Canadian engineers Phillip Weicker and Duncan Forster are out to set a record in their 1969 Cadillac de Ville at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. This locale is renowned for racing sleek, jet-powered vehicles, sometimes traveling in excess of 500 mph. But, it’s not a speed record the engineers hope to topple.
For six years, the duo has been converting the Caddy into a fully-functioning mobile Jacuzzi. They hope to take the vehicle up to 100 mph to set the record for the planet’s fastest hot tub. Getting a sloshing car to move smoothly at 100 mph will be a challenge, but claiming the record will not, since this has never been done before at any speed.
The 7.7 liter V-8 engine produces about 375bhp. The hot tub is warmed by the heat from the engine to a steamy 100 degrees for dipping.
The two engineers first got the idea as students at Canada’s McMasters University, where they converted an old Chevy Malibu into their first “carpool.” It was this attention that got them an invite to run at Bonneville Flats, but it never manifested. Now they are ready with this latest conversion.
Despite the certainty of setting a record, everything is still dependent on their ability to get there for “Speed Week”. The car can’t be driven from their home state of California all the way to Utah for the race, so it will need to be towed. In order to fund the venture, the pair has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise about $10,000. So if you want to be a part of setting a world record, you can get in the game.
To those who would posit that this is a waste of time and money, consider the value of information gained in the process. Sometimes the greatest value of innovation is not what was gained in the material outcome but, rather, the momentum created by the sheer uniqueness of the challenge. Tibetan monks spend days crafting intricate mandalas of colored sand, only to erase the whole creation when completed.
Maybe this carpool won’t drive anyone to spiritual enlightenment, but I bet there’ll be a lot of fun memories when the record is set and the historical value established in the Guinness Book of World Records. And it ought to prompt one heck of a hot tub party celebration afterward.