A tourist snaps a photograph of an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile during a recent stop in Las Vegas. The first Wienermobile hit the road in 1936; today there are six of them.

Oscar Mayer’s pioneering mobile marketing gimmick turns 70 this year. The company created the Wienermobile in 1936 to transport its spokesman among grocery stores.

The original was a 13-foot-long metal hot dog on wheels with an open cockpit in the center and rear, so the hotdogger could pop up. Hot dog whistles were given out starting in 1951, and many people still show up at Wienermobile events looking for the whistles. The 1952 version of the Wienermobile is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

The Wienermobile has evolved with the times. Now, it’s 27 feet long and boasts a GPS navigation system, six mustard- and ketchup-colored seats and a V-8 engine.

There actually are six Wienermobiles. Two hotdoggers are assigned to each, taking turns driving and living on the road for a year, traveling to promotional events and listening to that familiar jingle, over and over.

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