WISCASSET — One ride in the Maine Maritime Museum Lobstermobile, and it becomes obvious. People go nuts for it.

“Look at the size of it. That’s a rare ride. It’s innovative. It’s eye-catching. It’s red. How could you miss it?” boomed John Mead of Greenville, South Carolina, as he waited in line for a lobster roll at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset.

Mead was visiting Maine for the first time. “When I think of Maine, I think of lobster or blueberry pie,” he said.

The museum, located in Bath, acquired the Lobstermobile from Bar Harbor Seafood, an Orlando-based seafood distributor that also has a small chain of seafood restaurants in Florida. Last year, the museum’s marketing team was looking for a giant fiberglass lobster to showcase its new Maine lobstering exhibit, and luck led to the Lobstermobile.

“We Googled fiberglass lobster and this restaurant came up. We asked them where they got it and the owner said, ‘Do you just want the car?’ ” said Katie Meyers, the museum’s marketing director.

A few months later, the Lobstermobile was on a trailer bed heading to Maine.


“We had a party with a cake waiting at the museum, a welcome-home party. We like to say it retired to Maine,” Meyers said.

The giant lobster sits upon a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. And like many who reach retirement age, the vehicle has its share of problems.

Last winter, the museum had to replace the car’s hood, which the lobster’s giant claws reach around, and the back window that was “about to explode” from the weight of the lobster, Meyers said.

The engine has little pick-up and the fiberglass lobster tail hanging off the back needs to be secured.

“It definitely has some unique consideration,” Meyers said as she drove the Lobstermobile slowly along Route 1.

To tourists who happen upon the Lobstermobile, it’s a celebration of Maine life worthy of star status and selfies.


“It’s so bizarre. It’s so shiny, it looks like it’s sweating,” said Sonia Cruz, 61, of Hartford, Connecticut, as she snapped photos with her cellphone.

Rafael Sanchez, 66, of Amsterdam wanted to send a photo to his sister-in-law in the Netherlands to “make her jealous.”

“I was just making fun of it, how it’s got to be a world-record catch. But I think it’s pretty cool,” said Grant Kellenberger, 11, of Reading, Pennsylvania, who walked around the lobster while gawking at it.

John Rozzo of New York, a longtime fan of Volkswagen Beetles, wanted to know how Meyers drives it.

“Never in my life have I seen anything like it,” Rozzo said. He suggested that the Maritime Museum rent the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and stage a drag race.

Many customers at Red’s last week had other suggestions for how to better promote and share the Lobstermobile with the world.


Cruz said the museum should create a website to help people “find that lobster” so tourists could locate it at any time.

Since the museum acquired the Lobstermobile last winter, it has made appearances at dozens of events, from the Yarmouth Clam Festival to the Windjammer Days Festival in Boothbay Harbor. Sometimes the Lobstermobile just cruises the coast, spreading lobster love wherever it goes.

Driving the Lobstermobile is not always fun, though.

“The Lobstermobile doesn’t really parallel park, for obvious reasons,” Meyers said of the poor visibility.

From the driver and passenger’s seat, it’s hard to see out the side windows past the giant claws, and hard to see out the back around the massive red tail.

Still, Meyers said the museum staff loves to drive it. Some even dress up as lobsters while riding in it.

Even in Bath, where the Lobstermobile is now a common sighting, locals on Monday looked and laughed at the giant crustacean appearing to climb over the Beetle.

A woman at an outdoor cafe pointed and put her glasses back on. In front of Reny’s on Front Street, Stephen Almasi of Bath, the grandson of a Maine lobsterman, stood and stared.

“I took a photo to send to my friends in California. I’m going to tell them we grow them big here,” he said.

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