Many of you think of a family beach vacation as boogie boards, sandcastles, boardwalk games, and delicious fried foods that should probably never be fried. What if you could have all that but throw in a couple thousand Jeeps and nightly family-friendly gatherings to try out local foods while mingling with like-minded Jeep fanatics? But wait, there’s more. Add in a vendor show where you can check out the latest and most-wanted Jeep accessories, and top it off with a little wheeling through some beautiful wooded land, a top-notch obstacle course, and a mud pit just waiting to swallow your Jeep whole. This action-packed show may seem like a dream come true, but no need to pinch yourself; we assure you it is real.
Thanks to creative guru Brad Hoffman, and original founders Will Lynch and Chris and Mandy Cropper, Ocean City Jeep Week has become a popular beach Jeep vacation. What better way to end the summer than being blessed with outstanding blue skies and near-perfect temperatures, all while being surrounded by a vast array of Jeeps ranging from early Willys to brand-new Jeeps. Due to the astonishing growth of the show over the last few years, new nightly gatherings were added, and an extra day of the beach crawl was thrown in too, giving everyone a chance to experience driving on a beach that is normally closed to vehicles. Each morning tourists lined up along the boardwalk to witness the impressive line of 250 Jeeps kicking up the soft sands. The lineage of Jeep history making up this parade was once again a big hit, with many examples of beautifully restored Jeeps of nearly every era.
In the neighboring town of Berlin, Maryland, C.C. Customs once again knocked it out of the park with this year’s Jeep Jam. Thanks to the team of skilled volunteers everyone got a chance to do some off-roading, and many novice Jeepers discovered they could confidently attack obstacles they never imagined. Seasoned off-roaders were just as happy with a variety of more difficult obstacles and the ever-popular mud pit that claimed many Jeeps throughout the event.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending Ocean City Jeep Week, what are you waiting for? Planning for the 2018 show is already well under way. You can explore a breathtaking coastline, top-notch obstacle course, growing list of vendors showing their latest offerings, and local favorite hangouts for meeting old pals or making new friends. Visit oceancityjeepweek.com for information on next year’s show.
The vendor show was packed with Jeep eye candy. This Seabee-tribute Comanche was one of our favorites. Sporting an 8-inch long-arm BDS suspension kit with Fox 2.0 shocks, Dana 44, lockers with 4.56 gears, a 4.1 transfer case from a Rubicon, chromoly axleshafts, TeraFlex high-steer, Rock Hard rollcage, Warn winch, and 37-inch Falken MTS tires, this MJ was one heck of a sweet ride.
This ’49 Willys Jeepster owned by Mark Souders wasn’t lacking any attention in the Jim’s Marine Show & Shine. We were most likely not the only fans of this pristine Jeepster, and were daydreaming about soaking up some sun while cruising down the road in this beauty.
As the saying goes, “It takes all kinds to make a world.” We hope the same applies to the Jeep world with this ’92 pro-street YJ. It may not have been our cup of tea, but it certainly turned some heads.
We think it’s safe to say Tom Bostic is a life-long fabricator and a kid at heart after hearing the story behind this monster Jeep. As a young kid, he wanted a Jeep as long as he could remember and this ’80 CJ-7 (yes, you read that right) was his first vehicle. His stepdad had bought it before Tom was old enough to drive with plans on selling it to him when he was old enough. He would break it, fix it, and break it again. Tom learned quickly that in order to break this cycle, he was going to have to take matters into his own hands if he wanted to keep his CJ rolling on his current budget. Over the years, he custom-made everything on it, right down to the mirrors. It’s had many faces, and many motors, but he credits this nearly 10-foot-tall beast for opening many doors and his successes in his life creating unique vehicles.
The vendor show keeps growing year after year, with companies such as BDS Suspension, Kicker, JKS Manufacturing, RIPP Superchargers, River Raiders, and Wicked Coastal, to name a few. We’re thinking a lot of Christmas wish lists were made just walking through the show.
