The original Zippin Pippin at Libertyland closed in 2005 and was subsequently sold at an auction for around $2,500 (yes, you read that correctly). The salvageable artifacts from the ride were sold to a travelling rock-n-roll museum, including one of the original trains that sat near the entrance of the ride. Fortunately, that original front car has returned to Memphis and I had the chance to see it this weekend.
The car was originally situated outside the entrance to the Zippin Pippin, allowing park guests to take a commemorative photo inside the historic car.
In the above photograph (c. late 1970s), one of the original Zippin Pippin trains can be seen in use.
I’m not exactly sure the make/model of this car, so if you are aware please share in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
The front plate displaying Elvis Presley’s signature was added after the car was removed from Libertyland. Elvis was known for renting out Libertyland (then known as Fairgrounds Amusement Park) for his friends. The Zippin Pippin was known as Elvis’ favorite ride. This was thought to be his favorite car to ride in.
The car isn’t in the best shape after sitting outside for so long, especially as most of it is made of wood.
The Zippin Pippin ride sign is propped up in the back of the car. The hound dog was Libertyland’s mascot in its earlier days of operation.
At some point these trains were retired for a more modern pair of Philadelphia Toboggan Company trains.
Some of the cars wheels are still attached, but are not visible due to the wooden “stand” that the car is still attached to.
A replica of the Zippin Pippin was built at the Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin and opened in 2011.