What is the Jeep Wave?
If you drive a Jeep Wrangler you belong to a special club of people. Membership is owning a car with a seven-slot grille and when you see each other on the road, you naturally say hello with a wave, the Jeep Wave.
The Jeep Wave isn’t just a normal wave, though. There’s a certain way Jeepers say hi to each other. When you see another Jeep vehicle on the road, you raise your pointer and index fingers while touching your thumb to your ring and pinkie fingers. Raising your thumb, pointer and index fingers while your ring finger and pinky are on the steering wheel is also acceptable, as well as a wave with all five fingers.
There are a few unspoken rules when it comes to who waves first too, but they’re not followed to the letter. The younger Jeep is supposed to salute the older Jeep first and a stock Jeep waves first to one that’s been modified.
So, where did the Jeep Wave begin?
Well, no one is certain, but there are a few theories on the origins, according to Autoblog.
1. The earliest the wave could have begun is during World War II as a way for soldiers to acknowledge each other while out on patrol.
2. The wave began after the WWII when veterans, now home, saw each other in the vehicle they drove during the war. It could have been a way for them to recognize each other’s service.
3. Off-roading for fun took off in the 1970s and it could have started then as a way to say hey to another adventurous spirit.
There’s a sense of community between all owners of Jeeps, especially those who drive Wranglers.
“When I first started driving my Jeep, I was confused as to why so many Jeep owners were waiving to me,” said Gabriel Collins, driver of a 2011 Wrangler Sport with a soft top. “After I was filled in on what was going on it’s become second nature to show respect to fellow Jeeps on the road. It makes my day to see people with the same outdoor spirit as me driving in the city.”
If you’re a new Jeep driver, don’t be shocked if you see someone waving at you in the other lane. And no matter what model Jeep you drive, next time you see another member of the Jeep family on the road, go ahead and give them a wave!