St. Joseph resident Melissa Grams and her son, Mason, 11, smile as they take a picture with the Wienermobile Aug. 30 in St. Joseph.
The Wienermobile has six mustard-and-ketchup colored seats. The first Wienermobile was designed in 1936.
A display board chronicles the history of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. The vehicle stopped in St. Joseph Aug. 30.
There are a total of six Wienermobiles in the United States. Each has its own name. “Our Dog” was in St. Joseph Aug. 30.
by TaLeiza Calloway
It stands 11-feet high or the equivalent of 24 hot-dogs high. It is 27-feet long and 8-feet wide.
Its colors are orange and yellow and if one saw it, he or she might have the urge to eat a hot dog. All that would be missing is the ketchup and mustard, right? Wrong. Its seats are the colors of ketchup and mustard with a hot-dog-shaped dashboard. It’s the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and it stopped in the city of St. Joseph recently during a Midwest tour.
There are a total of six Wienermobiles in the United States, and 12 people are trained to drive them, Hot-Dogger Jackie Calder said. About 1,200 applied for the post. Since the inception of “Hot Doggers” in 1988, more than 350 college graduates have held the position, according to company data.
Calder, whose Hot-Dogger name is “Pepper Jackie Cheese,” manned the Wienermobile Aug. 30 near the Coborn’s grocery store in St. Joseph. Customers had the chance to take pictures with the vehicle, get an electronic postcard of the image sent to them and enter a contest to win the Wienermobile for one day.
St. Joseph resident Melissa Grams and her son, Mason, 11, were excited to see the Wienermobile. They were among the many customers who took a picture in front of it. For being good sports, they also got a Wienerwhistle, a toy that was developed in 1952.
Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, designed the first Wienermobile vehicle in 1936. The 1952 model is in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Calder explained that different vehicle models have been used throughout the years, including a mini-Cooper in 2008. The 2012 model is a converted Chevrolet four-speed/W4 series chassis.
Calder is a recent graduate of Penn State University. The 22-year-old loves the diverse people she is able to meet while working. She has already seen 12 U.S. states as a result.
“Everyone is always really excited to see it,” she said. “What’s really cool is when a grandmother brings her grandchildren and shows them the car they remember seeing when they were a kid.”
The contest will run until December. For more information, visit www.oscarmayer.com.