“It’s a Jeep thing”, you’ve seen it and heard it but how many really understand it? The balance of the phrase says that you wouldn’t and I have to agree. Having owned several Jeeps in my time, I get it.
Even someone as close to me as my wife can’t understand the love for these utilities much the same as many people can’t grasp the heart-throb that comes with a chopped and bottomed V-Dub, I have had a few of these too.
There is something about cruising down the road and passing another Jeep, the friendly wave that says “yeah, I get it”. Now, don’t get me wrong here, this only works with Jeep CJ’s so don’t start waving at every Cherokee and Liberty you see out at the mall. I know those new Wrangler owners are following the cult signature wave but as a CJ owner, I can tell you that it is not the same…..so stop it.
A custom VW Bug, Cal-Look, Baja, Rat, Surfer, Mini-Sled, it doesn’t matter, these like the CJ’s come with a special “something” that only V-dub owners can appreciate. Typically the Dub Love transcends along the car line, Busses are way cool as well as Karmann Ghias, Notchbacks, Squarebacks, and so on. These cars all have been accepted into the family but you must have the fever to feel it.
This is where the Cult of Personality defines a car person and some instances can transform an entire way of life. Rat Rodding is old skool cool and there are some clubs that live the life with a 50’s flavor to nearly everything they do. It’s not unlike the Harley Davidson crowd where you have riders that dress in “biker” gear everyday, everywhere they go. These folks are not acting like bikers, they are true bikers and have that same cult feel about their iron.
While there are rat rodders and retro lifestyles that do the same thing, there are countless folks that work a nine to five in a business that does not allow or otherwise is not suited for this cult like lifestyle relative to the dress code or hair style so they “play the game” during the week and transform into the lifestyle that they want to live on the weekends. Nothing wrong with that, its part of the rodding world and hey, it’s not 1950 anyway.
You can understand and feel it even if you don’t “Live” it. I dont have a CJ Jeep anymore but I get the same warm and fuzzies when I see one and the same goes for a VW Rat Rod, or a a deck lid with “Low Life” enscribed on it as I pull up behind it.
There are a lot of other car types out there that have the same or similar cult following, I just don’t see it because I belong to the fore mentioned cults. Although I like to see them and can appreciate the work, design and performance, I just do not understand the Barris style customs or the late-model stuff, I’m just not in that cult of personality.
As maybe you can tell, it’s very difficult to explain it to the average Joe, the people who get it…got in the first or second paragraph. To those who don’t understand, you can’t. These feelings come naturally, out of nowhere, many times born of an experience or good memory. You don’t decide to be a car nut, a Jeep lover or a VW freak, it just happens.
I have found what is most interesting, once you have this cult of personality, you always have it, it never goes away. You can step out for awhile as I did once but when you return, the feeling is there… strong as ever before and you see what the others see, you understand what they understand. You are in the cult of personality that is ( insert passion).