Categories 4 Wheels

19 Bizarre Promotional Vehicles That Will Make You Do a Double Take

From the wacky to the whimsical, companies have long turned to eye-catching promotional vehicles to grab attention and build brand recognition. These rolling ambassadors of marketing genius range from the classic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to more outrageous designs like Hershey’s life-size Kissmobile and Hot Wheels’ mind-bending Twin Mill car.

Michelin Poids Lourde Rapide (PLR)

michelin poids lourde rapide
Facebook

The Michelin Poids Lourde Rapide (PLR), nicknamed the “Mille Pattes” or centipede, was a unique 10-wheeled test vehicle built by Michelin in 1972 based on a Citroën DS station wagon platform.

It had two Chevrolet V8 engines – one to power the vehicle and another to spin a test tire mounted in the center – allowing Michelin to evaluate truck tires at high speeds up to 110 mph. The PLR weighed over 21,000 lbs and stretched 24 feet long, with the test tire positioned between the front and rear axles surrounded by bodywork to contain debris.

Freixnet Champagne Car

cavas freinet champagne car
Pinterest

The Freixenet Cava Bottle Car was a unique promotional vehicle made for the 1929 Barcelona World Fair. It was designed in the shape of a giant Freixenet cava (Spanish sparkling wine) bottle to promote the Freixenet brand.

This eye-catching bottle-shaped car helped establish Freixenet as an iconic cava producer and pioneer in innovative advertising.

Cheeseburger Car

cheeseburger car westport flea market
Reddit

The Westport Flea Market in Kansas City has a unique “cheeseburger car” parked outside its establishment. This eye-catching vehicle was commissioned by the owner and designed to resemble an actual cheeseburger, complete with sesame seed buns and all the fixings.

The cheeseburger car serves as a quirky promotional vehicle for the Westport Flea Market, which is renowned for having “the best burger in Kansas City” according to numerous sources like The Food Network.

Skate-O-Mania Car

skate-o-mania car
Twitter

The Skate-O-Mania car is a unique promotional vehicle resembling a giant roller skate. It was purchased by Courtney Ballew, the owner of Skate-O-Mania roller rink in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was featured in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

This one-of-a-kind car, based on a classic vehicle chassis, was originally created in the 1970s and serves as an eye-catching advertisement for Ballew’s family-owned roller skating business, allowing him to cruise around town and attract attention.

Birdseye Pea Car

green pea car for birds eye
Asylum SFX

The Birdseye Pea Car was a custom-built vehicle designed to promote Birdseye’s frozen peas in a 2005 commercial. It was constructed by modifying a Volkswagen Microbus chassis, with a Honda motorcycle engine providing power and parts sourced from various other vehicles like a Lancia and Volkswagen Beetle.

The most distinctive feature was its bright green, pea-shaped fiberglass body that was intentionally designed to fall apart during the commercial’s filming, leaving only the chassis remaining at the end.

Butagaz Car

butagaz car outside building
Bonhams

The Butagaz cars were a group of promotional vehicles used as lead cars during the Tour de France cycling race to advertise Butagaz, a French propane and butane distributor. These quirky vehicles were based on the Simca 1000 model, with a distinctive rounded shape and bright orange color scheme featuring the Butagaz logo.

Despite their unconventional appearance, the Butagaz cars served the practical purpose of driving ahead of the cyclists on the Tour de France route to promote the brand.

Zippo Lighter Car

zippo promotional car
Zippo

The Zippo Car was a promotional vehicle created by Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell after World War II to capitalize on the popularity of Zippo lighters. It was designed to resemble an oversized Zippo lighter, with a distinctive chrome body and the iconic Zippo logo.

The Zippo Car toured across America, serving as a mobile advertisement and allowing Blaisdell to sell Zippo lighters directly from the vehicle itself.

Fastest Shed on Wheels

fast shed car for fundraiser
Wikipedia

Declared the “world’s fastest shed” and for a good reason, it has reached a speed of 114mph. The shed on wheels was created by Kevin Nicks as a way to raise money for the Katharine House Hospice in Britain.

The original build was based on a Volkswagen Passat 4Motion, including its 190 bhp engine. He would eventually add a nitrous oxide injection kit which increased the power to 265bhp. Eventually the car was fitted with a 400 bhp Audi RS4 engine and hydraulic suspension.

Cadbury Creme Egg Car

cadbury creme egg cars
Auto-Show / Facebook

Imagine cruising down the street in a giant, bright yellow egg on wheels – that’s the Cadbury Creme Egg car! Built on a van chassis, these quirky vehicles were transformed into egg-shaped marketing marvels with their glossy yolk-yellow exterior and Creme Egg branding.

A total of five fully road-legal Creme Egg cars were produced, drawing crowds of curious onlookers and chocoholics alike as they rolled up to promotional events. It was an ingenious way for Cadbury to get people craving their iconic Easter treat.

