What’s It Like to Drive the L.L. Bean Bootmobile in Central New York?
If you're curious about what it's like to drive the famous L.L. Bean Bootmobile and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, here's what the driver of both had to tell us!
The famed Bootmobile dropped by Hamilton College the other day and delighted students and faculty alike.
Throngs of excited shoppers were able to stock up on new hiking boots, flannels and hiking gear. They also got to pose by the famous, boot-shaped vehicle.
One of the people helping shoppers with their purchases was someone who not only maneuvered the bootmobile up Hamilton College's famous hill, they also cut their teeth on driving the acclaimed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
Driving the Bootmobile is an honor, as well as a major responsibility. Drivers have to maneuver that 13-foot-high and 20-foot-long, road-ready replica of the iconic L.L.Bean Boot.
WIBX chatted with CJ Z., whose driving nickname is PJ-CJ, about what it's like to drive such an iconic vehicle.
It's so, so fun. I love being able to go down the street and wherever we are, whether it's the highway or just going through campus like we did today, people are smiling and waving. And we've had people like hold up L.L. Bean boots that they've had while they're on the road.
I've had people jaw-dropped, screaming with their phone out the window, whether they're going 70 miles an hour or 7 miles an hour to take a picture. So it's so, so much fun.
CJ said driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was a similar experience. While working for the hotdog maker, his nickname was "Chili Dogs CJ."
He drove the famed, hotdog-shaped car for the Coast to Coast Weenie Roast and says that experience prepared him to embark on his new journey with L.L. Bean.
Becoming A Stunt Car Driver
CJ said there's several ways to land a job driving such iconic vehicles across the continental United States.
While people can submit applications to wither Oscar Mayer or L.L. Bean to drive their famed cars, CJ said he was recruited.
For me, the Wienermobile recruited on my campus. I went to the University of Wisconsin, and it was actually that kind of foot in the door. Then I got to learn about all the other vehicles and that's how I stayed connected with other drivers from previous iterations of this team.
CJ explained when the opportunity arose to drive the Bootmobile, he jumped at the opportunity because it "sound[ed] really, really fun."
He and another driver, who uses the L.L. Bean alias Roadtrip Rachel, take turns driving the Bootmobile from location to location.
Which Is More Fun to Drive?
Of course, we couldn't help but ask if one vehicle was more of a blast to drive than the other. According to CJ, the Bootmobile is a party.
With the boot, there's just something so fun of being being at a place in the fall with the outdoors and it just feels so appropriate to have the Bootmobile, at the whim, being able to say that you've stepped into it. So I think it is super, super fun!
While it would be a blast to drive the Wienermobile in the summer and enjoy multiple cookouts throughout the season, it must be magical to be inside a giant replica of a L.L. Bean boot while driving with the windows down and seeing the picturesque foliage.
Are These Cars Easy to Drive?
According to CJ, one needs experience in order to drive either vehicle because they don't handle like your average car, truck or SUV.
CJ said getting the Bootmobile up Hamilton College's famously steep hill was a bit of a challenge. "It was definitely putting the pedal to the metal," he explained.
But, despite the needed extra effort, CJ said he had a blast getting the vehicle over the hump. He also revealed that the Bootmobile "never steps over the speed limit." Which means drivers need to be exact with their timing when bringing a car to a scheduled location.
The L.L. Bean Bootmobile is currently embarking on its 2023 Road Show and Pop-Up Shop.
View this post on Instagram
To see where the famed vehicle is heading next, click HERE.
You can also request to have the iconic boot-shaped car visit you. Click HERE to get the process started.
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