From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, seen in its "All Beef Beef Frank Frankmobile" variation, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2023
The 1952 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at the 2005 North American International Auto Show
An Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 2022

A fleet of motor vehicles shaped like a hot dog on a bun, called "Wienermobile", are used to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products in the United States. The first Wienermobile was created by Oscar Mayer's nephew, Carl G. Mayer, in 1936.[1]


The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has evolved from Carl Mayer's original 1936 vehicle[1] to the vehicles seen on the road today. Although that first Wienermobile was scrapped for metal in the 1940s to aid the US Army during World War II,[2] Oscar Mayer and the Gerstenslager Company created several new vehicles using a Dodge chassis or a Willys Jeep chassis in the 1950s. The 1952 model is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. These Wienermobiles were piloted by "Little Oscar" (portrayed by George Molchan) who would visit stores, schools, orphanages, and children's hospitals and participate in parades and festivals.[citation needed]

In 1969, new Wienermobiles were built on a Chevrolet motor home chassis and featured Ford Thunderbird taillights. The 1969 vehicle was the first Wienermobile to travel outside the United States.[citation needed]

In 1976, Plastic Products, Inc., built a fiberglass and styrofoam model, again on a Chevrolet motor home chassis.[citation needed]

In 1988, Oscar Mayer had a fleet of six Wienermobiles built by noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens using converted Chevrolet van chassis.[citation needed]

In 1995, a new version increased the size of the Wienermobile to a length of 27 feet (8.2 m) and a height of 11 feet (3.4 m).[3] This version also included the upgraded large parallelogram windows which could now open, as designed by Sheldon Theis.[citation needed]

In 2004, the Wienermobile included a voice-activated GPS navigation device, an audio center with a wireless microphone, a horn that plays the Wiener Jingle (in 21 different genres from Cajun to Rap to Bossa Nova), according to American Eats,[clarification needed] and sports fourth generation Pontiac Firebird taillights.[citation needed]

Following mechanical problems with the Isuzu Elf, Oscar Mayer decided to adopt a larger chassis to accommodate an increase in the size of the signature wiener running through the middle. While the Wienermobile was not as long as the 1995 version, it was considerably wider and taller. Craftsmen Industries went through numerous overhauls of the truck including a flipped axle and a leveling kit. This version held a record for numerous suspension problems, most leading to the chassis not being able to hold the large weight of the Oscar Mayer Wiener.[citation needed]

In 2004, Oscar Mayer announced a contest whereby customers could win the right to use the Wienermobile for a day. Within a month, the contest had generated over 15,000 entries.[citation needed]

In June 2017, the company introduced several new hot-dog-themed vehicles, including the WienerCycle, WienerRover, and WienerDrone.[4]

In May 2023, Oscar Mayer announced that it was renaming the Wienermobile to the Frankmobile, to promote a new recipe for its all-beef franks. It was suggested that the name change would not be permanent.[5][6] The name was changed back in September 2023. [7]

Year Manufacturer/Builder Chassis Engine
1936 General Body Company – Chicago, Illinois Purpose-built chassis N/A
1952 Gerstenslager – Wooster, Ohio Dodge chassis N/A
1958 Brooks Stevens Willys Jeep chassis N/A
1969 Oscar Mayer – Madison, Wisconsin Chevrolet chassis with Ford Thunderbird taillights V6 engine
1975 Plastics Products – Milwaukee, Wisconsin fibreglass/styrofoam replica of 1969 V6 engine
1988 Stevens Automotive Corporation – Milwaukee, Wisconsin Chevrolet van chassis with Ford Thunderbird taillights V6 engine
1995 Harry Bentley Bradley for Carlin Manufacturing – Fresno, California Purpose-built chassis with Pontiac Grand Am headlights, Pontiac Trans Am taillights N/A
2000 Craftsmen Industries – St. Charles, Missouri GMC W-series chassis 5700 Vortec V8
2001 Craftsmen Industries - San Antonio, Texas RAM 1500-series chassis, flipped axle 5.2L Magnum V8
2004 Prototype Source – Santa Barbara, California GMC W-series chassis with Pontiac Firebird taillights 6.0L 300–6000 Vortec V8
2008 ("mini" version) Prototype Source – Santa Barbara, California MINI Cooper S Hardtop 1.6L Supercharged I-4

Source: Oscar Mayer[8]

Wienermobile drivers[edit]

Six Wienermobiles operate throughout the United States.[9] [10] [11]

The driver of a Wienermobile is called The Hotdogger. The Hotdogger job is to "meat" and greet people around the country.[12] The duties of a Hotdogger include:

"...sharing photos and videos on social media, answering questions about the brand and the vehicle (the most frequently asked question is if there’s a bathroom in the back, to which they respond: 'No, it's not a Weenie-bago'), and distributing swag."[9]

