THE ZIPPO CAR
A 1947 Chrysler Saratoga, with lighters stretching above the roofline and the word Zippo on the front grill. The lighters had removable neon flames that lifted out and were placed in the back seat for travel between events . The lids of the lighters snapped shut.
The car had a public address system, radio, and tape recorder, to play music over the p.a.
The original cost of the car was estimated between $25,000 and $30,000.
The Zippo car was a popular attraction, but not without problems. The weight of the huge roof lighters put stress on the tires, which blew out easily.
Also, the armour-plated fenders made it impossible to jack the car up to change the tires.
In the early 50's the car was sent in for overhaul to a Pittsburg Ford dealer, Toohey Motors.
Zippo wanted to change the chassis to a truck's more durable frame.
The Pittsburg shop tore the Zippo Car apart to retool it, but they only had bad news.
The changes, requested by Zippo, would raise the car six inches over the legal height, for a vehicle of it's class,
and the $40,000 estimate, didn't include the cost of eliminating those extra inches.
Enthusiasm for the Zippo car's restoration deteriorated. A few years past, and somehow the Zippo car disappeared .
Zippo looked into the cars whereabouts in the 70's, but by then, Toohey Motors was out of business, and all traces of the car vanished.
To this day, the original Zippo car remains a mystery.
In late 1997, Zippo purchased and restored a second 1947 Chrysler Saratoga-New Yorker, which now has over 180,000 miles on it.
A Site devoted to collecting ZIPPO lighters
I have been collecting Zippo lighters for over 40 years.
I am located on Vancouver Island British Columbia. On the west coast of Canada.
I primarily collect the early models. 1930s - 60s, and focus on the rare, and hard to find ZIPPOs
The value of ZIPPO lighters is complex. Rarity and condition dictate most of their value.
Original packaging, paperwork, and provenance also effect value.
I don't place values here on this site. I am more interested in owning a COMPLETE collection.
Having said this, I follow the current market values of the most desirable models.
I continue to search, in an attempt to improve my knowledge and complete my collection.
There are thousands of Zippo collectors worldwide, who share the same enthusiasm as I do to this addicting past-time.
All lighters shown here, are from my personal collection, unless stated otherwise.
The information given in this website comes from reading many books, personal observation,
and swapping information with other collectors worldwide.
This site will be upgraded on a regular basis, so check back often to see what's new.
I want to thank my wife Marie for her support.
Marie is also a collector. She loves the hand painted enamel lighters.
Her favorites are shown on her own page.
Thanks for looking: Paul
I'm always buying, so if you have an interesting lighter drop me a line.
Thanks to all my friends from over the years for their continued support. I'm considering shutting the site down due to rising costs. If you enjoy using this site, please consider support . Thank you