A successful circus may start with a ringleader, but let's face it, without the performers and the spectators, it would just be a big tent full of humorously dressed animals. The same goes for any successful Jeep show. Brad Hoffman, event director for Ocean City Jeep Week, and a team of dedicated people, businesses, and Jeep clubs have worked together for a number of years to create an amazing annual Jeep show in Ocean City, Maryland. Jeep enthusiasts from all walks of life came together at the 2019 Ocean City Jeep Week, held August 22-25, to enjoy four exciting days of sand play, challenging obstacles, and vendors galore. The days and nights were packed with never-ending good times and wonderful memories.
Being on the beach at 6:45 a.m. may seem early for a vacation, but if you want to be among the lucky ones that get to drive on a sandy strip of Maryland coastline that is normally off limits to vehicles, it's a small price to pay. The beach crawl stages at Jolly Roger, hits the sand at 30th St., and goes all the way to the inlet parking lot, where a station to air up is provided. Crowds of vacationers work their way out of their hotels with morning coffee in hand to enjoy the parade of Jeeps. A sand obstacle course set up north of the pier was sponsored by Kicker and built by Jeff Pruitt and Karen Schreiber. It was back by popular demand for the second year. There were two sessions per day, during which participants could test their skills on the sand.
There's nothing quite like the Jeep Crawl on fresh morning sand—the smell of salty air, the warmth of sun on your face, and blue skies are a great way to start the day.
The ever-popular Jeep Jam at MAYS Sports Complex in Pittsville, Maryland, was once again a favorite for participants. The course was built and run by Chris Cropper and the CC Customs team, John DeForce, and Chris Russell of Superior Contracting. Jeep Jam also had two sessions per day for the thrill seeker who wanted serious play time on a more technical obstacle course consisting of hill climbs, a rock course, and a crazy set of stairs, which was new this year. As always, there was an abundance of vendors set up at the Ocean City Convention Center displaying the latest and greatest offerings for the off-road enthusiast. Last but not least, no self-respecting Jeep show would be complete without a show 'n' shine. This year's show displayed numerous fine examples of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into building customized Jeeps. We saw some true Jeep gems that day.
Year after year, we are amazed at the effortless flow of this fun-filled show for the thousands of Jeepers who travel from near and far to be part of this great event. The team effort and enthusiasm that goes into producing this show is responsible for it becoming an East Coast must-see for every type of Jeep fan. For more information on the show, check out oceancityjeepweek.com.
Every morning another set of lucky Jeep owners hit the sand at 30th St. for an unforgettable cruise down the beautiful beach in Ocean City, Maryland.
Now that's a lot of bumpers! Affordable Offroad out of Coal Township, Pennsylvania, was making a big splash at the vendor show at the Ocean City Convention Center, and to say they came prepared would be an understatement for these guys. They had bumpers available for every Jeep you could imagine. If that wasn't enough, they also had body armor for Jeep Cherokees and all Wranglers, gas tank skidplates for all Jeeps, and rock sliders for all Jeeps. If by some crazy chance they didn't have what you were looking for, they were more than happy to make it.
If spending your day playing in the sand and rocks and strolling through the rows of vendors wasn't enough, every night there was a party going on. You could check out other Jeeps, eat some tasty food, and, of course, get in lots of Jeep talk with new friends.
Let's face it, we all look at new Jeeps the way a kid looks at a candy store. That was the reaction to the new Jeep Gladiators at the convention center. Even though this one was ready for some beach play, the only action it saw was the spectators ogling over it.
Mary Barbara Breining from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was one of our favorites on the obstacle course at this year's Jeep Jam. This retired grandmother drove through the obstacle course like a boss in her 2018 Jeep Wrangler. She was laughing and having a blast. When we asked her how long she's been off-roading, she said this was her first time. Way to go, "Nana!"
Stacked logs are always a nice addition to an obstacle course. Kris Gordon from Bay Shore, New York, lucked out, hitting the log obstacle in his 2000 Jeep Cherokee before the rain turned it into a different kind of monster the following day.
