Custom Truck Series - The Zippo Jeep Unlimited June 03, 2013
In the world of custom cars and trucks, there is a reason some professionals stand out from the crowd. Take West Coast Customs, for example; they consistently turn out amazing rides and never cease to impress with what they can do to a stock vehicle. Today we're looking at a Jeep the guys at WCC fully customized for lighter and outdoor equipment company, Zippo Manufacturing Company. The Jeep was made to be release at Watkins Glen Motorway for the 2011 Zippo 400 NASCAR event. This 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was customized from the ground up to be an off-road champ while keeping with the Zippo look, feel, and overall image. Sound interesting? Here's more on the Zippo Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The Exterior When I said this Jeep was customized from the ground up, I wasn't kidding! The WCC guys started by basically stripping the Jeep down to it's bare bones before starting on any work. The first big exterior customization is in the front doors. An English wheel was used to roll the Zippo flame logo into each door this would have killed at the Jeep Jamboree. This gives the Jeep a look that a painted logo just can't give. Along with the flame in the door, a fully customized grill was made especially for this project. The new grill included the flame logo with the signature windproof holes that are on a real Zippo lighter's flame guard. The paint job on this Wrangler Unlimited was made custom to resemble brushed aluminum to better match a rugged, original Zippo lighter.
Lighting was an important aspect of the exterior of this build. Oracle lighting made a custom package for this Jeep, including red LED headlight halos, red LED grill illumination, and red underbody lights. The idea is for the Jeep to look like it's on fire when everything is on. Added to these were KC lights on the custom built roof rack for added off-road lighting. The Interior The interior of this Jeep Wrangler Unlimited needed to match what Zippo refers to as "the future of Zippo," so the WCC guys made it clean and straight to the point, just how Zippo sees itself and hopes it's customers do, too. They chose Roadwire Black suede and leather with red stitching for the seats, and custom Zippo branding in the seats and throughout the interior. They wanted the interior to be simple, but still scream "Zippo." The goal for the interior was sleek and modern, and with these simple changes, it was met 100%. The rear of the Jeep's interior was converted into a mobile Zippo showroom. WCC added a 32" LCD TV in the center, with actual Zippo display cases surrounding it. They chose to install some West Coast Customs audio as well so the promotional videos could really rock. The Customizations This is where everything comes together. The reasoning for using a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited here was to match Zippo's brand image, which is described as: "We could have chosen any number of vehicles for this project, but the Jeep was the most fitting. There are many parallels between our brands - American-made, rugged, tough and dependable. In addition, the nature of the Jeep makes it the ideal vehicle to help us promote and share all the great things weíre doing with our Outdoor Line." -George Duke, Zippo owner and chairman of the board Basically, when most people think of Zippos and Jeeps, they get the same ideas; rugged, tough, American. With this build, those ideas were given life by Ryan and his WCC team. The idea is for this Jeep to be off-road capable, so a full lift kit was installed to raise the Jeep up and give it some better ground clearance. Next, Poison Spyder side steps and fenders were installed to give the Jeep more room for bigger wheels. Those wheels are REV KO wheels wrapped in General tires. A Tuff Country suspension was added to give it a better stance on the trail as well. Rounding out the standard off-road customizations, a fully functional WARN winch was added to the front, which called for a custom bumper as well. No customization would be complete without some engine work, so a RIPP supercharger was added. RIPP was chosen as the best solution out of the box and the install went flawlessly. It's things like this that the normal customizer just can't get done on a normal budget, which is what makes watching this so interesting. In keeping with the West Coast Customs over-the-top customizations they are known for, the guys built a huge fake Zippo to use in place of the spare tire, branded with the WCC logo, of course. They also built a custom roof rack to mount the KC lights and spare tire to as well, since there was no out-of-the-box solution for this, either. Overall This Jeep really is the blending of two American icons. Both have been around for decades, both have even been to war! The Zippo Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is a reserved, solid custom Jeep that has a few over the top features, but keeps with the sleek, modern style that Zippo was looking for, and is another example of an awesome custom vehicle from West Coast Customs. About West Coast Customs: Based out of Corona, California, West Coast Customs was founded in 1993 by Ryan Friedlinghaus. West Coast Customs (WCC) is known as the premiere high-end modification shop that can transform any vehicle into a custom masterpiece. West Coast Customs is not only known for building cars but also for their notoriety on television as well, delivering content to a wide range of viewers. West Coast Customs has been the exclusive shop featured on multiple channels, including MTVís show Pimp my Ride, TLC's Street Customs, Street Customs Berlin and most recently, Velocity - Inside West Coast Customs. More information on the Zippo Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: - WCC Zippo Jeep gallery - http://www.westcoastcustoms.com/wcc-x-zippo-jeep-x-gallery/ - PRNewswire - http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/renowned-custom-car-builders-west-coast-customs-continue-season-2-of-their-hit-show-inside-west-coast-customs-featuring-the-american-icon-with-zippo-132361308.html - The Glen - http://www.theglen.com/Articles/2011/08/West-Coast-Customs-Car.aspx