Ocean City Jeep Week is an event held every year in Ocean City, Maryland, with the exception of 2011 when a hurricane Irene literally rained on the parade. August 27-29, 2015, marked the 6th year of this fun-in-the-sun, action-packed three-day adventure. Things kicked off early Thursday morning with the first of three days of the Beach Crawl. More than 250 Jeeps lined up each day as far as the eye could see, itching to feel the warm sand between their tire treads and the sun on their seven-slot grills as they parade down the beautiful beach. This amazing sight was the highlight of the show as people crowded the boardwalk to witness the parade. Judging by the spectators’ reactions, many innocent bystanders were bitten by the Jeep bug.
With a 30-percent growth over last year, this show is sure to become one of the largest events on the East Coast. For the 2015 show, 1,200 registered Jeeps and 45 key vendors in the off-road community showed up.
The fun was non-stop with days filled with checking out the latest offerings from the vendors, admiring the Jeeps in the show and shine, and driving an obstacle course that was one of the best we’ve seen at a show. Each night was topped off with a party. This is an all-Jeep show, so mark your calendars now. This is a show you don’t want to miss.
What do you get when hundreds of Jeeps invade the beach in Ocean City, Maryland? A really cool Jeep-inspired sand sculpture, of course. When all is said and done, we are all just kids trapped in adult bodies looking to play in the sand.
Nothing ever breaks when you don’t care. Ian Alexander made the long trek down from Long Island, New York, and then hit the obstacle course like a man on a mission in his ’68 Kaiser M715 with the intention of blowing the motor. This was the truck’s last hurrah before getting a new engine, so why not go out with a bang? He gave it his all, but this beast of a truck refused to die.
These lovely ladies gave a whole new meaning to girls gone wild. Holly Miller drove her ’12 Jeep Wrangler from Akron, Ohio, to enjoy the beach festivities and, of course, go crazy in the mud pit. She didn’t just go in once and call it quits. She kept going back for more. What’s a little mud when you’re having a blast?
The show and shine was stacked with Jeeps of all shapes, sizes, and color at the Ocean City Convention Center on Friday. Many owners sported a nice shine on their Jeep hoping to be a lucky trophy winner and have bragging rights to the coolest Jeep at the event.
Chris Cropper, owner of CC Customs, put together an amazing obstacle course. Along with his team, Cropper took feedback they received the previous year and spent months designing one of the best courses we’ve seen at an event. In addition to the obstacle course, there was a cruise around a pond before heading into the woods for your choice of a few hills and small obstacles on the bypass for those just learning to drive off-road.
No traffic jams here. The obstacle course not only flowed smoothly but had something for everyone. Mike Shiloh of Bel Air, Maryland, drove over the large rock pile in his ’99 Jeep Cherokee XJ like it was a smooth gravel road.
Who goes out, buys a Jeep, and says, “In 15 weeks I’m going to have a monster Jeep that will plow through anything”? Geoff Charvat, that’s who. Even though Geoff was busy pulling others out of the mud pit, that didn’t mean he was going to let everyone else have all the fun. His ’79 Jeep CJ-5 with an AMC 304, Dana 60 axles, and many hand-fabricated parts turned out to be the crowd pleaser in the mud pit.
We’ve seen a lot of log obstacles over the years at shows but this one was a beaver’s wildest dream. We’re not talking about a few logs over a dirt pile; we’re talking stacks of logs that were too intimidating for some. Not so for Vincent VonDenBasch from Greenwood, Delaware, in his ’06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Thanks to one of the many spotters on the course, he cruised over it like it was a walk in the park.
The M715 may be a beast of a truck; however, these on display were monsters. We didn’t expect to walk into the convention center and find these beauties, but it was a nice surprise.
When Travis Jewell jumped into the mud, the crowd went wild. It was exciting to watch Jeeps try to navigate their way through the pit but nothing compared to seeing a person waist deep in the mud.
Got flex? Chris Elford of Clayton, Delaware, had a great time flexing out his restored ’77 Jeep CJ-7 on the wooded trail ride. It was a nice break from being in the sun at the obstacle course and everyone welcomed a little time in the shade.
This might look like a traffic jam waiting to happen, but the obstacle course kept moving at a steady pace all day thanks to a well-thought-out design. Spotters kept things flowing, and only a certain number of Jeeps were allowed on the course at one time.
Welcome to the tire graveyard: where old tires go to die. This obstacle may look easy, but we watched it claim many victims over the weekend. Thankfully, Kyle Koch escaped in his ’04 Jeep Wrangler without a scratch.