Jeep Jam was held in Pittsville, Maryland, at MAYS Sports Complex for the second time this year, and once again it was a huge success. Wayne Shirk, from Akron, Pennsylvania, was having a great time on this unique concrete hillclimb that proved to be a challenging obstacle that everyone enjoyed.
Who doesn't love cruising down the rows of awesomeness at a show 'n' shine? Whether you drool, dream, or giggle a little at what you find, there's always something that you wish was parked in your garage.
There's just something about this 1974 CJ-6 owned by Matt Hough that warms our hearts. It's a stroll down memory lane—simpler times and beautiful old iron that looks as if it was just driven off the showroom floor.
Ready, set, go! The sand obstacle course is in the second year at Ocean City Jeep Week and is a favorite of not only the participants but also the unsuspecting vacationers out enjoying a stroll down the boardwalk that get a free show.
Kevin Long, from Albany, New York, took on every obstacle at Jeep Jam and didn't give up until he did them all. He put on a great show for the spectators in his beautiful 1983 Jeep Scrambler. Kevin custom-built the CJ-8 in his shop using a vast array of different Jeeps, along with a Chevy 1-ton rear axle and Ford front axle thrown in for good measure.
This year the Jeep Jam team added a new obstacle on the advanced/difficult section of the course. Four sets of concrete steps were placed perfectly apart to make for an extremely challenging obstacle that only a handful of Jeeps would even try. Mike Ferrari, from Ocean City, Maryland, nailed it in his 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Sometimes in life you find yourself stuck on a rock. There's no need to panic; all you really need is a little push from a friend.
After a hearty rainfall overnight, the obstacle course turned into a whole new beast. Add a layer of mud to any obstacle and you change it from a cake walk to a slip and slide. Even with the added mud this beautifully restored Jeepster still managed to go through the course like a pro.
Everyone wanted a piece of the action after seeing Jeff Pruitt's Gladiator playing around on the sand obstacle course. He was finally able to enjoy a little playtime after all his hard work on the course.
We know many can relate to Tyler Lowrey from Laurel, Delaware. He was in school and had very little money to build his 2005 Jeep Wrangler, so he taught himself how to do everything from oil changes to engine swaps. He didn't have the money to buy a lift kit so he used parts from many lift kits to piece together his own, dropped in a Ford 8.8 rear axle from a 1991 Explorer, and added 37-inch Pitbull Rockers tires, all resulting in a well-built, capable off-road Jeep.
Christopher Shaw jumped at the chance to play on the rocks at Jeep Jam in his 2000 Jeep Cherokee. The rocks didn't have a chance against the Cherokee, which had front and rear axles out of a 2011 Ford Super Duty and 37-inch BFG Krawler tires.
Jeep Jam had two different courses. One that was appropriate for all Jeeps, so even a stock Jeep could do it, and a difficult course that was for highly modified Jeeps. We saw several Jeeps trying out their luck on the difficult obstacles, but this was the newest one to take on the challenge. Daniel Humphrey, of Newark, Delaware, joined the fun in his 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with 10 inches of stretch, Ultimate Dana 60 front and rear axles, and a RIPP supercharger, just to name a few of the modifications on this beast of a Jeep.
Sunday after the last Beach Crawl of 2019, participants headed over to Burton Jeep dealership for the end-of-show party for a last chance to win some prizes, show off their rigs, and check out some nice builds on new and old Jeeps.
This might be the only traffic we ever sit in that we don't complain about. Coming off the sand at the pier led participants into the inlet parking lot, where a compressor station was set up for Jeeps to air up before hitting the road to enjoy a full day of show activities.
Every good obstacle course must have a rock garden, and William Burton from Golts, Maryland, decided to take the hard side in his 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, giving the spectators a little excitement. All obstacles had a spotter to help you along and out of sticky situations, so why not give it a try?
Most of us are aware that Dogfish Head Brewery out of Milton, Delaware, makes great beer, but we didn't know they had such great taste in vehicles. This beautiful 1971 Jeep Grand Wagoneer belongs to Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery. Spectators not only got the chance to check out his personal Jeep but also walked away sporting a cool new hat from the brewery.