Road & Track (USA)
HOW WE’RE GETTING OUR CATERHAM AROUND.
car trailer is a thoughtless thing. A box on wheels, built like a shed and equally well-suited to high-speed travel. This is no such item. Witness the Aerovault, a clever, unconventional car hauler. The perfect way to get our project Caterham around.
The Aerovault is designed like a sports car. Aluminum semi-monocoque construction makes it lightweight and stout, with no protruding braces inside to scrape mirrors. The slippery shape has aerodynamics the typical trailer can only dream of, with minimized frontal area, a roof beveled to shrug off crosswinds, and a belly skinned in aluminum, tricks most trailer manufacturers never bother with.
This is a trailer with pedigree. It was created by Peter Brock, the genius designer behind the Corvette Sting Ray and the Shelby Daytona Coupe, whose BRE Racing team made Datsun a motorsports legend. Brock, now 83, set out to find an enclosed car trailer that wasn’t just a rolling box of mostly wasted space. He wanted something secure, lightweight, and efficient, something you could tow with a family SUV. When he couldn’t find one, he sketched one, whipped up a scale-model prototype, and constructed the one-off Aerovault MKI in 2008 for his personal use. He built 30 more, refined the design, and put Aerovault MKII into production in 2015.
Base models come loaded with a remote-control winch, an onboard battery system for trickle-charging or jump-starting, a 110-volt exterior power port, and full LED lighting. A front workbench offers storage space for tires and gear, and the lockable rear ramp and side doors all close flush and tight. The standard model is big enough to swallow a Porsche Panamera; a highroof variant adds headroom for taller vehicles. The N-rated tires are balanced before installation, good up to 87 mph. The trailer itself weighs 2340 pounds with a 4670-pound maximum payload. We optioned ours with an in-cab tire pressure and temperature monitoring system and a GPS tracker that sends an alert to your phone whenever the trailer moves or someone opens a door.
It feels strange to gush about the way a trailer rolls down the road, but the Aerovault is a revelation. Back in February, Road & Track digital editor Aaron Brown and I picked up our Ram 1500 Rebel Black Ecodiesel in Los Angeles and drove to Brock’s headquarters outside of Las Vegas. From there, we drove nonstop for the next two and a half days to deliver the truck and trailer to R&T’S project shop in Maryville, TN, where