Ahhh, the rites of spring. There are many ways that people mark the coming of spring.
For Jeepers, the best way to say spring has arrived is to go topless — or drop the top. There’s something about enjoying a breath of fresh air after a long winter.
For some of us, dropping the top is a foreign concept. If you’re in a warm weather climate you may have bought your Jeep without a hardtop, much less a soft top. But for those of us in the midwest and beyond, going topless is something we often end up doing a few weeks too early.
Our friends at AllThingsJeep.com declared May 3rd a “worldwide celebration” and a day to go topless — despite whatever the weather decided to bring on that day. Thousands joined in the celebration (including yours truly). After all, there were prizes at stake!
WHAT ‘GO TOPLESS DAY’ WAS LIKE
Jean Wnuk of All Things Jeep (ATJ) did an outstanding job putting this event together.
It included over 50 Jeep clubs and folks as far away as South Africa. Next year, I may just have to make the trek to ATJ headquarters to celebrate with them.
Jean was gracious enough to file this report:
On May 3rd 2008, Jeep owners worldwide kept their shirts on and took their tops off. Literally. Hosted by AllThingsJeep.com, Worldwide Go Topless Day was a day celebrating the joy of owning a Jeep — and specifically, a Jeep that can go topless. And go topless we did!
One peek at the
Go Topless Day Photo Album will confirm that Jeep owners know how to get into the spirit of things. There are photos of topless Jeeps up against snow banks, and in rainstorms. There are topless Jeeps from South Carolina and South Africa, from New Jersey and New Zealand, from Kansas and Canada. There’s even a topless 1981 Wagoneer getting into the spirit.
I got my Go Topless t-shirt… did you get yours?
OVER 50 JEEP CLUBS PARTICIPATED IN GO TOPLESS DAY
Jeep clubs around the world participated in their own Go Topless Day events. The Ocala Jeep Club of Florida proved they could go topless by spelling out the word “TOPLESS” with their Jeeps. According to Pam Smith, their event coordinator, “First we needed to find a big enough area to spell it out beings it would take a minimum of 32 Jeeps! The location also needed a high area for the photographer to get up on to look down on the Jeeps. We found a field that had a road with an overpass over a train track. Perfect!” Definitely dedicated to the cause.
The Lakeland Jeep Club got together for a picnic. According to James Emery, the VP of the club, “This event actually boosted the membership count by 7 families! They saw us having a great time as they drove by and made a u-turn and stopped by to join in on the fun.”
The Michiana Jeep Club in Indiana had over 50 Jeeps attending their Go Topless Meet & Greet. The Pioneer 4 Wheelers four wheel drive club in Lincoln, Nebraska, San Antonio Jeep Exclusive in Texas, and dozens of other Jeep clubs also held events. Everything from picnics to ice cream socials to parades to trail clean-ups & runs went topless on May 3rd, 2008.
Herman van Niekerk in Cape Town, South Africa was the first one of the day with his top off, since his day starts about 8 hours before ours. In North Dakota, they had 2 feet of snow on May 2nd. And Jeep owners there were still topless on May 3rd.
ALLTHINGSJEEP.COM REMOVES THE TOP OF A JEEP CHEROKEE XJ
Locally, AllThingsJeep.com hosted their own Go Topless Day event in Lancaster, MA. Despite the rainy weather, over 90 Jeeps appeared throughout the day — including Jeep owners from Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and one dedicated Jeep girl who drove all the way from Ohio!
Aside from the many great raffle prizes, donated by AllThingsJeep’s vendors, the highlight of the day was the removal of a Jeep Cherokee XJ’s top. Call it “Going Topless 101”.
Armed with a Sawzall and some safety glasses, Norman Wnuk (co-owner of All Things Jeep) and Scott Hatch (VP of Environmental Affairs for the Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs) cut the top off a hardtop Jeep while event attendees cheered them on. It took 7 minutes and 2 Sawzall blades. Since there were Sawzall blades left over, a complimentary convertible look was offered to anyone else wanting it. There were no takers. But several folks did step into the topless XJ afterwards for a photo op. It’s not often that you see a topless Cherokee.
AN ANNUAL “GO TOPLESS DAY” FOR JEEP OWNERS?
“We had a tough winter with tons of snow that didn’t want to end,” said Jean Wnuk, co-owner of All Things Jeep.
“Go Topless Day started out as an idea to get New England Jeep owners celebrating springtime and we wanted to organize a day where we all take the tops off our Jeeps. Once we posted the idea on our website, the idea just grew. We had over 50 Jeep clubs and organizations involved. One of the most fun aspects was our photo contest. We had a lot of creative entries.”
AllThingsJeep.com ran an online photo contest for this event and picked 5 winners that exemplify the true spirit of going topless in a Jeep. Each winner received a gift certificate from AllThingsJeep.com.
Everyone wants to know if there will be a Go Topless Day next year. The answer is definitely YES with a date to be posted soon.