The red Jeep Grand Cherokee that the whole internet followed as Hurricane Dorian tried to drag it into the ocean will dry dock at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Oct. 17-19 Pennzoil AutoFair in Concord, NC.
On Sept. 5, Hurricane Dorian made its way up the East Coast of the United States, hitting Myrtle Beach, SC, with Category 2 winds, brutal waves, and area flooding. As people posted hours of video footage and thousands of photos live from the resort town, the internet took notice of a 2014 Jeep stuck in deep beach sand as the tide rose.
Sightseers braved the storm to take selfies with the Jeep even as the Atlantic Ocean pushed it around like a piece of seaweed. Television news crews in town for Dorian coverage stopped by for video clips of the seafaring SUV before its maiden voyage, no doubt hoping to interview its owner. A bagpiper squeezed out the traditional “Amazing Grace” hymn as a funeral dirge, acknowledging that the Grand Cherokee was headed to its grand reward. “Red Jeep” memes based on the films “Castaway” and “Titanic” flew around Facebook and Twitter under #jeepwatch2019. High Point, NC's, WGHP-TV website registered 150,000 views of its Jeep footage by the end of the day.
The only two people not following the nautical adventures of the SUV were its owners, Brittany and Nick Feliciano.
“We had loaned the Jeep to my cousin Joey, because the weather had not been safe for him on his motorcycle,” said Nick Feliciano, a recently retired U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer, Second Class. “Joey is more like a brother than a cousin. My kids call him ‘Uncle Muscles.’ He was going to buy the Jeep from us because our family had outgrown it.”
Joey had driven onto the beach, hoping to get some good video of the sun rising over the stormy sea for his SaltyProShop.com website, and became stuck. Doing the responsible thing, he tried contacting several towing services, but none would attempt to free a stuck vehicle on the beach during high tide with a hurricane coming.