The Outspan Orange

outspan orange car
Autocar UK

The Outspan Orange was a promotional vehicle created to advertise Outspan, a South African citrus brand. It was essentially a Mini car modified to resemble a giant orange, complete with an orange peel exterior.

These quirky orange-shaped vehicles were used for marketing campaigns and events, becoming an iconic sight associated with the Outspan brand in the UK. While undoubtedly eye-catching, the Outspan Orange’s unconventional design made it prone to rolling over at speeds above 30mph.

Planters NUTmobile

planters nutmobile on the road
Planters

The Planters NUTmobile is a peanut-shaped vehicle created in 1935 to promote Planters Peanuts, even predating the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It is a 26-foot long vehicle that tours across the United States, driven by a team of “Peanutters” hired by Planters to spread brand awareness and hand out peanut samples.

Planters occasionally hired full-time Peanutters to drive the NUTmobile across the country for promotional events and appearances.

L.L. Bean Bootmobile

ll bean bootmobile by lake
L.L. Bean

The L.L.Bean Bootmobile is a 13-foot-high, 20-foot-long, road-ready replica of the iconic L.L.Bean Boot unveiled in 2012 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. It has a mission to surprise and delight, while inspiring more people to find joy in the outdoors, and the three Bootmobiles in the fleet have covered more than 350,000 miles, appearing at hundreds of events in 25 states, two countries, and dozens of college campuses.

Anheuser-Busch Bevo Car

budweisers bevo car
Hemmings

The Anheuser-Busch Bevo Car, also known as the “Bevo Boat,” was a promotional vehicle built by the Anheuser-Busch company in the 1920s and 1930s to advertise their non-alcoholic malt beverage called Bevo during the Prohibition era.

It was a boat-styled car built on automobile chassis, with around eight examples produced on chassis like Pierce-Arrow and Cadillac. The Bevo Car featured a nautical theme and was used for promotional purposes by Anheuser-Busch.

Lindt Chocolate Gold Bunny Car

lindt gold chocolate mini car
Brecht Bug / Flickr

The Lindt Chocolate Gold Bunny Car is a promotional vehicle made by Lindt to advertise their Gold Bunny chocolate during Easter. It is a Smart car wrapped in gold to resemble Lindt’s iconic Gold Bunny chocolate figurine. The Gold Bunny Car was first launched in 2014 as part of Lindt’s Easter holiday campaign.

Hershey’s Kissmobile

hersheys kissmobile car
Hershey

The Hershey’s Kissmobile was a unique promotional vehicle created in 1997, featuring three giant Hershey’s Kisses on top of a GMC truck chassis. It traveled across the United States to share joy, raise funds, and market Hershey’s iconic Kisses candy.

While the Kissmobile fleet was retired in 2020, one of the original vehicles remains on public display.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

oscar meyer wienermobile
Kraft Heinz Company

Probably the most popular and well-known on the list is the Wienermobile. I even had the chance to sit in one at a trade show once and if I ever find the picture I will post it.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is a 27-foot-long hot dog-shaped vehicle that has been used for marketing and promotional purposes by the Oscar Mayer company since 1936.  There are currently six Wienermobiles on the road at any given time, each driven by a team of “Hotdoggers” who are recent college graduates hired for a one-year stint to travel across the country and generate excitement for the brand.

The interior of the Wienermobile is designed to resemble a hot dog, with mustard and ketchup-colored seats, a hot dog-shaped dashboard, and even a “bunroof” instead of a sunroof.

Peepster Car

peepster car in the city
Bizjournal

The Peepster is a promotional vehicle in the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle with a giant yellow Peeps chick on the roof, created by the Peeps candy brand. It was first introduced in 2003 as a single vehicle, and later expanded to a fleet of three Peepster cars in 2012.

These bright yellow, Peeps-branded cars have been used for promotional tours and events across the country, often appearing alongside other famous promotional vehicles.

Hot Wheels Deora II and Twin Mill

life size hot wheels twin mill
Hot Wheels Twin Mill / Reddit

The Hot Wheels Deora II and Twin Mill are full-size, drivable promotional vehicles based on original Hot Wheels toy car designs. The Deora II, built in 2003, is a customized Cadillac with the engine moved to the rear and a fabricated cab inspired by a Ford Taurus wagon.

The Twin Mill, constructed in 1996, features two blown 502 cubic inch Chevy V8 engines joined together feeding a single transmission, with a custom steel tube frame and fiberglass body.

Pontiac Ghost Car

pontiac ghost car
RM Auctions

The Pontiac Ghost Car was a unique promotional vehicle created in 1939 by General Motors and chemical company Rohm & Haas. It was built on the chassis of a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six sedan, but had a transparent body made entirely out of Plexiglas to showcase the new material.

After touring auto shows and Pontiac dealerships across the country, this one-of-a-kind see-through car eventually ended up in the Smithsonian before being auctioned off to a private collector in 1980.

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