Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 2, Page


Chrysler’s Hottest Wheels

Repop’d Zippomobile carries the torch for the world-famous lighter maker.

Words and photos by Cliff Gromer

ell folks, the vote is in—and it's official! We've totaled up all the mail-in and email ballots asking for your choice of Chrysler's absolutely hottest car of this past millennium (if you didn’t vote you have only yourself to blame). 'Course it comes as no surprise to us that the vote was almost unanimous. C'mon now, what could be hotter than the Chrysler...Zippomobile. Sporting not one but two giant Zippo lighters that comprise the entire midsection of the car—a '47 Chrysler Saratoga. The Zippomobile easily beat out the runner-up Chrysler ME Four-Twelve which doesn’t even sport a single Zippo lighter.

Before its mysterious disappearance, the original Zippomobile, a 4-door model converted into a 2-dr. business coupe by Gardner Display, and which cost almost $30,000 to build, appeared in expos, parades and fairs in all 48 states during the late '40s and early '50s. But the car was not without its problems. The weight of the huge roof lighters put enormous pressure on the tires which, unlike the lighters, blew out seemingly everywhere.

Original Zippomobile, along with the Air Training Command Headquarters, mysteriously disappeared sometime in the late '50s or early '60s. Anyone with information about either should contact the Zippo Company or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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