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July 20, 2019
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The Wonderful Wacky World of MarketingMobiles – Promotional Vehicles of the World

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The Wonderful Wacky World of MarketingMobiles – Promotional Vehicles of the World

By James Hale
About the Author

Softback • 112 pages • 250mm x 250mm • 100 pictures, mostly colour

ISBN: 9781845840037

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• Features 53 amazing vehicles built since 1900
• Period photographs, many never before published
• Everything from the most effective marketing mobiles, to bizarre one-offs
• Interesting facts from vehicle designers and builders
• A valuable resource for everyone who loves unusual vehicles, automotive history and, of course, for marketing executives


Think you've seen it all? Think again! From motorised lobsters to eggs, beer bottles, weiners (sausages) and a high heeled shoe, the marketing man's imagination has shown no limitations when it comes to Marketing Mobiles.


An entertaining, colourful and informative insight to some of the most unusual and obscure product promoting vehicles from around the globe. Lavishly-illustrated with photographs of cars, vans and trucks spanning a hundred-year period, this collection of oddball vehicles is guaranteed to raise a smile. Written by an acclaimed automotive historian and packed with rare images this book will make a great addition to any enthusiast's collection. It will also appeal to anyone with an interest in the evolution of marketing and will make a great present for anyone interested in transport history.

Independent Reviews

Review by Paul Guinness for Classic Car Mart, February 2006

Another title aimed at those who appreciate the most bizarre four-wheeled devices, this book makes a relatively cheap and rather cheerful addition to any collection. And for novelty value alone, it has to be worth the cover price.

Better known for his knowledge of hot rods and beach buggies, author James Hale this time turns his attention to the weirdest, most wonderful advertising vehicles to have been created over the last hundred years or so. And while much of the book is given over to relatively recent creations like the Cadbury Crème Egg cars and Red Bull Minis and Beetles, you’ll also find a great selection of black and white photography showing far earlier devices in all their glory.

While the book is fairly light on text, with little more than basic captioning throughout, it’s the photographs of the bizarre machinery that will appeal the most. So if you like the idea of beer-bottle shaped vehicles advertising the likes of Miller High Life and Worthington’s Pale Ale, a delivery truck in the shape of a massive can of Guinness or even a giant four-wheeled barrel to promote Heineken, you won’t be disappointed.

Then there are the really odd ones! Who remembers Chicken Dinner Candy, an American chocolate-and-nuts bar claimed to provide the same levels of protein as a chicken dinner? Well, if that sounds crazy, wait until you see the Ford F100-based promotional trucks featuring enormous glassfibre chickens where normally you’d find a pick-up bed…

Then, of course, who could forget the Mini-powered Outspan Orange cars of the early Seventies? With a 48-inch wheelbase and a particularly top-heavy design, these 998cc motorised giant oranges weren’t ideal when it came to fast cornering or stopping in a hurry. But as advertising tools for the South African fruit, they were priceless.

This isn’t a book to appeal to every classic car enthusiast, but as an inexpensive buy for anybody with a sense of humour and a taste for the unusual, it’s worth a look.

Review from, February 2006

This book is something of a departure for author James Hale, described as "the world's leading authority on dune buggies". Anyone who can make that claim must surely have an eye for unusual and imaginative cars, and here Hale turns to his other passion - inspired by a childhood visit to the National Motoring Museum at Beaulieu – to marketingmobiles.

Although there are some exceptions, marketingmobiles are very often based on standard road vehicles, but they rarely look like it. The best examples are designed to look like the products they were created to advertise, and in these pages you'll see motorised versions of teapots, hot dogs, sweets, Cadbury's Creme Eggs, lobsters, chickens, cigarette lighters, toothpaste tubes, houses, beer bottles, oil cans, drainage pipe and (in the case of a 1000cc three-wheeler used in Manila) a giant pink high-heeled shoe.

Most of the cars in the book were new to me, but I was pleased to see that Hale has devoted quite a lot of space to my own favourite marketingmobiles.

Hale's text, mostly in the form of captions accompanying archive photographs, has a few more puns than I was prepared for, but it's very informative, and the pictures themselves are fascinating. Although marketingmobiles undoubtedly represent a distinctly off-centre part of motoring life, the most dedicated of petrolheads should really know about them, and this book is an ideal introduction to the subject.

Review from Classic and Sports Car, February 2006

Latest in Veloce's photo book series is Marketing Mobiles in which James Hale selects a comprehensive set of wacky vehicles. Outspan Mini, Wienermobile and Worthington's Daimler bottle van are all here, along with lesser-known ad cars. Highlight of this 100-pager is the 1918 Rowney pencil Mercedes and the Chrysler Zippo. Great fun.


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