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Don Pratt Jeep Tours

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Postcards • TAGS: .

UPDATE: I’ve combined various Don Pratt posts into this single post. One set of postcard photos has been updated from poor quality ebay photos to scans of the actual card. Thanks go to Chris for buying and sending it to me earlier this month!

According to this Pink Jeep Tour site, Pink Jeep Tours is the oldest continuously operating Jeep Tour Company in the United States. It was started in 1958 by a Sedona Realtor named Don Pratt, who would drive clients to see homes at Broken Arrow Estates. The Broken Arrow tour is the original Jeep tour and is still today the most popular tour in Sedona.Why did he make the jeeps pink? Mr. Pratt got the idea while visiting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach, where everything was pink.

But, that’s only part of the story. In her book Echoes of Sedona Past, Mary Lou Keller explains how her and her husband cleared the first trail and how, when Glenn Keller decided not to open a jeep tour business, their friend Don Pratt asked if he could do it instead. Mrs. Keller covers the story in five pages of her book available to read on Google.The book also includes the image below of Mary Lou Keller with her do Pico in her (probably) 1946 CJ-2A:

echoes-of-sedonas-past-mary-lou-keller-jeep-trail-image

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This 1960s(?) postcard pictures Don Pratt’s tour jeeps at Oak Creek Canyon out of Sedona, AZ. This is the one Chris bought me.
don-pratt-tours-double-postcard-sedona1-lores

don-pratt-tours-double-postcard-sedona2-lores

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From a 2015 Post: The 1966 Volume 12, No. 5, issue of Jeep News featured these photos from Don Pratt’s Pink Jeep Tours from Sedona, Arizona. The company now offers tours in four Arizona locations.

1966-jeep-news-don-pratt-tours-sedona

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From a 2013 Post: There was at least one other double-photo postcard produced by Don Pratt.

don-pratt-sedona-jeep-tours-postcard2-front don-pratt-sedona-jeep-tours-postcard2-back

 

 

6 Comments on “Don Pratt Jeep Tours

  1. Colin

    An article in the Dec. 7, 2012 Arizona Republic here in Phoenix printed an article about the Pink Jeep Tours and how the company got started by Don Pratt and his wife Elsie in 1960. Mr. Pratt was a real estate broker and as part of his showing properties to prospective buyers, would take them on a tour of the beautiful Sedona area in his Jeep. His wife suggested they could make more money doing Jeep tours. The couple had been to Hawaii and had seen the pink Willys Jeeps with the striped surrey tops at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and suggested the same color scheme for Sedona Jeep Tours. The name later became Pink Jeep Tours and in 1988, the company was sold, but remained in business and has recently expanded their operations to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, using large commercial tour vehicles like the Mercedes Sprinter vans and large custom built Jeep trucks with passenger/bus type bodies, still all in pink.

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Colin … this sounds familiar. Did you mention this earlier this month to me? I forgot all about it!

  3. Awell

    several times, fits the theme of a Jeep.However, both photos are lousy. Too much DOF and Jeep sholud be angled so you see some of the front. And perhaps shooting down from a step ladder for a more interesting composition. Or, you certainly find a better location — sand dunes on Cape Cod??

  4. Colin Peabody

    Gee, I’m really sorry I didn’t respond earlier to Awell on his comment of December 28, 2012. He seems to forget these were postcards that could be sent out by folks who had been on one of the Pink Jeep Tours in the Sedona area. Sedona is in the State of Arizona, a couple thousand miles from the sand dunes of Cape Cod. Pink Jeep Tours never operated outside the State of Arizona back in the 1960s when these postcards were made and they only operate in Arizona and southern Nevada now. The composition of the pictures was done to show the scenery in the background and the ability of the Jeeps to navigate the terrain. “a better location–sand dunes on Cape Cod”. Give me a break. Sedona has some of the most beautiful and varied red rock formations in the western United States.

    I hope his comments were strictly tongue in cheek!

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