The Jeep Wave – When to Do It, When to Not
I bought my first Jeep Wrangler in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2005. It was a black 1997 Wrangler that was absolutely a blast to drive. It was at this time I caught the Jeep bug and fell in love with the ride.
Picture: Doc Jarnagin/TSM
When I drove that beauty off the lot, I noticed quickly that I had just entered into the Wrangler community. I was getting waves or friendly hand gestures from passing Wrangler owners wherever I went. This was cool! Now, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the majority of vehicles on the road are either trucks or sedans. The farmers/workers loved the trucks while the old folks loved the Buick's. Seeing a Wrangler wasn't a common occurrence.
When I moved to Northern Colorado, I continued with this tradition and was waving at other Wranglers as they passed by. For the most part, I got nothing. Nada. It bothered me because I made the effort and I love my Wrangler and I wanted them to wave back! Snobs, I thought. But, I also noticed that there were a lot of Wranglers out there. I'd have to keep my hand in the air all the time to cover all of the passing Wranglers. This was the year that Jeep introduced the 4-door Wrangler (Unlimited) and they were everywhere! I'm betting a lot of long time Wrangler owners who have families could no longer utilize the two-door model, so the 4-door upgrade was needed. Also, this version of the Wrangler brought in new Jeep owners. So, with all of these Wranglers running around, maybe that's why nobody waves here.
In 2011, I upgraded to the newer version and body style and eventually added new tires, rims, and a 4 1/2 inch lift. The funny thing is, after these accessories were added, the waves came back! Not all of the time, but definitely more often than before. I found that curious. I started to pay a bit more attention as to who's waving and who's not. It seemed that those who upgraded their Wrangler (wheels, tires, lifts, light bars, wenches, fenders/bumpers) were the ones waving at me. Perhaps given the number of these vehicles on the road the new thought is: "If you care, then add some flare". It's the difference between those who just drive a Wrangler and those who LOVE driving a Wrangler.
I told a co-worker that I've stopped waving at other Wranglers that haven't added any accessories. He thinks I'm a snob. He may be right, but his Jeep has flare. I'd wave at him!
To you Wrangler owners, do you wave? Are you selective? Do you try and get nothing or do you try and get a response?