My Jeep Wave

Military Jeep

There are many who wont understand this or care about it.  That’s ok.

I saw a Jeep Commander today, stock, nice highway tires and rigid mud flaps.  On the rear window were three phrases in the form of stickers.  “GO TOPLESS”,  “Land Rover Recovery Vehicle” and “I Drive Over Things” … No, just no.

This was not a real Jeep, this was a jeep, and he clearly does not understand what go topless means in the context of a Jeep.  Now I am just as supportive of anyone for going topless.  Maybe we all should but this is a reference to convertible (hard or soft top) Jeeps, not Commanders.  For him to go topless would require a sawzall or torch or a Smokey and the Bandit ‘I’ beam across the road.

The “Land Rover Recovery Vehicle” made me giggle (yes really).  This Jeep couldn’t follow most Land Rovers.  It had no recovery gear or winch or D rings or anything that would aid in anything other than jump starting a dead Land Rover at Park Meadows.

The last sticker, “I Drive Over Things” is one I can get behind.  I can see this Commander driving over to the bar, or over to the mall, or maybe over to a 30 year class reunion in LoDo.  This one I can make right in my head, but not the way it is meant in regards to a Jeep.  He doesn’t get it.  He is part of the Jeep culture like I am part of the cowboy culture when I put on my Cowboy hat.  I would not wave to him from my Jeep.

The Jeep wave is the idea that Jeep owners wave to one another as they pass on the two way roads.  Some are militant about if you do or don’t.  Some have rules.  I do as well, more or less.  They aren’t hard and fast rules, just guidelines.  Or whims …. Whatever it is, this is my look on it.

The Jeep is the evolution of the military multi-use vehicle invented by Bantam Car Co.  During WWII they were made by Willys designated MB and the same or similar vehicles made by Ford were designated GPW.  Rumor has it, the GP part of that Ford designation is where Jeep came from, GP, pronounced Jeep.

When they were turned onto civilian use after the war they were designated CJ, supposedly standing for Civilian Jeep.  When turned to civilian use they were barely different than the indestructible military versions.  Often they lacked doors, tops, seat cushions, heaters and even windshield wipers!  They were the definition of utility.

They were sold to farmers to replace horses mules and tractors.  They were sold to people who worked in construction and to people who were going into the back country.  The point here is that those who drove them, drove them for the utilitarian purpose rather than style or comfort.  This spoke to the driver.  They were similar in their intent, which was different than anyone else since the vehicle was unlike anything before.

For approximately two decades the two door, small and formidable Jeep CJ was the only Jeep made and sold.  They became more driver friendly and road worthy but they were still utilitarian.  They still reflected the owner.  Until the International Scout and original Ford Bronco, there was no competition.  When these Jeeps passed one another on the road, somehow, sometime, the wave developed in recognition of these special owners.

I have owned a 79 CJ5.  A 98 Cherokee.  And currently an LJ.  I don’t wave to every Jeep.  Number one, in Colorado there are too many.   Secondly, Jeep has recently made many models I do not consider to be a Jeep at all.  If your pride and joy is not one I typically wave at, I don’t apologize.  I wave to a purpose and use, not a brand.

Jeep TJ

My Jeep is not meek.  It isn’t a mall queen.  It isn’t stock and cleaned all the time.  The interior is dusty and there is dirt in the rubber floor mats.  Usually, it only has a bikini top on.  In other words, it is quite true to the original intent and utility.  I don’t consider a Jeep Compass to be utilitarian, nor a Patriot, nor a current Renegade.  They are cars made by a Jeep company.

I wave to the intent and ability of the vehicle to do what I do more or less.  I wave to modified and TRAIL USED vehicles.  Typically, these are Wranglers or Rubicons or Cherokee.  I may also wave to a Bronco or Toyota or Land Rover too.  I draw the line at a Samurai and it’s cousins.  I don’t wave to pick ups, other than one Ford Raptor I know of.

In other words, I wave to the intent and actual use in the theme of the original Jeep.  Heated seats and leather door skins are not that intent.  Nor are 16,000,000 lumens of light on a Suburban.  A Rubicon with painted fenders and armor-alled tires on 22s is not original intent.  Most of the Jeeps sold I don’t wave to.

If this doesn’t fit your expectations as you drive by me in your Commander, I really don’t give a Yugo.  Current Renegades look like Fiats.  Current Cherokees look like a bumper car.  They wheel about as well.  Maybe they should wave to Rav 4s, not a trail rig.  I’ll wave to the JKUR on 37s that has armor with scratches and a winch line that is not perfectly wound on the spool.  I’ll wave to a first gen Bronco with the top off and the fender corners chewed a bit form the mud tires.  I’ll wave to the Ford Raptor going up Holy Cross.  I wont wave to your Jeep Commander even if you drive over to me.



5 thoughts on “My Jeep Wave

  1. I also have a CJ3A and a 1964 CJ5. Our 19 year old daughter and I drive the 3A, while my wife drives the CJ5.

    Both are mostly stock…the changes are seat belts, Detroit Lockers in both Jeeps’ rear axles and Dana Powr Loks in both Jeeps’ front axles.

    I went looking for seat covers–the “plastic” seats get kind of hot in the summer. The only thing I could find that fit were Hello Kitty seat covers…… I bought them…function over form..and it fits my sense of humor.


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