Man’s Old Car Restoration Project Quickly Turns Into A Much More Epic Undertaking

Since Henry Ford first rolled out the Model T, people have modified cars in just about every way imaginable. While some folks like simple upgrades that make their vehicles more efficient, others prefer flashier improvements like televisions and surround-sound speakers in the trunk. Some of these modifications are truly unbelievable, to say the least.

When Duncan Forster and Phil Weicker bought a 1969 Cadillac DeVille, they wouldn’t have had to do much of anything with it to be the envy of car fanatics across the country. But these engineers had big plans for this automobile… and their wild vision was anything but conventional!

When friends Duncan Forster and Phil Weicker were enrolled in college at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, they had an outrageous idea. It mostly involved a few absurd modifications to their 1982 Chevy Malibu…

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

The plan? Transform the Malibu into a fully operational hot tub while keeping the car’s driving capabilities intact. With the help of a fellow student, they went to work—and saw mixed results.

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

“This thing was hideous,” Duncan said. “The car barely ran, but we were really proud of it.” But the middling success only made Duncan and Phil hungry for a project that would really make their friends envious.

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

Twelve years later, when Duncan and Phil lived in Los Angeles, they revisited their plan for a hot tub car. This time would be different, though. For starters, they were going to use a 1969 Cadillac DeVille as the body—and the end result would be street-compatible.

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

But first, the duo had a daunting task ahead of them. Could they overcome the mistakes they made with their last hot tub car? With a few years to evaluate where they’d gone wrong, Duncan and Phil were certainly going to try.

Carpool De Movie / Vimeo

Project Carpool DeVille, as the duo called their efforts, required a full-body makeover of the vintage car. To start, they gutted the interior and ripping out the seats and the dashboard. After all, they couldn’t just put the tub in the trunk!

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

Of course, the hot tub would be heavy, especially once Duncan and Phil filled it up with water. That meant they had to reinforce the car’s steel frame and install a top-end shock-absorbing suspension system. Now it was time for the tub…

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

To ensure the hot tub fit perfectly in the hollowed-out DeVille, Duncan and Phil created a mold of the car’s interior (with a little help from fiberboard). Using gel and fiberglass, they covered the mold and crafted the tub. Now, how would they heat the water?

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

Therein lied a piece of the car’s genius—heat from the car’s engine warmed the water to about 102 degrees Fahrenheit! Other work on the engine, including an alternator upgrade, allowed the car to generate all the power it needed.

Carpool DeMovie / vimeo

As Duncan and Phil learned the last time they attempted a hot tub car, however, the devil was in the details. After a new paint job, they sealed up the tub tight and installed a customized dashboard—with some cool perks.

Carpool DeMovie / vimeo

Duncan and Phil added a custom throttle that controlled a manual transmission, while buttons, knobs, and switches installed above the water line allowed the hot tub’s operator to control the suspension and lights. Last but not least…

Carpool DeMovie / Vimeo

The trunk concealed all the pumps, filters, and hot tub-related gizmos, such as an overflow tank that cycled water back into the tub. While the car wasn’t exactly great for grocery runs, it operated beautifully—and that gave Duncan and Phil another idea.

Carpool DeMovie / Vimeo

“We spent six years creating the perfect marriage between two American pastimes,” Phil said. “Driving and hot tubbing.” With the design a pleasing success, the duo wasn’t content to let this thing just be a novelty item…

Naturally, Duncan and Phil figured, why not go for a world record? Pushed toward the idea by the Southern California Timing Association, the duo aimed to set a Land Speed Record for the “World’s Fastest Hot Tub.” However, they quickly hit a snag.

Wheel BHP

Racing was expensive, and if they were going to get the Carpool DeVille to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah—where the record would have to be attempted—they needed financial assistance. Duncan and Phil turned to Kickstarter.

The World’s Fastest Hot Tub / Facebook

Impressively with the help of 205 backers, Duncan and Phil raised $11,251—$1,251 over their goal—and secured the trailers, fuel, and other equipment they needed for the trip. In August 2014, they made it to Utah… and were immediately halted.

“For the first time in decades,” Duncan said, “the time trial event was canceled on account of there being water on the course. Not ours, but the irony wasn’t lost on us.” But after coming so far, Duncan and Phil weren’t about to quit.

Carpool DeMovie / vimeo

The duo found a long patch of flat ground and, with cameras rolling and smartphones collecting data, they made an unofficial attempt at the record for the World’s Fastest Hot Tub.

Carpool DeMovie / vimeo

The results? “We were limited by course length and conditions,” Phil said, but somehow, the Carpool DeVille “achieved a top speed of 50 miles per hour!” That was—though unofficial—the world record!

They wanted to make an official attempt at the record, but until they could make it back to Utah, the car served as a way to entertain and make others smile. You haven’t really lived until you’ve sat in a hot tub and watched the world roll by,” Duncan joked.

Carpool DeMovie / vimeo

To think, what started as a simple school project turned into an amazing feat of engineering! You can watch Carpool DeVille’s journey from old beater to a record-setting wonder in the video below…

The Carpool DeVille brought a new meaning to carpooling to work! What do you think? Would you dare take a dip in it?

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