With our recent move from down town Los Angeles to our new warehouse digs in El Segundo, there’s been several sightings of the famous Wienermobile in the area. This sparked us to dig through the boxes in our archive room to find our First Test of the 1980’s Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. And yes, it still makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside as it did when first saw it as kids. Enjoy the flashback to child hood.
In this era of play-it-safe look-alike cars, an era in which the automobile manufacturers have grown so conservative that every vehicle resembles nothing so much as a half-used bar of soap, it's refreshing to see one company break away from the herd with a distinctive design. That the design is from a newcomer to the automotive field comes as less of a surprise. Niche marketing has always been the best course for a new entry in the field, so when the 104-year-old Oscar Mayer Company decided to diversify into automobile manufacturing, it quite rightly chose a segment wide open for exploitation.
What we have here is not a maxi- or a mini-van, but a wienie-van -- a completely new vehicle type that, our guess is, the consuming public will find most palatable. We had the chance to flog the aptly named Wienermobile during the course of a two-day test session at the Chrysler Proving Grounds at Chelsea, Michigan, and found the prototype vehicle all it claimed to be -- and more. We can truly attest to the fact that, when you say Wienermobile, you've said a mouthful.
First and foremost, of course, is the Wienermobile's styling, which clearly sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill me-too cars of today. Over 22 ft long and standing more than 12 ft high, the Wienermobile is clearly a car with presence. Oscar Mayer was wise in drawing upon its bologna and braunschweiger heritage to fashion a one-of-a-kind cylindrical body poised on fiberglass fenders suggestive of a bun. With its sprightly upward tilt at the rear, one needn't be a Freudian psychologist to detect the raw potency and animal magnetism of the unique shape.
Equally fine are the details. The Oscar Mayer logo is well integrated in the cylindrical shape on each flank, and, while some might claim the logo is too large, there's no escaping its pure statement: This car's a wiener. The taillights, ingeniously pulled from a mid-'60s Ford product, and the stunning three-tone paint treatment with the yellow suggesting mustard are masterfully done. It's obvious Lincoln will never run a television ad about a Wienermobile owner having difficulty differentiating his car in a crowded parking lot.