Meet Carpool DeVille, The Hot Tub-Car Hybrid Of Your Dreams
Admit it: You've always wanted to go cruising down the highway while chillin' in a hot tub. Well, now you can. Meet the Carpool DeVille, a hot tub-car hybrid built with a 1969 Cadillac Coup DeVille and fit with a fully functioning hot tub. If you think that this sounds like a crazy idea born out of the drunken haze of two college dudes at a kegger, well, you're right. But what started out as a novel campus attraction nearly 20 years ago has now set its sights on attaining a world title at the Bonneville Salt Flats' SCTA race course for Speed Week 2014 in August.
Duncan Forster and Phil Weicker, the two guys who came up with the idea, took to Kickstarter to fund their mission. They met their $10,000 goal with an extra $1,000 and change. The funding will go towards expenses associated with bringing the hot tub on wheels to the Bonneville Salt Flats, which is known for two things: being a natural wonder with its expansive salt pan and allowing anything on wheels (think motorized bar stools and toilets) to race on its course. The latter is the impetus for the Caprool DeVille's trip there.
If the Carpool DeVille succeeds in entering the race, then the mission is pretty much complete. Forster and Weicker are hoping that their brainchild will set the land speed record for "World's Fastest Hot Tub." I'm going to venture to guess that nobody currently holds the title, so all they have to do is compete. It's an ambitious mission nonetheless, and one that's surprisingly steeped in history.
It Was Inspired by an Ernest Hemingway Quote
According to the Kickstarter page, the Carpool legacy "started in 1996 with an abandoned car, a keg of beer, and a quote from Ernest Hemingway: 'Always do sober what you say you’d do drunk, that’s the only way you’ll learn.'"
The Carpool DeVille is further proof that some of the best ideas are formed when intoxicated.
There Have Been More Than One Carpools
The first hot tub on wheels, known as just the Carpool, was made from a 1982 Chevy Malibu that was abandoned at a student house. Thinking like the engineer students that they were, Forster and Weicker went to town on the car and decided to combine America's two favorite things: driving and sitting submerged in hot water. The Carpool became a university fixture, making appearances at parties and homecoming. Just remember: This was way before Hot Tub Time Machine.
The Project Saw Years of Struggle, but Survived
Forster and Weicker's mission to win the "World's Fastest Hot Tub" title started over 10 years ago. After appearing as a prize exhibit at the 2001 Canadian International Auto Show, Forster and Weicker accepted a challenge from the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) to enter their baby in the Bonneville Salt Flats race. However, the next few years saw the deterioration of the original Carpool and several failed attempts to build a new one. But the duo never gave up.
"Yes, it certainly is ridiculous that people would hang on to a ridiculous idea like this for so long, but it just would not go away," Weicker told CBC News.
Hope was finally renewed in 2008 when the two engineers came across a 1969 Cadillac Coup DeVille. For the last six years, Forster and Weicker, with the help of others, have been working on the Carpool DeVille and getting it not only race-ready but up to par with the SCTA's strict safety requirements.
It's a Hot Tub in a Car: Enough Said
Let's just take a step back and remember that it's a fully functioning hot tub that can also take you through a Taco Bell drive-thru. What more could you possibly need in life? But let's look closer at the mechanics behind the vehicle, because they are pretty impressive.
The engine pulls double-duty, accelerating the car while heating the tub water to the desired 102 degrees. The trunk of the car has been converted into the tub's physical plant, housing the pool pump, the pool filter, and the overflow tank. And last but certainly not least: The hot tub has functioning jets to make the ride that much sweeter.
As Forster and Weicker put it on their Kickstarter page, "Nobody's ever gone a hundred miles an hour in an open-air self propelled hot tub while sitting neck deep in soothing warm water." Not gonna argue with you there. "We aim to correct that mistake of history this August." Here's hoping you take home the title in what should be the most relaxing race ever.
Images: Carpool DeVille/Kickstarter