A quick skim through my blog will tell you that I’m a fan of automobiles, but I’m especially a fan of people who do weird things to their cars. Weird things like converting them into pools. The first I heard of this idea was the Germans who turned a BMW into a pool.
However, long before that, some dudes in Canada had created a hot tub out of an old Chevy Malibu
The car was a 1982 Chevy Malibu, abandoned at a student house by a deadbeat subletter who skipped out on the rent. We were just a humble bunch of McMaster University engineering undergrads, and faced with the prospect of paying someone to haul it away, a decision was reached on the fate of the car – we’d cut off the roof, and turn it into the world’s first driveable, fully operational hot tub: The Carpool.
We laughed, we clinked glasses, marveled at the idea, and called it a night. Admittedly, we never thought it would come to be but the next morning people started showing up at the house with power tools – and the legend of The Carpool was born.
The Carpool spent the next few years being the star of many a party thrown by McMaster students, and was even a prize exhibit at the 2001 Canadian International Auto Show. That year, the guys accepted a challenge from the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), which is the major sanctioning body of land speed racing events. If they could get the Carpool to the Bonneville Salt Flats that August, the SCTA would help them set the record for “World’s Fastest Hot Tub.”
The car wouldn’t ever make it there, however, and by 2004, the years of hard partying had done their damage. The Carpool would never be made race-worthy.
However, the guys were eager to make another. One old Cadillac they picked up vanished from where it was parked one winter. But that wasn’t the end of the road.
By 2008, a critical mass of Carpool engineers had assembled on the West Coast, and an appropriate car (a rained-out 1969 Coupe DeVille Convertible) was procured. The Carpool DeVille (Mk.III) was born. Over the next six years, the team worked to ready the car, improving its heating, suspension, controls and pool plumbing, while working with the land speed racing community to ensure The Carpool DeVille would meet SCTA’s strict safety requirements.
Here’s what the Carpool DeVille looked like when the crew acquired it:
And here’s a few photos of the build. You can find more on the group’s Kickstarter page.
They put some huge steel reinforcements in to handle the weight of the water:
They created the inside of the tub using fibreglass:
They repaired, reinforced and painted the frame, and tuned up the original 472-cubic inch engine:
Dropped the body back on after a sweet paint job:
Throw a few more steps in there, et voila! The Carpool DeVille
For a better look at how it works, watch this video. It’s pretty damn cool.
Now these guys have a Kickstarter campaign for a reason. They’re already taken care of the cost of building the car (which one can assume was pretty considerable). They’re looking for help to get them (and the car) to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It’s all explained on the page. As of writing this, the campaign is just shy of $4,000, well short of their $10,000 goal. While not exactly an essential thing, it could be cool to give them a little support if you’ve got some extra cash hanging around and an interest in hot tub cars.