L.L. Bean celebrates century of mucking about with Bootmobile
The L.L.Bean Bootmobile is perhaps the diametric opposite of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, promoting outdoor activity instead of consumption of sodium and saturated-fat-laden sausages. The well-known maker of high quality outdoor goods is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the Bootmobile has been created as a way to celebrate the product that helped start it all. After being unveiled to L.L. Bean employees at the Brunswick, Maine facility where the boots are made, the wheeled boot tribute is headed to Times Square to kick off a nationwide anniversary tour. The tour is intended to inspire people to frolic outdoors and L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School guides will be traveling with the Bootmobile to help people learn how to do so. Most important to auto enthusiasts might be what’s underneath it all. The underlying truck is a Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel, and piled atop that base is a fiberglass body that stands 13 feet tall. Das Boot equates to a Size 747 bit of footwear – that’s the perfect size for a 143-foot tall person, but they are too big for the Statue of Liberty. Echo Artz of Florida handled the design and build process, first sculpting the body in foam and then laying the fiberglass and paying obsessive attention to the details along the way. L.L. Bean officials declined to tell us how much the unique build cost them, calling the Bootmobile “priceless.” It’s a big way to celebrate a company that started as the result of cold, wet feet after a hunting trip.