Yes, this has worked for us. We have an older Saris Bones rack that we use to carry our Santana. We only take the front wheel off if the trip is 20 miles or less. For longer trips, we take off both wheels. I don't take off the chain though. I use a piece of cutup mtn bike innertube and cover the chainstain with it and then use a cut-up road tube to tie the chain to the chainstay in two places. So far, no scratches and no problems with the chain.
It does take a little playing with the positioning of the arms, both vertically and horizontally to find the "sweet spot". We keep ours pretty close to the car to prevent swaying and use two padded twist-its (sorry, don't know the technical name, we got ours at Performance bike) to connect the frame to the bottom legs of the Saris. We get a very solid connection with this set-up and have had no problems with trips of 4 hours or so in length.
Once I got the set-up figured out, I've found that it takes me about 7 to 10 minutes to put everything on the car and be ready to roll.
The only bad part is that the feet of the rack have definitely marred the paint surface of our Honda Accord. We're thinking we'd like a bumper hitch rack to prevent this for our next purchase.