There are cars out there that make you take a double, triple, or even quadruple take. Needless to say, this little bug made me look over several times. After all, how often do you see Free Willy on the freeway?
So there I was this morning, swimming in the traffic of the 57 freeway, when all of a sudden I get a glimpse of a whale tale. Usually, this is the part when I laugh or mourn because some silly kid had stuck another whale of a wing on his/her car, but this time, I found myself staring literally at a whale of a wing... and a dorsal fin to match. With a tri-colored paint job, tint, and matching blue hubcaps, this is one beetle that would give Herbie a run--or swim for his money.
A big thanks to SeaWorld representatives for sending me more info on the Shamu VW:
- Shamu Cruisers were created by St. Louis-based Craftsman Industries. Based off the 2001 Volkswagen Beetle, the one I spotted was one of a pod of six that traveled around the country as part of SeaWorld's Shamu Across America Tour back in April 2003.
- Fiberglass molders, machine and body-shop experts, painters, airbrush artists, graphic artists, decal applicators and mechanics all worked to make each Shamu Cruiser.
- Each fiberglass tail weighs 45 pounds; the dorsal fin weighs 9 pounds. Solid aluminum rods connect them to the body of the car and the hatchback and doors remain fully functional.
- Despite the added weight, the whale-inspired shape of the tail and fin make for minimal drag, with no noticeable effect on vehicle performance, so the Shamu Cruiser gets a respectable 25 MPG.
Way to pimp your auto, SeaWorld!