Home » Pizza Hut Unwittingly Designed A Cool ’80s Sport Coupé: Cold Start

Pizza Hut Unwittingly Designed A Cool ’80s Sport Coupé: Cold Start

Cs Pizzahutcar
ADVERTISEMENT

Yesterday, as I was tending to the sorghum crop I planted on one of the forgotten grassy patches of land between large box stores at a nearby strip mall, I happened to notice something. It was a cardboard sign, printed and placed by PepsiCo’s Pizza Hut subsidiary, reminding me and any other passer-bys that late nights just got, as they say, lit, thanks to the judicious application of pizzas, at least I think that’s what they were getting at. I was too distracted by an irregular red six-sided polygon that is supposed to evoke the image of the traditional Pizza Hut roof, but, in the context I saw it, looked like a car. A wedgy, 1980s-type of car. So I sketched some details to push it into automotobilhood, as you can see above. And below, animated:

Imb 1aijig

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Here’s the original sign, sans my additions, along with an old Pizza Hut franchise pic for reference:

Cs Pizzahut2

That’s very evocative of a car, isn’t it? Something like a poor-person’s Aston Martin Lagonda, with pop-up headlights and sharp angles and a wedgy/sporty look? That’s what I was going for up top there.

ADVERTISEMENT

Also, look at that Porsche 914 in that old picture there, next to those huge American wagons and sedans!

Oh, and that little image made me remember, barely, the little guy Pizza Hut used to use:

Cs Pizzahut3

Hey, he had a name! Pete! He sort of dressed like a combination between a stereotypical cartoon Italian pizza chef and a cowboy? Hell of a moustache, too.

Oh, and that roof design that started all this goofiness: that seems to have been designed by an architect named Richard D. Burke, and the deal he worked with the fledgling Pizza Hut company back in the 1960s, when they were still too broke to actually, you know, pay for Burke’s work, was that he’d get $100 per every store they built with that roof style. As of 2004, there were 6,300 stores, so he did pretty okay.

ADVERTISEMENT
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
31 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

“ A wedgy, 1980s-type of car.”

Said wedge shape is completely dependent on how stoned the teenager cutting it out happens to be that day.
There’s gonna be production problems for sure.
Some of these cars will be Silverado sized, some will be golf carts.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
10 months ago

Jason, we love you.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
10 months ago

I am getting Ioniq 6 vibes for some reason – I think it’s the droopy butt effect.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
10 months ago

I’m not sure what these places are like in the US, but here in Canada they have the absolute worst pizza. Over salted cardboard. It mystifies me why they are still around.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
10 months ago

We joke in our family that I can see my cheeks the morning after Pizza hut. There is so much salt in the pizza that my skin swells and the skin over my cheekbones is visible in peripheral vision.

Mikespeed95
Mikespeed95
10 months ago

I’ve probably seen this exact car, made of Fiberglass, on Facebook, on a C3 corvette chassis, and probably didn’t even realize it.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
10 months ago

looks like something Renault would make

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
10 months ago

This roof design may as well be a trademark for nondescript Mexican joints in the Midwest.

FartyHansappreciator
FartyHansappreciator
10 months ago
Reply to  Boxing Pistons

Same thought instantly came to mind, of one in east-ish St. Paul.

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
10 months ago

There was a day when beneath this roof was about the only place to get pizza, when the ovens were actually ovens, and not industrial pizza hair dryers, and you had to WAIT for what seemed like For-ev-er to get your pizza.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
10 months ago

80’s me is shaking my head in agreement.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago

That’s also when they made their dough on site, instead of shipping it in frozen

aSAABforever
aSAABforever
10 months ago

Growing up in the rural Midwest, it was a special date if it was a Pizza Hut date.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
10 months ago

I’ve never heard of the Pizza Hut mascot before, but he has a remarkable resemblance to the Little Caesar’s character wearing a disguise. Could they be related?

Last edited 10 months ago by Duke of Kent
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Your car is the perfect size to transport Pizza Pete, the Frito Bandito, the Eskimo Pie boy, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to their ethnically insensitive mascot support group.

Gene1969
Gene1969
10 months ago

I just want to know why you planted sorghum back there.

Jbavi
Jbavi
10 months ago
Reply to  Gene1969

sorghum”

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
10 months ago

Showing my age again, but I remember “Pizza Pete” as the spokescartoon for something called “Oh Boy! Pizza Pie.” IIRC, it was a very early frozen pizza that featured animated TV ads with a catchy jingle I now have roaming through my noggin.

Was that a precursor to Pizza Hut?

Oh, and the Pizza Hut-mobile you came up with would look approximately like my first Pinewood Derby racer if the wheels were stuck outside with no fender wells at all.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  ExAutoJourno

Pizza Inn was earlier but i see no car picture

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
10 months ago

Ha, that bears a striking resemblance to the Aston Martin Lagonda:
https://image.hmn.com/oKAAcnurP0lEC57BKyrjgmhmo-4=/450×300/uimage/106723911.jpg
(Edit) D’oh, just re-read the article & saw that you did indeed reference the Lagonda. That’s what I get for reading and commenting before finishing my morning coffee, good grief. I’d gone back into the article because I thought I noticed a fastback Type 3 VW in the background of that photograph with the 914 in the foreground. Pizza Hut sure attracted some people with good automotive taste (though some people might disagree about the fuselage Mopars…)

Last edited 10 months ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

Looks like it has a solid B pillar and a square roofline. I’m calling this a 2 door sedan.

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
10 months ago

The design reminds me of those wooden wedge car thingamajig’s back in 7th grade shop class that we were supposed to build and race to be track cars. Fun times …

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
10 months ago

The roof is one thing that never changes on those buildings, regardless of what they end up as.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

If you’re looking for a rabbit hole, there’s a great reddit where people submit photos of ex-Pizza Huts. The roofline is definitely persistent.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
10 months ago

I only ever see them turned into Mexican joints around here (MO).

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

They’re like Wendy’ses that way.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Yeah, that’s why no newbuild fast food restaurants have distinctive architecture anymore. Makes them too hard to lease or sell when the franchise closes, so they’re all just glass and Styrofoam stucco boxes now

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
10 months ago

This reminds me a lot of the 1979-1992 Stutz Bearcat.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago

Was gonna say a cross between the Stutz and a Triumph TR7.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago

With a bit of Consulier GTP in there, too

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
10 months ago

Have not done the Pizza Hut thing for decades now. The few in our area are endlessly being shut down for food safety violations. Or going broke till the franchisee can find another sucker to re-open the dump.
At least Pizza Pete looks happy.
Time to make the donuts…

31
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x