This summer, Jeep—America’s favourite military-inspired truck— will be celebrating its 75th birthday. Auto enthusiasts will be honouring the world’s first Jeep, the Bantam Reconnaissance Car, at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, Pennsylvania. The festivities will take place from June 12 – 14 and will feature tons of entertaining visuals from a parade boasting a lineup of rare Jeep models, to several off-road trails. Whether you are planning to enroll in a mechanic college, or you’re simply a diehard Jeep fan, this is one summer event you won’t want to miss, as it is an opportunity to learn more about the iconic truck’s history, and perhaps even its future. Read on to learn more!
The Guinness World Record Parade
This will likely be any automotive service advisor’s favourite part of the entire festival. The Guinness World Record parade will begin with one Jeep from every single year of production, between the years of 1940 and 2015. Following the leaders, a wide variety of other Jeeps will traverse the 3-mile route as well. During the highly anticipated parade, attendees of the festival will have the opportunity of seeing approximately 2,000 Jeeps in total. In fact, Jeep will be trying to break its own 2011 Guinness World Record for the Largest Parade of Jeeps this year! Once the parade has ended, tons of Jeep vehicles will make their way to downtown Butler for a party.
Jeep History Exhibit
Students currently enrolled in auto mechanic courses learn the ins and outs of every part and system featured in all sorts of vehicles—including Jeeps. However, some of those aspiring mechanics might also be Jeep enthusiasts interested in learning a little background information on some of the cars they might be servicing one day. Fortunately, the Jeep Heritage Festival will be showing a history exhibit which will feature twelve of the rarest Jeeps from the 1940’s including the ONLY remodeled BRC. The exhibit will also have a World War II Encampment area where over fifteen WWII Jeeps will be showcased.
The Bantam BRC 40, which began production in 1941. [Public Domain: Wikimedia]
Off-road and On-road Trails
This is the part of the festival where Jeep-owning spectators can actually become participants, as there are on-road and off-road trails that demand to be driven through. Throughout these trails, participants can expect to get their hands (and Jeeps) dirty, as they will be navigating through obstacles and barriers, including mud and trees. Participants can also enter a variety of contests and competitions where prizes can be won. Of course, the Ultimate Jeepers Contest is probably the most anticipated, as the winner will win a grand prize of $7,500 worth of Jeep parts and accessories.
If you’re a huge Jeep fan and would like bring your Jeep to the festival, you’ll have to first register it! You can do so here before the deadline on May 17.
What is your all-time favourite Jeep model?