Not even the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is immune to the recent wave of catalytic converter thefts. The world's most famous and most travelled hot dog recently had an unplanned repair stop in Las Vegas, where most people just lose money. In this case, the rolling wiener lost its valuable emissions component at the hands of nefarious converter-dog nappers.
Specifics of the crime are known. A report from Fox 5 News Las Vegas says the Wienermobile made a pit stop on February 10 to have a temporary fix implemented. The exact time of the crime or potential suspects aren't mentioned, but a Penske location on the city's south side stepped up to make the repair. Considering the Wienermobile is 27 feet long, one doesn't simply stop at the nearest exhaust shop for help.
The iconic machine was in town for a four-day tour, arriving on Thursday with stops in the area that included a Cars & Coffee appearance. It's one of six Wienermobiles in the Oscar Mayer fleet, driven and staffed by two "Hotdoggers" who also serve as brand ambassadors. These positions are filled every year, with the company choosing college students on the verge of graduation for a one-year tour. It's actually a very competitive role; out of 7,000 annual applications to be a hotdogger, only 12 make the team.
As for the Wienermobile, underneath the fibreglass hot dog is a heavy-duty motorhome chassis from General Motors. Power comes from a 6.0-litre V8 rated at 300 bhp, and as the image at the top of our article portrays, it's not exactly difficult to access the exhaust system under the vehicle. The current fleet was constructed in 2004, though Wienermobile history dates all the way back to 1936. Per Oscar Mayer, it began life as a 4-metre (13-foot) metal hot dog with open cockpits at the front and rear to better carry company spokespersons.
If you're in the mood for hot dogs after reading this, Wienermobiles will be rolling through New Orleans, Tucson, Arizona, and parts of southern Ohio this coming weekend.