The Making of the Hot Dub

ABOVE: A hot tub in a VW car proved to be a magnet for SPATEX visitors.

Stealing the show at the recent SPATEX exhibition, a hot tub in a VW car proved to be a magnet for visitors. The finished Hot-Dub, which took about seven weeks to complete, was transported via a curtain-sider lorry to SPATEX in Coventry, fork-lifted off and steered into place onto the Plastica stand, where it was an instant hit. Project Manager Jody Perkins commented: “We had a 25% increase in footfall thanks to the interest the Hot-Dub generated and some great feedback from customers old and new.” The concept behind the Hot-Dub was conceived while Managing Director Edward Campbell-Salmon and Jody attended the Aquanale pool exhibition in Cologne. They saw an Opel Corsa that had been modified to take a basic square shaped pool, but had lost its original lines and character in the process. The challenge was to achieve this transformation but retain the key features of the car. After some banter between Edward and Jody, the gauntlet was thrown down and the idea began to take shape. Being a VW enthusiast, Jody found a Beetle convertible for sale locally as he was mildly familiar with working on this model. The engine, gearbox and interior were stripped out to make way for the new equipment. KEY FEATURES The biggest challenge was planning each stage and taking into account the knock-on effect each adaptation would have further down the line. Key features, like the working convertible roof, electric windows and particularly the steering needed to remain functional to ensure that it would still appear as a fully operational car.11A steel frame was constructed to strengthen the original shell and take the 750kg weight of water, then timber work was added to form the shape of the hot tub. It was important that the hot tub shell followed the body lines of the car as closely as possible to achieve the simple, clean look that Jody envisaged. Then came the hidden electrics, 3d on-site lining, remote RGBW LED lighting (including modified headlights to project the same colour as the hot tub), 20” alloy wheels and heavily modified suspension, all posing their own individual hurdles along the way. Then the ultimate test, was it water tight? A seven day wet test proved successful and the team were on to the finishing touches. The paintwork was refurbished, details of the sponsors’ logos (for the components used in the build) were cut out in chrome vinyl and added to the side of the car, in a similar fashion to that of the modified car scene. Jody sums up: “I have enjoyed the challenge of building the Hot Dub. In the future I would like to modify it further with a sound system or make it mobile with electric motors.”

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