The Zippo Car
April 12, 2011 4:49 PM Subscribe
posted by milestogo (21 comments total)
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In 1947 Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell celebrated his lighter's success by commisioning the Zippo Car
Except, that isn't the original one.
"Zippo II" was built by Joe Griffin
working from just a few old photographs and a zippo lighter.
Blaisdell always loved "productmobiles" and with the national success of his lighter following its use by the military in WWII, he decided to build the Zippo Car
. In its first few years, the Zippo Car led parades and other celebrations around the country, visiting all 48 states. It soon needed hefty maintenance, and sometime after 1952 the car was sent to Toohey Motors in Pittsburgh. The price of all the required work came to $40,000, and the necessary repairs were going to make the car 6 inches taller than legally allowed, so the project was put on hold and the car left at the shop. By the time Blaisdell thought about his car again in the 1970's, Toohey Motors was out of business and the Zippo Car was gone.
Zippo wanted to find and refurbish the car in 1982, for the company's 50th anniversary. They launched several public searches, including 1995 campaign running ads with pictures of the Zippo Car and the tagline "Have You Seen This Car?". Finally, in 1996, Zippo relented and purchased a 1947 Chrystler Saratoga-New Yorker. Joe Griffin's shop turned it into
Zippo Car II, with beautiful results. Car and Driver compares it
with some other "productmobiles" (but there are plenty more
You can get a fuller history on page 54 of this pdf
and the Zippo Car's schedule at its official website.
yes there is a commemorative lighter