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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Ridiculously Cool Rides

If it weren’t for ridiculous cars there would be far less cars worth wanting. It would be easy to fritter our lives away worrying about what’s going to happen when the oil runs out or the icecaps dissolve or if we should adopt another polar bear but there's nothing wrong with opting to drive a new Chevrolet Camaro SS over new a Chevy Volt. Today, here's to choosing the Camaro, and to a few of the other automobiles out there that exist purely for fun. 

Bugatti Veyron 

$1,700,000. Don’t bother trying to spend more for a car because the Bugatti Veyron is by far the most expensive street legal car on the market today. Appropriately then, it’s also the fastest accelerating with a 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds and the second fastest top speed of 253mph, second only to the SSC Ultimate Aero, which stickers for a measly $550,000. The Veyron’s brag worthy $2 million price tag comes with a few other ridiculous numbers, such as a V16, four turbochargers, 987 horsepower, and a total of 10 Radiators: 

- 3 radiators for the engine cooling system
- 1 heat exchanger for the air-to-liquid intercoolers
- 2 for the air conditioning system.
- 1 transmission oil radiator
- 1 differential oil radiator.
- 1 engine oil radiator.
- 1 hydraulic oil radiator for the spoiler

That’s 10! Ten radiators! 

Ridiculous Fact: The Veyron uses Michelin run-flat tires designed specifically for the Veyron to handle its top speed - they cost $25,000 per set. (1,2)

Willys-Overland Jeep CJ2A

The military version of this little patriot helped us fend off the Japanese, the Germans and the Italians during World War II, and ushered in the boat cars of the 50’s and America’s deep seeded love affair with the automobile. My family used to own one and we cherished it, but pure and simple this thing is a death trap. 

There’s no roll bar or real body to speak of, the gas tank is bolted to the floor boards underneath the driver’s seat, and if you’re not afraid to risk blowing out the engine she’s rated to do a righteous 55mph. 

Actually, on one occasion I had the speedometer on ours bouncing up to 65mph with the windshield down to reduce drag while drafting a box truck down a curving hill. I had to hang my upper body out the left side to get more leverage on the massive steering wheel during the left turns and better distribute the weight so it wouldn't flip into an imminent death roll. And that wasn’t nearly the stupidest thing we ever did in it. Willy’s Jeeps encourage questionable endeavors, often times ridiculous ones. 

Ridiculous Fact: If you wrap an old CJ2A Willy’s in burlap or heavy canvas and tie it off at the top, it floats. You can paddle it about like a boat. Seriously, look it up*.

*Just because it’s worked before doesn’t mean it will every time. 

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile 

First created in 1936 to promote Oscar Mayer’s products at grocery stores across the Midwest, the Wienermobile has now been on tour since 1986 and travels as far as Canada, Japan and Spain. In 1995 the giant simulation hot dog was redesigned to roll into the future on a Chevrolet W4 Series chassis, powered by a 6.0 liter Chevrolet Vortec 5700 V-8. 

Today, there’s now an entire fleet of modern Wienermobiles. Each is 27 feet long, 11 feet high, weighs 10,500 pounds and is capable of speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour…I’m going to refrain from making a wiener joke here…maybe later. 

Special features include: 

-Removable bun roof
-Hot dog shaped instrument panel
-Seating for six in mustard and ketchup colored seats
-Mustard-splattered walkway
-GPS navigational system
-State-of-the-art audio center with wireless microphone system. 

Take a virtual tour of the Wienermobile here:

On the inside, the Wienermobile might look like a McDonald’s play structure, but not just anyone can hop behind the wheel; Oscar Mayer packs the vehicle full of their specially trained “Hotdoggers” and sets them loose all over the country and around the world to spread the good word about processed meat. And most likely glaze over the fact that the entire Wienermobile façade is blatantly marketing shady “beef product” to children.

“My hot dog has a first name, it’s D-I-A-B-E-T-E-S.” 

College kids who want to be a part of the program are encouraged to apply to “Hot Dog High” at Oscar Mayer headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. 

“At Hot Dog High, the work is fun, the meals are delicious and the subjects are always ‘meaty.’" – From Oscar Mayer’s strange and disturbing website. 

Successful graduates of the program are dubbed Hotdoggers and take the “Hotdogger oath,” and then, “hit the hot dog highway!” in their very own Wienermobile with a crew of fellow graduates. Take a look at the pictures documenting the trip online at the Oscar Mayer website, or don’t. It’s creepy. 

Ridiculous Fact: In 1988, Al Unser, Jr. took the Wienermobile for a test lap at the Indy 500. (3) 




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