What better way to kick off a Jeep show than with an obstacle at the entrance of the parking lot for the opening party at Fish Tales in Ocean City, Maryland. We witnessed a few Jeeps with some minor issues getting in, which only made the crowd more excited. That’s one way to host a Jeep-only event!
While many were still cuddled up in bed with visions of Jeeps dancing through their heads, Brad Hoffman (aka B-Rad), was out at the crack of dawn every morning orchestrating the beach crawl, which had a daily limit of 250 Jeeps. What a beautiful way to watch the sunrise.
There’s nothing quite like an early morning cruise in the Jeep on a beautiful sandy beach.
Crowds formed every morning along the pier for a peek at the astonishing parade of 250 Jeeps lined up along the breathtaking sandy coastline finishing their early morning crawl.
Douglas Lorgenecker, from Lititz, Pennsylvania, “drove it like he stole it” in this sweet ’78 CJ-5 with a 4.2L I-6, T-150 transmission, and Dana 20 transfer case. The front Dana 30 features a Gleason/Torsen limited slip, and the AMC 20 in the back carries the factory limited slip. It rides on a 2.5-inch spring lift with custom boomerang shackles, and Bilstein shocks. They wanted an all-around off-roading Jeep that could still be able to keep its original responsibility as a winter plow vehicle.
Watching the way Bill Goodwin attacked the obstacle course in his super-rare CJV35/U, you would have no idea it is one of less than 100 known to exist today. Similar to the CJ-3A civilian Jeep, the U.S. Navy contracted the construction of 1,000 Jeeps, destined for use by the United States Marine Corps, with unique features specific only to this military model. The CJV35/U was designed for deep-water fording capabilities and had a snorkel ventilation system for the engine and other drivetrain components. One deviation from previous military contract vehicles is that no blackout lighting was provided. It had unique trim rings and bezels that extended forward of the lamps in lieu of blackout components.
This was one traffic jam no one complained about being in. There were no honking horns, no yelling, or cutting people off. Only the sound of “here we go” with the feeling of waiting for your first time on a new roller coaster.
Talk about eye catching, there was no way you could miss Jordan Russo in his ’13 Jeep JK8 when it hit the obstacle course. Not only did it look good, it cruised over the obstacles like nobody’s business.
Many lined up to test their Jeep’s ability to flex its suspension on the Ramp Travel Index (RTI) ramp. Even if the chassis limits weren’t a concern, many used it for a photo opportunity of their stretched-out Jeeps.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” should have been playing in the background. We didn’t see her stop laughing or smiling for the entire obstacle course, which, by the way, she handled like a boss.
No Jeep left out. All shapes and sizes hit the obstacle course looking to have some fun. Even though the driver of this Grand Cherokee got into a bit of a pickle, the team was quick to help him out.
Talk about determination, there was no giving up here. Getting hung up on a log only made this driver try harder, which eventually paid off. Not only did he manage to untangle the Jeep and get over the obstacle, he also put on a heck of a show for the spectators.
In addition to the obstacle course and mud pit at Jeep Jam, there was a short trail through the woods to give everyone a little taste of off-roading. Volunteers at each obstacle along the route gave instructions and options. “Mud or mall” was our favorite option along the route. No judging the capable Jeeps that took the “mall” route.
The mud pit was serious business this year. With all the recent rain, the pit was destined to claim many Jeeps. Unlike last year’s event during which more than one contestant made it through the pit on the first run, no one made it out this year.
Even though no one made it through the pit during the competition, Kenny Corkell once again took home the King of the Pit trophy for the longest distance in the pit.
A new addition to the show this year were multiple performances from a local band, Forsaken. They are a country, hick-pop rock band that not only sings about Jeeps—they have a Jeep as part of their stage set—but also wheel them.
It’s always a treat to see old Jeeps brought back to life, and Ted Willing did just that with this ’82 Jeep Scrambler he referred to as a “Craigslist build.” This rust- and bondo-free self-built beauty is equipped with an AMC 401 engine, Dana 60 front, Dana 70 rear, custom dashboard, and full rollcage.