In collaboration with Mike Alfieri.
A long, long time ago, someone created the greatest honor in all of car culture. This is not the Corvette club, or the prestigious Ferrari club, this is the Jeep wave. Not just any old Jeep can execute a Jeep wave, though, it must be a Jeep Wrangler. This started with the original two-door Jeep model and gradually accepted the new four-door Jeep models (the Wrangler Unlimited). You may be asking yourself, why is the Jeep wave better than the Ferrari or Corvette club? It’s quite simple actually, the honor of the Jeep wave is only granted to those who have the backbone to rock around on the old-fashioned suspension the Jeep has to offer. And, if you have a Jeep, you know what we are talking about. There is no luxurious back support in a Jeep, it is a rough ride. Many people that own a Jeep are very patriotic people. You simply don’t buy an American-made vehicle that saw wide use in World War II if you hate The United States of America.
Different people have different wave techniques. In my days behind the Jeep wheel, I’ve observed that the most common waves are the “two finger salute”, and “the palm”. But to each their own. Perhaps, more charismatic, energetic people will do a classic wave, and move their hand to the left and the right. People also incorporate different degrees of wrist motion – it adds some pizzazz if you flick your wrist a bit.
There are rules to the Jeep wave, too. A Jeep with a lower status, determined by score, must initiate the wave to a higher status. A Jeep’s score is determined by a variety of factors, with type of model, amount of mud on the vehicle, and amount of modifications all coming into play. The wave must always be returned as well, unless the Jeep in question has a score of below zero. But if the driver is having trouble determining the status of the other Jeep, they must initiate a wave immediately.
Every time I’m behind the wheel of my 2015 Jeep Rubicon, I’ll wave to any Wrangler I see. And usually they’ll wave back. And sometimes they won’t. But as Shakespeare once said, “There is no darkness but ignorance.” I can only feel pity that they were not properly trained in how a Jeep should be driven.