Oscar G. Mayer III, the 95-years-old retired chairman of previously family-owned Oscar Mayer, died yesterday. In his honor we've put together this historical reference guide to all ten Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles.

Oscar G. Mayer was the third family member to run the company prior to his retirement in 1977 at age 62. This was shortly after the family-owned company made its first $1 billion yearly profit. Not long after, the company was sold to food giant, General Foods, who in turn sold it to its current owner, Kraft Foods.


In an odd, yet amusing display of marketing genius, the nephew of Oscar Mayer Sr. devised an idea to create a rolling advertisement that would get people talking about their new hot dog company. Officially dubbed the Wienermobile, it's been known worldwide as the staple of food-based automotive advertising and children's smiles for the past 73 years. Here's a bit of history of this storied yellow and orange ride below.

[via Huffington Post] Image Credit: Kraft Foods Inc.

1936 Wienermobile:


The nephew of Oscar Mayer, Karl G. Mayer, had a prolific idea in 1936 to help promote the company's hot dogs. This was the first of a long history of Wienermobiles.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1936:
Builder: General Body Company of Chicago, Illinois
Cost: $5,000
Bells and Whistles: 13 feet of metal in the shape of an Oscar Mayer Wiener, open cockpits in center and rear of vehicle

1940 Wienermobile:


The 1940's Wienermobile was a bit smaller than the 1930's model and featured a small pod on top for the driver as well as a hatch at the very rear for the 'world's tiniest chef' to poke out of.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1940:
Builder: General Body Company of Chicago, Illinois
Cost: $5,000
Bells and Whistles: 13 feet of metal in the shape of an Oscar Mayer Wiener, open cockpits in center and rear of vehicle

1952 Wienermobile:


Wooster, Ohio based builder, Gerstenslagger, built five new Wienermobiles in 1952, one of which can be seen on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1952:
Build: Dodge chassis with major improvements from the first Wienermobile
Bells and Whistles: Hi-fidelity sound system, sun roof

1958 Wienermobile:


Brooks Stevens, creator of the classic 1950's Excalibur, designed the 1958 Wienermobile. It was a style that would transcend three future generations of Wienermobiles.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1958:
Builder: Willy's Jeep Chassis
Bells and Whistles: Signature bubble-nose cockpit

1969 Wienermobile:


There were two 1969 Wienermobiles built, this time by Oscar Mayer's own mechanics at the company's headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. This was the first Wienermobile to tour a foreign country.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1969:
Build: Chevy motor-home chassis with V-6 engine
Bells and Whistles: Ford Thunderbird taillights

1988 Wienermobile:


Brooks Stevens created yet another Wienermobile, this time under the supervision of his company, Stevens Automotive Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This iteration was built as a ten-wiener fleet in order to build brand recognition throughout the country.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1988:
Build: Converted 1988 Chevy van chassis powered by V-6 engines
Bells and Whistles: Ford Thunderbird taillights

1995 Wienermobile:


The 1995 Harry Bradley designed Wienermobile was the first to utilize CAD, ushering in a new era for the 'big wiener that could.'

Wienermobile Specifications, 1995:
Builder: Carlin Manufacturing of Fresno, CA
Bells and Whistles: Grand Prix headlights, Trans Am tail lights, state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, relish-colored seats, computerized "condiment control panel," hot dog shaped dashboard, it measured 27 ft. long, 11 ft. high, and weighed 10,500 pounds!

2000 Wienermobile:


The 2000 Wienermobile was the most powerful to ever enter the fleet, with a GM-sourced 5700 Vortec V8 engine sitting in a GMC W-series chassis.

Wienermobile Specifications, 2000:
Builder: Craftsmen Industries, Inc., of St. Charles, MO
Bells and Whistles: Bun roof, relish-colored seats, ketchup-colored walkway, carpet designed with "everything on it," state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment to play the famous "Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle"

2004 Wienermobile:


The 2004 Wienermobile carried on with its GMC W4 series chassis, with the same 300 horsepower Vortec 5700 V8 engine, gull wing doors and GPS navigation.

Wienermobile Specifications, 2004:
Builder: Prototype Source in Santa Barbara, CA
Bells and Whistles: Gull-wing door with automatic retractable step, voice-activated GPS Navigational System, mustard-splattered walkway, audio center complete with wireless microphone, blue sky ceiling art, mustard and ketchup colored seats, official "Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle" horn

2008 Wienermobile:


For 2008, the Wienermobile was downsized though the fun was not. Built atop a MINI Cooper S chassis, the new 'Mini Wiener' proves that size really doesn't matter.

Wienermobile Specifications, 2008
Builder: Prototype Source in Santa Barbara, CA
Bells and Whistles: Voice-activated GPS Navigational System, blue sky ceiling, mustard and ketchup colored seats, official "Oscar Mayer Jingle" Horn.