The Jeep Beach Festival Is An Insane Gathering Of Hardcore Jeep Fans

Offbeat / 4 Comments

This event is simply massive.

Few automotive communities have more passionate followers than Jeep. There's an entire expression built around this devotion - "it's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand."

We've been lucky enough to experience the Jeep lifestyle one week at a time, but nothing prepared us for Jeep Beach. This is an annual event that's been held since 2003 at Daytona Beach, Florida, where Jeep enthusiasts gather to celebrate their vehicles.

We knew Jeep owners were obsessed with the brand, but Jeep Beach takes that adoration to new heights (literally). This was possibly the largest one-make car gathering we've ever attended.

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About The Event

Jeep Beach attracts Jeep enthusiasts from across the US, who gather at the Daytona International Speedway and pack the oval track's infield (and the surrounding areas). All of the staff members are volunteers who simply love the Jeep brand. The event takes place over the course of a week, with attendees having the option to stay the entire time or come for a day trip. Some of the optional activities include a 5K fun run for charity, scavenger hunt, food truck festival, photoshoots, charity softball games, silent auctions, off-road trails, sound & light competitions, and of course, tailgate parties.

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Showing Up In Style

We couldn't show up to such an event driving just any car, so we borrowed a 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 for the week. The Rubicon 392 is the most powerful Wrangler ever with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine producing 470 horsepower, the same motor found in the Dodge Charger Scat Pack. But this wasn't any ordinary Rubicon 392. Our test car came finished in a limited edition Tuscadero Pink color, named after Fonzie's girlfriend (Pinky Tuscadero) in the show Happy Days. For just $395, Tuscadero is by the far most unique Wrangler color currently available, and we loved how it paired with our macho Rubicon 392. It's no wonder why Jeep has received over 30,000 orders for this pink.

The Rubicon 392 is the most fun we've ever had in a Jeep. It offers the familiar Rubicon experience mixed with a muscle car soundtrack. It's almost like purchasing two cars in one. Unfortunately, it's priced accordingly at over $77,000 to start. That's a lot to spend on a Wrangler, but it offers more power than the Bronco Raptor ($68,500) and a louder exhaust note than the Land Rover Defender V8 ($111,300).

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All Shapes And Sizes

After arriving at the event, we were blown away by the sheer diversity of models with Jeeps of all shapes and sizes on display. We spotted everything ranging from World War II era Willys Jeeps up to brand-new Wranglers and Gladiators. Highlights included an AMG-era YJ done up to look like the Jurassic Park vehicle, a six-wheeled Jeep Gladiator, and a Wrangler with some of the largest tires we've ever seen fitted to a vehicle. Just taking a brief stroll around the parking lot exhibited how much creativity exists within this community. There were dozens of "homemade special editions" including a Mandalorian Edition, Silver Siren mermaid-themed design, and a V8-swapped TJ dubbed the "Retrocon."

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Obstacle Course

Of all the actives at Jeep Beach, the obstacle course is by far the most entertaining. The course features four lanes ranging in difficulty for beginners to expert off-roaders. You could easily navigate your stock Wrangler or Grand Cherokee through the first or second lanes, while the third and fourth lanes require a Rubicon at a bare minimum. We watched a stock Gladiator Rubicon struggle on the third course due to its longer wheelbase and inferior breakover angle compared to a Wrangler. If someone gets stuck on the course, they are towed out and forced to hold up a sign that reads, "My momma's Jeep is cooler than yours."

That fourth lane was treacherous, even four our 470-hp Rubicon 392, which comes with a two-inch lift kit from the factory. The opening climb is built with concrete construction tubes, meaning you need plenty of ground clearance just to attempt it. If you didn't feel like risking your own car on the course, Jeep set up its own separate obstacle track where you could ride along in a brand-new model.

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Giveaway & Reveal

For the first time ever at Jeep Beach, the event organizers gave away a brand-new car. The car in question was a new special edition called the Wrangler High tide. Of those High Tide cars, the first 500 examples get a special designation as a Wrangler Beach edition, getting special "Beach" graphics on the hood rather than the "High Tide" ones. This model is based on the simple Sport S trim, but adds the Xtreme Recon Package with 35-inch BF Goodrich tires, a 1.5-inch lift, and more. Jeep Beach 2022 also served as the reveal event for the High Tide and Beach editions. Taking home a $49,240 Jeep certainly brought more joy to one lucky attendee, and we imagine Jeep Beach will do another giveaway next year.

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