Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drive: Car Reviews - Wienermobile

On the "Drive: Car Review" podcast, reporter Tom Voelk reviews today's newest and hottest wheels. So it was only a matter of time before he got around to the Wienermobile.

Here is the website for the podcast:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wienermobile Bread Clips

Nothing beats functionality when it comes to a collectible. And it looks like the Wienermobile can help you keep your bread from getting stale. I stumbled across these bread clips on Amazon the other day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Pfizer Revolution Mobile

The Pfizer Revolution Mobile is unique because it's not in the shape of the product it is promoting but rather in the shape of those that benefit from the product. I'm not sure what the actual "Revolution" medication looks like but it's probably not nearly as visually interesting as the dog & cat combo.

This is another work of art from Prototype Source:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Zippo Car Pictures

One of the earliest product mobiles was the Zippo Car from 1947. In 1998 Zippo decided to recreate the car and take it on tour.

Here are some pictures of the second Zippo Car.

These images are courtesy of Paul Perkins of Asheville, NC and you can see more on his website.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

LA Times Article About Prototype Source

Prototype Source is a company based in California that has created some of the most famous promotional vehicles on the road like the Hershey's Kissmobile, the Kellogg's Tonymobile and the Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Mobile.

Here is an article about the company from the L.A. Times:

Here is their website:

Hopefully coming soon: An interview with Bruce Brackman from the Prototype Source!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vintage Pic of the Westin's Cider Van

This is a vintage picture of the Westin's Cider Van. I know almost nothing about it (or Westin's Cider for that matter) so if anyone has any information about it please let us know.

The picture was sent to us from James Hale who we interviewed awhile back about his book : "The Wonderful Wacky World of MarketingMobiles – Promotional Vehicles of the World”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ronald McDonald Shoe Car

Not your typical product mobile, the Ronald McDonald Shoe Car is a regular at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (usually alongside the Planter's Nut Mobile).

This picture is courtesy of

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tom Hanks Commandeers the Wienermobile

Tom Hanks recently commandeered the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile while promoting his new movie. Here is some video of it from

This was also to promote Oscar Mayer's donation of 20,000 pounds of hot dogs to Feeding America. You can see the picture of Hanks inside the Wienermobile on the Hotdogger blog:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eckrich Fun House

Here are some images of the Eckrich Fun House. It had a brief run several years ago and traveled the country cooking up sausages at its various stops.

These images are screen grabs from promotional footage sent to me by Marketing Werks.

Below is an image of an in-store display made by United Packaging:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

SpamMobile Matchbox Toy Car

Here's a look at a SpamMobile Matchbox toy car.

They have them for sale HERE on Spam's website.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

RM Magazine Article

This is an article from the July '06 issue of RM Magazine published by RM Auctions. It contains a better image of the V-8 Roadster, which seems to be more well known than I had thought:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Interview with Author James Hale

“The Wonderful Wacky World of MarketingMobiles – Promotional Vehicles of the World” published by Veloce Publishing is an entertaining, colorful and informative insight to some of the most unusual and obscure product promoting vehicles from around the globe.

Author James Hale is known as the world’s leading authority on dune buggies and has been photographing and writing about unusual vehicles for more than 20 years. The English author spoke to us regarding his work chronicling product mobiles for the book.

Fast Food: How did the idea for "The Wonderful Wacky World of Marketingmobiles" come about?

James Hale: Veloce produces a variety of imprints, and…they had an idea that a book on Marketingmobiles was possible, but didn’t know where to start on it, or who should write it. I had already come across many examples of promotional vehicles during my career, and had seen the Outspan orange car, and a beer-bottle lorry, at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire, England, when the museum first opened in its current building in the mid 1970s.

I loved the idea of using a vehicle shaped liked the product it was advertising to sell something, and agreed to research the subject to see if it was possible to even collect enough material to put together a book on the subject. Only when I was sure that I could do justice to the subject did I agree to accept the book contract.

FF: How did you research all the different vehicles in the book?

Hale: This was the hard part, as I was not aware of any other published books on the subject when I started my research. I began by trawling through photographic archives worldwide to see what I could find, and to follow up leads whenever they presented themselves. Through contacts at the Society of Automotive Historians (of which I’m a member) I came across the book ‘Special Use Vehicles’ by George W Green which contained some very useful information on productmobiles. I got in touch with George, and he generously helped me with contacts and some photographs.

In the meantime, I had also sourced many obscure images of historical vehicles from a really wide variety of sources including newspapers, private collections, and manufacturer’s archives. It really was a case of perseverance to find information. Inevitably, as soon as the book was published, more came to light. I still continue to collect these images and further information, just in case I need to revise the book some day.

FF: What surprised you the most during your research?

Hale: The most surprising thing all the way through was how little information about these vehicles had been documented over time. It would have been great to give more detailed backgrounds to the development of some of the vehicles, but usually this just didn’t exist. As with all unusual book projects – and I’ve worked on a few now – the other thing that struck me was how helpful some people can be when I approached them with what must have sounded like strange requests for pictures and images of long-forgotten vehicles.

Special thanks go to Tom Torrans who helped me with the images of the Sperry Chicken Dinner vehicles. These were rare pictures that Tom sent across the Atlantic for me to copy, and he didn’t know me from Adam! I’m delighted to say, we’ve kept in touch since – that’s the beauty of these types of project. The Motoring Picture Library at Beaulieu also helped enormously, and Margaret Rowles of their press team not only allowed me to have the Outspan orange car photographed with myself for the publicity pictures, but arranged the book launch at the Museum too.

FF: Do you have any favorites?

Hale: There are so many really unusual vehicles that it is hard to single any out. However, purely because it was the Marketingmobile that started this project, I’d have to say the Outspan orange car is a favourite. It’s also the only one I’ve been privileged enough to have a ride in. As I can say now, I’m one of the few people in Britain to have been squeezed into an orange.

FF: What reactions has the book gotten since being published?

Hale: It’s been quite mixed. The motoring press in the UK were really enthusiastic about the book’s launch in 2005, and it got a lot of coverage in magazines and newspapers at that time – mainly from the journalists who attended the book launch at Beaulieu. A lot of classic car magazines also picked up on the novelty of the book. Even a quality British newspaper ran a major feature on the book and the vehicles involved.

Since then, there has been less follow-up than I would have expected. One of the things that I’m still discussing is a Marketingmobile exhibition at Beaulieu. If that happens it might create a second wave of interest. Currently, there will probably not be a second volume, even though I still collect the information out of personal interest.

“The Wonderful Wacky World of MarketingMobiles – Promotional Vehicles of the World” is available from Veloce Publishing:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vintage Product Mobile Article From 1976

This is an article from the September-October 1976 issue of "Special Interest Autos" magazine (issue # 36).

It features some great pictures of vintage productmobiles, some of which I had never heard of, like the V-8 Roadster, the Chicken Wagon (which oddly enough is promoting a "Chicken Dinner Candy Bar") and the U.S. Navy's Seabee."

It looks like the article's author, Ray Scroggins, may have been the first person to coin the phrase "productmobiles."

"Special Interest Autos" was published by Hemmings Motor News: