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Fort Wayne Zoo’s former Safari Veldt Jeep Ride

• CATEGORIES: Features

Seth discovered this ex-Safari Ride jeep at the corporate headquarters of Sweetwater, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The fiberglass jeeps were built by Bradley & Kaye and Fort Wayne Zoo visitors used to ride in them as they toured the zoo’s African Veldt. The African Veldt exhibit opened in the 1970s and closed in the mid 2000s. It was replaced by the African Journey’s sky ride.


David Bradley, the ‘Bradley’ in Bradley and Kaye, had a long history with amusement parks. In 1946 David Bradley opened up the Beverly Park amusement park in southern California. His park inspired Walt Disney to the point that Bradley became a consultant for Walt on Disneyland. At some point Bradley became connected to the Bradley and Kaye manufacturing plant, which created fiberglass carousel molds and children’s rides. In 1974 Beverly Park closed. In the1980s Bradley and Kaye went out of business. In 1987 Chance Amusements acquired the Bradley and Kaye assets. Much more history on Bradley here. David Bradley passed away in 1988.

Here’s a photo of a similar jeep in action at the Fort Wayne zoo. Note it operates on a guided track (from pinterest).


Here’s another action shot from Pinterest:


More photos of from Seth:

fort-wayne-safari-ride2 fort-wayne-safari-ride3



Apparently, there were at least two types of jeeps. This example has a sloped top:


From this site: It appears this one is still at the zoo.


9 Comments on “Fort Wayne Zoo’s former Safari Veldt Jeep Ride

  1. Daniel Horenberger

    I worked with Dave Bradley and partnered some rides. We still build our rides in Long Beach right around the corner from the old shop. Next door was Les Dawes who created the La Dawri and later bought out Glasspar.

    These electric cars run on a Dana 12-M1 axle set up from the factory to have an electric motor. I still have the build drawings and manuals.

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    I figured you’d know something about them 🙂 .. Did anyone else operate a similar jeep ride?

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    oh oh oh … I want one! I just have to dig up my wife’s flower bed and install it there. I wonder how well that will turn out for me 🙂

  4. Bob

    Would that not be cool to have around your property? Wonder how I could talk the Mrs. into this?

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