One of the best ways to draw attention to your company is to have an interesting advertising campaign. Quite a few companies over the years have used cars to promote their business. Who doesn’t remember the famous Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile or the Planter’s NUTmobile? Another set of vehicles you might recognize are the Truly Nolen Mouse Cars, made famous by Truly Nolen Pest Control.
They’re easily recognizable by the ears on their roofs, a painted mouse face, and even a tail on the rear bumper. Sometimes they even go up for sale on the company’s website, but is there really that much interest?
The first Truly Nolen Mouse Car
Around 30 years after the company’s inception, Truly Nolen was looking for a way to attract more customers. A manager within the company surprised him with an “Ant Truck”, the first of Truly Nolen’s many unique vehicles. It was a red pickup truck with a grinning face on the hood, plus fake insect antennae on the roof.
Around the same time, the Scorpion Truck was also manufactured. It was a white pickup truck with fake antennae and the Truly Nolen logo painted across the side. It also had eyes on the headlights, a painted face, and even a painted bowtie on the front bumper.
In its cargo box, it carried a smaller vehicle painted red and sporting a fake scorpion tail and claws. Truly Nolen thought both of these trucks were very creative, but neither truck got much attention. Shortly afterward, the first Mouse Car was created for Truly Nolen.
This rodent on wheels turned out to be a huge success for Truly Nolen Pest Control. The quirky design of the Mouse Car has attracted plenty of media attention as well as sales for the company.
Mouse cars of all shapes and sizes
The first Mouse Car was a yellow Volkswagen 1200 with a mouse face, tail, and huge ears on the roof. The first ear design was fragile, so drivers could only drive up to 35 mph with them attached. Mechanics would soon fix this, adding a spring system so that the ears folded down during the drive.
This made the ears functional as well as cosmetic, giving the Mouse Car better gas mileage. Most modern Mouse Cars are small sedans, but trucks have also been given the mouse treatment. For a more classic approach, franchisees can also get an ant face and fake antennae on its vehicles.
In 2005, Truly Nolen added a Volkswagen Limousine to its fleet for special events, according to MotorTrend. The limo started out as a standard Beetle, but engineers took it apart and crafted a completely new frame. Passengers onboard the Mouse Limo can also enjoy a full bar and a flatscreen TV set.
How can you get a used Mouse Car?
Once a Mouse Car is retired, it’s listed for sale on Truly Nolen’s website. In addition to Mouse Cars, you might also be able to snag a vehicle from Nolen’s antique fleet. This is a collection of classic cars, like the Chevy Coupe or Ford Model T, with the Nolen logo on the side.
Why would anyone want one?
A car with a big cartoony mouse face on the front bumper definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Still, for some people, vehicles like the Mouse Car and the Wienermobile are nostalgic pieces of history. Some car collectors are also drawn to the unique design of the Mouse Car.
If you don’t want to actually buy a Mouse Car, Truly Nolen also frequently hosts auto shows with its fleet on display. You can sit behind the wheel of a vintage Mouse Car as well as many other models in the antique fleet.