General tires, REV KO wheels adorn Jeep saluting Zippo lighter

Jan. 1, 2020
REV KO wheels wrapped in General tires are among the add-ons to a custom Jeep commemorating the fabled Zippo lighter.
REV KO wheels wrapped in General tires are among the add-ons to a custom Jeep commemorating the fabled Zippo lighter.

Constructed for the “Inside West Coast Customs” cable television show on the Velocity network, the design creates “the ultimate outdoorsman’s ride.”

“It was an honor to work with such an iconic American brand, but at the same time, I felt the pressure of being partially responsible for relaying a message of the past, present and future of a company that has been around for nearly eight decades,” says Ryan Friedlinghaus, West Coast’s founder and CEO, speaking of the Zippo project.

“One of the many highlights of this build for me was being able to reveal this car to my automotive fans at the NASCAR Zippo 400 race at Watkins Glen,” he adds.

The crew started off with a new 2011 Jeep Wrangler. The exterior needed to have an authentic Zippo look and feel to it, so they started with a silver base paint coat and hand-brushed it to give it the appearance of an original brushed aluminum Zippo. A Tuff Country suspension kit was added along with Poison Spyder bumpers, side steps and fenders, with the REV KO wheels and General tires “to give it that off-road look.”

Finalizing the exterior, they fabricated a roof rack, added additional KC lights and put on a spare wheel and tire. Zippo branding was integrated into the grille and doors, and they even fabricated an oversized Zippo on the back hatch of the Wrangler.

The interior of the Wrangler needed to scream “the future of Zippo,” so it was kept clean and straight to the point; Roadwire black suede and leather with red stitching was used on the seats, with Zippo’s presence displayed throughout the interior. The rear of the Jeep was transformed into a mobile showroom, equipped with a 32-inch LCD TV to display all the current Zippo promotions and products, topped-off with top-of-the-line audio equipment.

Headquartered in Corona, Calif., Friedlinghaus and his shop have been doing exclusive custom builds for the MTV show “Pimp my Ride,” TLC’s “Street Customs,” “Street Customs Berlin” and now on his program, “Inside West Coast Customs.” It airs Sunday nights on Velocity at 8 o’clock Eastern time.

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