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The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Updated on November 25, 2014

Have you seen the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile?

Seeing the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is a once in a lifetime thing. Okay, maybe a twice in a lifetime thing. We all remember the Oscar Mayer jingle, we've sung the song, and we've imagined the Wienermobile. But seeing it in person is a thrill. We got to see the Wienermobile this past spring. Maybe you have seen it too! The Wienermobile is America's most easily recognized promotional vehicle! There are six full size and one mini Wienermobiles in service, driving across country to promote Oscar Mayer and spread miles of smiles. Each of the vehicles has its own hot dog name and so do the drivers. They are driven by recent college graduates, dubbed "hotdoggers." The Wienermobile makes stops throughout the country and the hotdoggers hand out whistles and smiles for everyone. If you happen to "ketchup" with the giant hot dog, be sure to bring your camera!

Have You Seen It?

Have you ever seen the Wienermobile?

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History of the Wienermobile - (Pictured is the first hot dog shaped truck from 1936)

The first "Wienermobile" was originally the "wiener wagon" of the 1920s. It drove around Chicago with a German band to advertise meat products made by Oscar S. Mayer. In 1936 the nephew of Oscar Mayer, invented the first hot dog shaped vehicle. It had a 13 foot long hot dog body with an open cockpit for the driver on the front and the back. The first Wienermobile was driven by eight different small men who portrayed "Little Oscar," the world's smallest chef. The most famous driver was Meinhardt Raabe, who played a Munchkin in ''The Wizard of Oz.'' This wienermobile drove around the Windy City promoting the Oscar Mayer brand until World War II. In the 1940s, the Wienermobile ended its driving time to conserve gas for the war effort.

photo credit

The next Generation of Wienermobiles - (Pictured is the 1952 design in the Henry Ford Museum)

In 1952, the Wienermobile was revived. There was a fleet of 5 of them. The 1952 version is on permanent display in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. In 1958, Brooks Stephens, an industrial designer came up with a new design that was considerably larger than the original 1936 model. It now included a bun at the base of the hot dog. The futuristic vehicle was now 27 feet long with the signature bubble cockpit and a sunroof. The Wienermobile now traveled cross-country to promote the famous hot dogs. In 1977, the Wienermobile was discontinued as an advertising campaign due again in part to fuel woes.

photo credit gruntzooki

Get your Wienermobile Memorabilia!

Hot Wheels OSCAR MAYER WIENERMOBILE #204 Rare Collector Scale 1/64 Collector
Hot Wheels OSCAR MAYER WIENERMOBILE #204 Rare Collector Scale 1/64 Collector

Who can resist their very own Wienermobile? Get this version from Hot Wheels! Great for kids and collectors alike!

 
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Olympic Bank
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Olympic Bank

Save your money to buy another Wienermobile!

 

The Wienermobile through the years

I was shocked to find that one of my friends from church was actually a hotdogger!

The Wienermobile makes a comeback in 1986 - (Pictured is the current Wienermobile)

The Wienermobile was brought back to celebrate the 50th year anniversary in 1986. People loved it so much, it continues to this day. In 1988, the Hot Wheels toys designer Harry Bradley Bently redesigned the fiberglass hotdog on a GMC truck chassis. Also in 1988, Oscar Mayer started its Hotdogger Program. Hotdoggers are recent college graduates who spend a year driving the Wienermobile cross country. Although the regular Wienermobile is 27 feet long, there is a smaller version out there today built from a Mini Cooper. Cocktail wienies anyone? The modern Wienermobile is high tech, equipped with bucket seats, big screened tvs and recordings of 21 versions of the Oscar Mayer Wiener Song. Each of the six Wienermobiles is dedicated to one area of the country. Hopefully one will be coming your way soon!

(original photo)

Full size and cocktail size!

Full size and cocktail size!
Full size and cocktail size!

The Mini Wienermobile! - A 1988 Addition to the Wienermobile family

This is the newest Wienermobile. It was made in 1988. There is only one of these in the fleet. I've never seen this one. Maybe someday....

photo credit Oscar Mayer (also for polaroid photo above)

What's a Hotdogger?

Each wienermobile is driven by a team of hotdoggers. These are recent college graduates who spend a year driving cross country promoting Oscar Mayer products. The job is very competitive! Over 1,000 people apply each year, but only 12 are chosen. Hotdoggers attend a 2 week boot camp called Hot Dog High where they learn to drive the 27 foot fiberglass hot dog, learn the history of the Oscar Mayer company, and bone up on hotdog puns like "Have a bun-derful day." A typical day for a hotdogger might include an early morning appearance on a local tv station and then one or two "meet and greet" stops at supermarkets, country fairs, sporting events or other special events. Hotdoggers are recruited every January on college campuses. Hotdoggers have to have "an appetite for adventure, an outgoing personality, and boundless enthusiasm" according to the Oscar Mayer website. They get to spread goodwill as ambassadors for Oscar Mayer as they tour the country. And you have to admit, they get a really cool ride!

photo credit hotdoggers blog

Get the story from a real hotdogger!

Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

The story of one guy's year long ride in the Wienermobile.

 

Could you cut the Mustard as a hotdogger?

Would you like to be a hotdogger for a year?

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Pictures from our Wienermobile sighting

Click thumbnail to view full-size
It is glorious up close!It was fun to see all the versions of the WienermobileKids and hot dogs!Our Wienerful family portrait
It is glorious up close!
It is glorious up close!
It was fun to see all the versions of the Wienermobile
It was fun to see all the versions of the Wienermobile
Kids and hot dogs!
Kids and hot dogs!
Our Wienerful family portrait
Our Wienerful family portrait

Wienermobile Trivia - Dazzle your friends with these Frank-tastic Facts

  1. The Wienermobile has appeared in 2 movies: "Ladybugs" with Rodney Dangerfield and "Another You" with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.
  2. The Wienermobile has clouds painted on the ceiling.
  3. The Wienermobile was featured in an episode of "The Simpsons."
  4. The Wienermobile's horn plays the Wiener jingle.
  5. 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan was a former Hotdogger and drove the Wienermobile.
  6. The Wienermobile has been around for 77 years.
  7. The Wienermobile has a hot dog shaped dashboard.
  8. In 1988, Al Usner took the Wienermobile for a test lap at the Indy 500.
  9. The Wienermobile is 27 feet long and 11 feet high.
  10. The Wienermobile has also toured Canada, Japan, and Spain.

It doesn’t matter how much it rains, sleets or snows, the skies in the Wienermobile are always blue.

What do you think of the Wienermobile?

Well, what do you think? I think the Wienermobile is pretty awesome. But as I was writing this lens, my daughter said that it is just silly. Awesome? or Silly? What is your vote?

Well?

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Have a bun-derful day!

Frank you very much for visiting my Wienermobile lens - What do you think of it?

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    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 

      3 years ago from USA

      I remember it well, and so glad you made this article about it. I thought it was just "fun", even though I am not a hot dog eater.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      3 years ago from Chicago

      That weinermoble visited my grammar school one day. It was amazing. The drivers gave us Oscar Meyer Wiener hot dogs. It was lots of fun then. Thanks for sharing. Btw, no adult content here...

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always get excited when I see the weinermobile, it must stem from childhood experiences and commercials, I seems like such an honor to be able to see it.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always get excited when I see the weinermobile, it must stem from childhood experiences and commercials, I seems like such an honor to be able to see it.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always get excited when I see the weinermobile, it must stem from childhood experiences and commercials, I seems like such an honor to be able to see it.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always get excited when I see the weinermobile, it must stem from childhood experiences and commercials, I seems like such an honor to be able to see it.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I always get excited when I see the weinermobile, it must stem from childhood experiences and commercials, I seems like such an honor to be able to see it.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 

      5 years ago

      I loved your lens. My friends and I use to sing that song all the time when we were very young. We would have loved to have seen one.

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting Lens, i fell the need to eat a hot dog now:)

    • johnny-knox profile image

      johnny-knox 

      5 years ago

      I didn't know about the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile .. amazing promotion idea and so vintage!

    • johnny-knox profile image

      johnny-knox 

      5 years ago

      I didn't know about the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile .. amazing promotion idea and so vintage!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      What a fun tribute lens! I worked with a "hotdogger" once. I wish I were one back in the day. I didn't know about the mini version...very cute.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 

      5 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      I saw the wienermobile as a child and loved it. So glad to know it is still around. Thanks for triggering the memory.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I've seen the Wienermobile at some point in the past, but it has been quite a few years - it was fun to read about all of the trivia.

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 

      5 years ago

      nice lens...beautiful; thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      NewUsedCarsSacramento 

      5 years ago

      Wow, that is one strange car...

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Lots of hot diggety dog fun!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 

      5 years ago

      I'd love to see one of these!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for doing this!!!!! It's about time someone here did the history of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile :) he he :)

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      A sentimental trip back in time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      A very fun lens. Nice work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      nice lens

    • blessedmomto7 profile imageAUTHOR

      blessedmomto7 

      5 years ago

      @knitstricken: Frank you right back! Have a bun-derful day!

    • blessedmomto7 profile imageAUTHOR

      blessedmomto7 

      5 years ago

      @Annamadagan: Me too!

    • blessedmomto7 profile imageAUTHOR

      blessedmomto7 

      5 years ago

      @JoyfulPamela2: Thanks. We had a fun time too. Here's hoping it comes back around sometime!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 

      5 years ago

      Nice lens! I like hotdogs.

    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 

      5 years ago

      Hot diggity dog! Frankly, this is one wiener-ful lens! :-D

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      nice lens

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What a fun lens! We enjoyed eating hot dogs with your family when the mobile came to town. :)

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