100 miles per hour in a Cadillac hot tub?
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Jul 29, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

100 miles per hour in a Cadillac hot tub?

A group of McMaster University grads are turning a 1969 Coupe DeVille into a high-speed hot tub.


A trio of McMaster University engineering graduates is giving a whole new meaning to the term "carpool."

Duncan Forster, 38, Alex Saegert, 40, and Phillip Weicker, 35, have resurrected a project from their university days that will have them racing a hot tub car in Utah next month.

The trio says the idea to construct a vehicle complete with a hot tub began in 1996 with “an abandoned car, a keg of beer, and a quote from Ernest Hemingway —‘Always do sober what you say you’d do drunk, that’s the only way you’ll learn.’”

The car was an aged 1982 Chevy Malibu left behind by a previous subletter of Forster’s Hamilton home.

During a night of drinking, a friend of Forster’s suggested he turn the Chevy into a hot tub car. The next morning, Forster found himself doing just that.

With a student budget and lots of ambition, Forster and friends pieced the vehicle together with donated parts, dumpster finds and what they could purchase after saving.

“It was a bit of an abomination because it barely ran and it leaked,” he says. “We painted it with white latex paint, but we got it to run.”

The car quickly made its rounds on the McMaster party circuit, garnering plenty of quizzical looks and cheers. Even the university got in on the fun, including the vehicle in frosh week events and homecoming games.

“Faculty thought it was really funny,” Forster says. “We would park it on the front lawn of the engineering building during functions and we never got flak from university administration.”

As the car’s glory days began to slip away, they passed the vehicle to a new crop of McMaster engineering students, but never quite gave up the dream of building a hot tub car meant for racing.

Seventeen years later, the trio — now partially located in California — is on a second iteration of the car and it’s getting just as much attention.

This time the vehicle they’ve outfitted is a 1969 Cadillac Coupe DeVille convertible purchased on eBay for $800.

To date, Forster says they have invested about $20,000 into the car.

Later this summer, they’ll take it to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where quirky racing enthusiasts flock every year to beat speed records.

“Nobody’s ever gone 100 miles per hour in an open-air self propelled hot tub while sitting neck-deep in soothing warm water,” they say. “We aim to correct that mistake of history this August.”

Before the team can travel 1,000 kilometres from California to Utah to race for the title of world’s fastest hot tub, Forster says there is plenty left on their to-do list.

Electrical work must be completed and gauges properly connected.

“All the major components are complete and have been tested, but we have our finishing touches to do,” he says. “We are going to have our hands full.”

But getting the car ready isn’t the only challenge that awaits.

There is a chance they could arrive in California only to be denied an opportunity to race by the Southern California Timing Association, which runs the competition.

“The chances of this are slim, given that this community is known for racing everything from motorized bar stools, to sofas, to toilets, but at the end of the day, it’s their course, and their right to decide if we can race for the record,” the team says.

Regardless of the result, Forster says he would be happy just to rally up some competitors, and if not, the team says it will be a good chance to reinforce “the recognition that no challenge is insurmountable, and great things are possible when you have tools, and talent, and a goal to shoot for.”

Toronto Star

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