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SeaWorld Shamu Volkswagen Beetle

Thar She Blows!

SeaWorld Shamu Volkswagen Beetle

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Filed under: European Car News
SeaWorld Shamu Volkswagen Beetle

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?

SeaWorld Shamu Volkswagen Beetle

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!

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