Dragula'. The Koach was also a Barris creation and quite cool in its own right, but is not Dragula.
Thanks to Gentleman Jim for correcting me on Rob's actual driving habits.