If you know anything about Jeeps, you probably know that the Wrangler is the outgrowth of a long line of military vehicles. However, what you may not know is that the first jeeps were produced in a tiny little town of Butler, Pennsylvania, a full year before the army ever placed orders for the massive amounts of jeeps that helped win World War II. Bantam was struggling to churn out the very first vehicles to be known as the jeep long before the standardized Willys MB was produced, but they were the first. This is why the town of Butler has held the Bantam Heritage Jeep Festival every summer for the past few years.
The 2014 experience was even better than before, and if there’s any indication of a trend, we will want to be back for the 2015 event. With expanded trails and more activities (including bringing your dog along) there is something for everyone—as long as it’s Jeep related. Even Chrysler was in attendance with some of their underground vehicles, and Dana Axle showed of their newest Dana 60 crate axles for JKs. And if you’re into JKs, there were plenty of them to be found, along with virtually every other designation of Jeep vehicle that could be had.
Next year’s happening is already on our docket for June 12-14, 2015. They registered a record breaking 1,911 Jeeps from 28 states this year and plan to bust that number wide open with the addition of a Jeep invasion or parade through downtown Butler. With even more trails planned and other less arduous sightseeing rides, the 2015 Bantam Heritage Jeep festival promises to be better than ever. Contact them at bantamjeepfestival.com or call 724-234-2291 for more information. You’ll be glad you did.