Zippo Car Jeep
The Zippo Car
Inventor of the Zippo lighter and founder of Zippo Manufacturing Company, George G. Blaisdell, loved automobiles as much as he loved his world-famous windproof lighter. As a young man, Mr. Blaisdell was impressed by a parade of "productmobiles" - incredible vehicles that resembled the products they represented. After the incredible success of Zippo after WWII, he set out to create his own "productmobile" in the image of the iconic Zippo lighter.
On June 16, 1947, Zippo purchased a 1947 Chrysler Saratoga for $2,048. Blaisdell envisioned a car that looked like a Zippo lighter. He hired Gardner Display of Pittsburgh to design the vehicle, a 1947 Chrysler Saratoga with larger-than-life lighters stretching above the roof line, complete with removable neon flames. The lids of the lighters snapped shut for travel. The word Zippo was painted on the side in 24-karat gold. The total cost to transform the vehicle into two towering windproof lighters was $25,000. Through the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, the Zippo Car traveled to all 48 contiguous states, participating in special events, trade expos, fairs and leading parades. Unfortunately, due to the weight of the modified chassis, the Zippo Car experienced frequent tire blow outs. The car was sent in to a dealership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for repairs, but due to the projected cost of resolving the issues, the project was put on hold indefinitely. The car remained at the dealership, awaiting its fate. In the early 1970s, Mr. Blaisdell went back to Pittsburgh to retrieve the car, only to find that the dealership had gone out of business, leaving no trace of the Zippo Car. To this day, the fate of the original Zippo Car remains a mystery.
In 1996, Zippo purchased a grey 1947 Chrysler New Yorker and began restoration of another Zippo Car to mirror the original with additional features. Eighteen months later, the task was completed with a price tag around $250,000. By 1998, the Zippo Car was back in action once again traveling the country. The Zippo Car now participates in parades, corporate sponsored events, tradeshows, and much more.
The Zippo Car continues to drive home the classic message of style, quality, and dependability while traveling the United States coast to coast. When not on the road, the Zippo Car can be found at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
- The "new" Zippo Car was delivered on May 10, 1998 and debuted at the Zippo/Case International Swap Meet on July 16.
- The car had approximately 180,000 miles under its hood when purchased in 1996.
- There have been 11 Zippo Car drivers.
- The Zippo Car has visited numerous famous landmarks including: Mount Rushmore, St. Louis Arch, The Alamo, The Grand Canyon, Hover Dam, Las Vegas Strip, Niagara Falls, the Hollywood Sign, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
Features of the Zippo Car:
- Twin 5 foot removable fiber glass flames
- 17 inch flint wheel
- 5 foot by 6 foot custom-made steel cab
- Electric windows
- Manual spring assisted lids
- 250 horsepower, 350 cubic inch Chevrolet small block V8 engine
- 12-volt electric system
- 24 karat gold-plated lettering
- Keyless entry doors
- Heavy duty suspension system
- Re-chromed grill and bumpers
- Length: 17ft. 11in.
- Weight: 4,920 lbs.
- Height: Lighters closed - 8 ft. | Lighters Open: 12 ft.
Have A Photo Of You With The Zippo Car?
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The Zippo Jeep®
Unveiled in August 2011 at the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International, the Zippo Jeep® is an all-terrain powerhouse, ready to bring Zippo adventures to even the most remote locations.
An original stock 2001 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited® was transformed into the ultimate Zippo vehicle by the world-renowned West Coast Customs team in Los Angeles, California. The creation of the Zippo Jeep® was the focus of the Discovery Channel program “Inside West Coast Customs” Season 2, Episode 4 “American Icons,” and showed the extravagant modifications performed, including a full lift kit, supercharger, custom built front bumper and grill, faux-fire LED lighting around the outside of the vehicle, and a giant Zippo windproof lighter in place of the standard spare tire mount.
The Zippo Jeep® travels across the country promoting the full line of Zippo products at special events and music festivals.
In 2017, the Zippo Jeep® received additional modifications, including a custom wrap design, red interior floor well lights, Zippo flame tail light covers, and hidden in-door projectors that beam the Zippo logo onto the ground. With these all new features, the Zippo Jeep® was the perfect location to interview rock music’s biggest stars as part of the Zippo Encore music festival program.
When not on tour, the Zippo Jeep® can be seen at the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
- Debuted at the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glenn in 2011.
- Customized by the famous West Coast Customs®.
- The custom paint job was designed to look like a brushed chrome lighter.
- The creation was the focus of "Inside West Coast Customs" Season 2, Episode 4.
Features of the Zippo Jeep®:
- 32" TV in the back
- Winch on the front
- Diamond audio speakers
- Custom floor mats
- Custom grill inlay of the Zippo flame
- Internal and external red lights
- Custom light bar with KC lights
- Custom LED lights to simulate on-fire look
- Giant lighter on back
- Custom tail light covers
- Exterior Zippo logo door projectors
Have A Photo Of You With The Zippo Jeep®?
Share it on your favorite social network and #ZippoRide