Bantam Jeep Fest Recap
Butler, PA, with it’s beautiful landscape and small town charm has a little secret. Well it’s not much of a secret, it’s more of a heritage; the heritage of the Jeep; the birthplace of the Jeep. Over seven decades ago when the Army requested auto manufactures develop a light weight reconnaissance vehicle to use on the battlefields during WWII. Only 2 companies stepped up to the plate one being Willys-Overland and the other being the American Bantam Car Company in Butler, PA. Bantam original won the contract, but ultimately Willys received the commission with the help of Ford to meet the military’s quota. Fast forward 70+ years and the town of Butler decides to celebrate it’s heritage by hosting a Jeep gathering. Last year being the inaugural year the event set a Guiness world record for the longest Jeep parade and followed it up by starting this year’s event with an invasion of downtown Butler. Following that the event moved over to the Butler Fairgrounds as thousands gathered for to celebrate the lifestyle, the people, and the heritage of Jeep.
The show-n-shine competition brought in Jeeps of all shapes and sizes, while the team challenge put teams to the test in a race against the clock in an Jeep focused obstacle course. Antique Bantams and original BRCs (the vehicle built for the Army) were on display and vendors were out on site offering great show specials and offering support to the show participants. Jason Shellhaas from BDS Suspension made it out with the company’s rigs and to hang out with our local distributor Meridian Offroad. 4Wheel & Offroad’s Editor-in-Chief Rick Pewe drove his ’43 Willys flattie from Cali through the Rubicon trail and all the way to Butler or the event. Thanks for stopping by Rick, it’s always great to see you out at these events.
Despite some looming storm clouds the booth stayed busy throughout the weekend and we wanted to say thank you to everyone that stopped by. A big thanks goes out to the crew from Meridian Offroad and the staff of the Butler County Tourism for putting on a great event once again.
To see all the coverage from this event, you’ll have to head on over to check out the BDS Facebook Page.