In 1999, Phillip Weicker and Duncan Forster, two mechanical engineers, used a 1969 Cadillac DeVille to build a drivable hot tub. Yes, a real hot tub that one could drive on the road. Now keep in mind, there have been Las Vegas-style limousines that have had hot tubs put in them but this was different. This was an actual drivable hot tub. Continue reading to learn this unusual story.
The Mobile Hot Tub’s Beginning
It all began back in 1996 when Weicker and Forster were going to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). These engineering students decided to do something different: take a 1982 Chevrolet Malibu and convert it into a hot tub – a fully operational, drivable hot tub. With this concept fleshed out they immediately set out to work. It only took a few months but they accomplished their goal and built the car. As you may imagine, it didn’t take long before Weicker and Forster’s drivable hot tub had become a serious entity at their university.
Fast-forward many years, and Weicker and Forster have graduated from McMaster University. Both worked as professional engineers and stayed in touch. As what sometimes happens to people born with insatiable creative drives, the desire to make it “bigger and better” happened. After discussions, the two brought about the “The Carpool Deville” concept.
The Carpool Deville concept was simple. The 1982 Chevrolet Malibu was a great hot tub project when the men were in college but it really was not large enough to hold a real party in. The solution, of course, would be to construct a substantially larger, drivable hot tub. This would require a larger car. So they bought a low mileage 1969 Cadillac DeVille. This was a good-sized vehicle and looked like the ideal platform for their new mondo-sized hot tub.
The first thing they did with the Cadillac was gut it. The interior was taken out and an elaborate custom fiberglass tub was installed. This was a major part of the construction and it took several months. To drive the car, marine-style steering wheel, throttle controls and gauges were fitted. The factory-installed 427-cubic inch V8 was rebuilt and served two purposes: propelling the DeVille and heating the pool water to 102 degrees. The trunk has even been modified to hold the air-ride system, pool filter, pump, and many electronic sub-systems. They estimate that over 1000 hours of work were invested in their creation.
Since the completion of the Carpool DeVille, the engineers have become on-line celebrities, and they demonstrate what can happen when you think creatively. Those who said that “a hot tub capable of 55 MPH was just a dream” were proven wrong – very wrong. Let’s face it, these two engineers have made automotive history. Some people have done odd things in history and this is a very good example.
Thank you to the Sales team at Patrick Cadillac, a full-service car dealer in Schaumburg, IL, for sitting down to chat with us about this interesting car!