Carpool DeVille: Canadian duo takes aim at world’s fastest hot tub record
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014 11:56AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 9, 2014 10:22PM EDT
It’s no “Hot Tub Time Machine,” but it’s pretty close.
The creators of a car-hot tub hybrid are asking for $10,000 through Kickstarter to take their “Carpool DeVille” to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where they hope to set a land speed record for “World’s Fastest Hot Tub” next month.
Phillip Weicker and Duncan Forster have already built the sudsy monstrosity, but they’ve turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to ask for $10,000 to cover racing costs. They say the money is meant to transport the vehicle to Utah for the once-a-year Speed Week, when land speed records are set.
So what’s the previous hot tub speed record?
Well, there isn’t one. And if the two former McMaster University engineering students do get their Carpool to the track, they’ll be moving awfully slowly to keep all the water inside the car. Judging from their Kickstarter pitch video, the water sloshes around quite a bit.
CTV’s Los Angeles Bureau Chief Tom Walters interviewed Forster inside the hot tub -- though he managed to keep his suit on -- and asked the inventor why the duo turned to Kickstarter.
“We can build our own hot-tub car, but we can’t build our own money,” Forster said.
Weicker and Forster called their endeavour “a dream nearly two decades in the making.” They also pointed out they’re not the first ones with the idea to race something strange at the Salt Flats. “Since 1914, enthusiasts of questionable mental states from all over the world have been attempting and setting speed records for just about anything with wheels on the flat expanse of the brilliant white salt,” they say.
Kickstarter pledge incentives include photographs and postcards of the Carpool for low-dollar contributions, and the chance to take the tub for a spin/soak for contributions over $250.
Weicker and Forster say they came up with the idea for a hot tub car in 1996 while studying at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. That’s when they decided to turn an old Chevy Malibu into a Jacuzzi jalopy of sorts. They removed all the seats, installed the hot tub lining and plumbing and sealed off all the vehicle controls against water to make it work.
“For the next few years, The Carpool was a local hero: parked at parties on and off campus, in the end-zone of the homecoming game, anywhere that good times were being had,” they say on their Kickstarter website.
When their old Canadian flag-themed car rusted out, the duo set to work building their current Carpool out of a 1969 Cadillac DeVille. Like the previous one, it’s fully sealed inside and all the hot tub motor components are built into the trunk.
Their Kickstarter page includes a detailed description of the building process, along with photos taken along the way.
The Carpool campaign must earn about $4,000 more to reach its goal before Friday, but if the project surpasses its goal, Weicker and Forster say they’ll donate the extra money to McMaster.
So what would happen if Forster and Weicker pulled up to a gas station and asked the attendant to fill up Carpool DeVille?
“I guess we’d want to specify ‘not bottled water’ because that would be really expensive,” Forster said.