Thursday, September 23, 2004
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Coming to Sea Gull Century
SALISBURY, MD---Six thousand bicycles and a giant hot dog. Some 100 miles of the Eastern Shore will get to see that image up close as the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile takes center stage during the 16th annual Sea Gull Century bicycle tour Saturday, October 9, at Salisbury University. For SU alumnus Erik Standon, the event will be a wish come true, literally. The avid bicycle repair hobbiest entered the Oscar Mayer Co.’s “Oh, I Wish…” contest on a whim after seeing a pop-up advertisement in his e-mail. The prompt required him to state what he would do with the Wienermobile if he wished for the vehicle for a day… and got it. His response: He would send it to the Sea Gull Century to promote bicycling. Oscar Mayer officials apparently liked his answer. Standon will be at SU with the Wienermobile from 6:30-8:30 a.m., offering last-minute repairs and tune-ups for the bicycles preparing to make the 100-mile (or 100-kilometer) ride. He later will offer the same services as he and the Wienermobile drive through Delmarva to the ride’s farthest point, Assateague National Seashore, where the vehicle will be stationed from 9:30 a.m. until all bicyclists have passed. Oscar Mayer is providing Standon with $5,000 in tools and bicycle parts for the endeavor. The Century is Wicomico County’s largest one-day tourism event, bringing together riders from some 35 states each year. Bicycling magazine has named the event one of the top 10 century rides in America. The community is invited to view the Wienermobile at both SU and Assateague. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. ------------------------- Wienermobile Facts In 1936, Karl G. Mayer, nephew of the Oscar Mayer Co.’s founder, had the idea of introducing a 13-foot-long hot dog on wheels as a publicity gimmick. Soon, the first Wienermobile was seen driving through the streets of Chicago, promoting Oscar Mayer German-Style Wieners. The current eighth-generation Wienermobile features a hot dog-shaped instrument panel, GPS navigational system, seating for six in mustard- and ketchup-colored seats, an exterior rearview camera, a gull-wing door, a mustard-splattered walkway, a removable “bun roof” and blue sky ceiling art. Plus the horn plays the first 12 notes of the Oscar Mayer wiener jingle! The Wienermobile travels an average of 1,000 miles each week—50,000 per year! The 2004 Wienermobile is built on a Chevrolet W4 Series chassis with a V-8, 6.0-liter, 350-vortec 5700 engine; anti-lock brake systems and a 32.1-gallon fuel tank. Wienermobile drivers are called “Hotdoggers.” Consisting mainly of recent college graduates, Hotdoggers hand out thousands of “Wienerwhistles” (whistles shaped like the Wienermobile) to children across America each year as goodwill ambassadors for Oscar Mayer products. Each Hotdogger must undergo training at “Hot Dog High” at the company’s headquarters in Madison, WI, before ever setting foot in one of the traveling wieners. The Wienermobile has appeared in two movies: Ladybugs, starring Rodney Dangerfield and Another You with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. According to Oscar Mayer, the Wienermobile weighs the same as exactly 1 million hot dogs!