"Weinermobile" Celebrates 70th Birthday

The Wienermobile turns 70 this year.

Oscar Mayer created it in 1936 to transfer the company spokesperson from store to store.

The original was a 13-foot-long metal hot dog on wheels with an open cockpit in the center and rear, so the hotdogger could pop up. Hog dog whistles were given out starting in 1951, and many people still show up at Wienermobile events looking for the whistles.

But the Madison-based company's signature vehicle has evolved with the times. It's now 27 feet long and boasts a global positioning system navigation system, six mustard- and ketchup-colored seats and a V-8 engine.

There are actually are six Wienermobiles. Two hotdoggers are assigned to each, traveling to promotional events.

Oscar Mayer recruits at college campuses, looking for outgoing, independent, trustworthy graduating seniors willing to spend a year inside an oversized hot dog.

The company's mobile marketing manager, Ed Roland, says more than a thousand people apply each year.

But he says only twelve lucky ones "cut the mustard."