BRADFORD, Pa., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zippo Manufacturing Company, maker of the world-famous windproof pocket lighter, and West Coast Customs®, the most recognized name in the custom automotive industry, proudly announce that together, the two will unveil a brand new, custom-designed Zippo vehicle at the 2011 Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International on August 13, 2011. The production of the new Zippo custom vehicle will be the focus of an upcoming episode of "Inside West Coast Customs", the conclusion of which will be filmed live on site at the 2011 Zippo 200. The episode will air this fall when "Inside West Coast Customs" makes its debut on Discovery's soon to be launched Velocity Network.
"This was an exciting project for Zippo as it represents the coming of a new generation and the future direction of this company," said George Duke, Zippo owner and chairman of the board. "We're excited to unveil this new vehicle at the Zippo 200 with West Coast Customs and are proud to have it parked next to the original Zippo Car - a custom designed 1947 Chrysler New Yorker."
One of the most iconic brands in the world, Zippo is known to be cool and classic, tough and rugged, and above all, trustworthy and dependable; traits which will all be embodied in the new design put forth by West Coast Customs. The one-of-a-kind design will allow Zippo to bring the true spirit of the brand on the road as the company plans to leverage the vehicle as a mobile product showcase for the Zippo Outdoor collection.
"Working with an iconic company like Zippo, that's such a big part of American culture, is an amazing experience," said Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO and founder, West Coast Customs. "Zippo's quality, reliability and design standards mirror those I strive for at West Coast Customs and to be able to work together to create a unique vehicle for Zippo is an experience in itself."
Following the unveiling, Friedlinghaus will issue the most famous words in racing - "Gentlemen, start your engines" - as Grand Marshal of the 2011 Zippo 200. Friedlinghaus will also lead the Nationwide field in the brand new custom Zippo vehicle during the first warm up lap of the race, with the green flag drop scheduled for 2:00 P.M.
"Zippo has been an incredible partner for 18 years and always finds new ways to enhance the fan experience at The Glen," said Michael Printup, president, Watkins Glen International. "We are thrilled Zippo decided to unveil their custom-made vehicle during our NASCAR weekend and look forward to showing Ryan the pulse-pounding racing action that we have in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. I know that I cannot wait to see the masterpiece that the guys from West Coast Customs have built."
For additional information about the 2011 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, please visit www.theglen.com.
Zippo markets in more than 160 countries and is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Based in Bradford, PA, Zippo has produced over 475 million windproof lighters, each backed by an unparalleled lifetime guarantee. Zippo's diverse product line includes lighter accessories; butane candle lighters; watches, fragrance, and lifestyle accessories for men; and a robust line of heat and flame products for outdoor enthusiasts. Zippo also owns the Ronson brand of lighters and fuel and W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, both based in Bradford, PA, and Zippo Fashion Italia, headquartered in Vicenza, Italy. Zippo will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2012. For more information, visit Zippo.com.