Only college seniors who are about to graduate are eligible to be Hotdoggers. Applicants should be getting their BA or BS, preferably in public relations, journalism, communications, advertising, or marketing.[13] A Hotdogger's assignment is for only one year. Recruiting for each year's new Hotdogger cadre involves current Hotdoggers and Oscar Mayer recruiters visiting college campuses across the country. In 2018, 7,000 people applied to be Hotdoggers. As each Wienermobile carries two Hotdoggers, only 12 Hotdoggers are selected each year.[9] Notable Hotdoggers include former US House Speaker Paul Ryan.[14]


Toys and scale replicas of the Wienermobile have been made over the years, with Hot Wheels issuing die-cast versions of the vehicle.[citation needed]

Notable incidents[edit]

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Omaha, Nebraska, in August 2006

In June 2007, a Wienermobile with the Wisconsin license plate of YUMMY made headlines after being stopped by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer for having an allegedly stolen license plate. Officer K. Lankow had observed the Wienermobile slowing traffic and checked the license plate to determine if the vehicle was street legal. The license plate came back as being stolen out of Columbia, Missouri,[15] so the officer stopped the Wienermobile and detained the driver. Oscar Mayer had not notified police that they had obtained a duplicate replacement plate after the previous one was stolen, and that it should be considered stolen only if not on a Wienermobile. The Wienermobile was released soon after the error was discovered.[16][17][18]

On July 17, 2009, a Wienermobile on a cul-de-sac in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, was attempting to turn around in a residential driveway. The driver, thinking the vehicle was in reverse, accelerated forward, lodging the Wienermobile under a house and destroying the house's deck.[19]

On January 26, 2020, a Wienermobile was pulled over by a Waukesha, Wisconsin, sheriff's deputy for violating the Move Over Law, which requires motorists to switch lanes to pass an emergency vehicle with its warning lights on. The driver was issued a warning.[20]

In February 2023, during the Super Bowl LVII weekend, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Las Vegas had its catalytic converter stolen.[21] PETA offered to pay for the replacement part and maintenance for one year if Oscar Mayer converted the vehicle to a vegan hot dog mobile.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "1936 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile". Archived from the original on 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  2. ^ Berg, Bailey (2020-10-20). "Six Enormous Hot-Dog-Shaped Vehicles Travel America, Spreading Only Brand Awareness and Joy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  3. ^ "This Car Is One to Relish". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 70. Ziff Davis. May 1995. p. 136.
  4. ^ "Oscar Mayer Adds New Vehicles, Drone to WienerFleet". NBC 10 Philadelphia. Archived from the original on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  5. ^ Valinsky, Jordan (17 May 2023). "Oscar Mayer's Wienermobile is getting a new name | CNN Business". CNN. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Oscar Mayer Is Changing the Name of the Wienermobile". Jalopnik. 17 May 2023. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  7. ^ Archived 2023-10-07 at the Wayback Machine [
  8. ^ Cruising in Time (web archive)
  9. ^ a b c Berg, Bailey (October 20, 2020). "Six Enormous Hot-Dog-Shaped Vehicles Travel America, Spreading Only Brand Awareness and Joy". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2020-11-01. Retrieved 2020-10-20. A pandemic cannot stop either marketing or human emotions
  10. ^ "Looking For The Wienermobile?". Oscar Mayer. Archived from the original on October 15, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  11. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About The Wienermobile..." 103.3 WKFR. May 20, 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  12. ^ Noennig, Jordyn (January 6, 2020). "Want to get paid to travel? Oscar Mayer is looking for 12 people to drive the Wienermobile cross country". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-10-20. If you've ever dreamed of seeing the country through the windshield of a 27-foot hot dog on wheels, this might be your #dreamjob.
  13. ^ "Be A Hotdogger - Recruitment Brochure for Wienermobile Spokesperson - Hotdogger - Official Job Description Handout" (PDF). Oscar Mayer. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  14. ^ "Hot dog! The Wienermobile is back after short-lived name change". AP News. 2023-09-21. Archived from the original on 2023-10-07. Retrieved 2023-10-03.
  15. ^ "Cop pulls over Wienermobile as stolen!! « Dvorak News Blog". Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  16. ^ "Police officer stops Wienermobile". Archived from the original on 2023-03-05. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  17. ^ "All the Latest Frankfurter Developments". New York Times. June 29, 2007. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  18. ^ Cops ketchup with Wienermobile Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Oscar Mayer Wienermobile loses control, crashes into Racine home". July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  20. ^ Koran, Mario (29 January 2020). "World's wurst driver: Oscar Mayer Wienermobile gets frank warning from officer". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  21. ^ Clayton, Abené (February 14, 2023). "Wienermobile in a pickle after falling victim to catalytic converter thieves". the Guardian. Archived from the original on February 28, 2023. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  22. ^ Pritchett, Elizabeth (February 17, 2023). "PETA offers to pay for Oscar Mayer Wienermobile's stolen catalytic converter if it becomes vegan mobile". Fox News. Archived from the original on February 17, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.

External links[edit]