CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The red Jeep Grand Cherokee that gained fame going underwater on the Myrtle Beach shoreline as Hurricane Dorian neared the coast of the Carolinas is coming to Charlotte.
The Jeep, which became an internet sensation during Hurricane Dorian, will be at the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Oct. 17-19 Pennzoil AutoFair.
People posted photos and videos of the Jeep stuck in deep beach sand as the tide rose all across social media.
— FOX 46 Charlotte (@FOX46News) September 5, 2019
Sightseers even took selfies with the Jeep and a bagpiper even gave it the honor of the traditional “Amazing Grace” hymn as a funeral dirge.
The Jeep’s owners, Brittany and Nick Feliciano later explained how the situation unfolded.
“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.”
They say Joey drove onto the beach, hoping to get some good video of the sun rising over the stormy sea, but got stuck. They say he tried contact several towing services, but none would try to get the car out of high tide with a hurricane coming.
By the time he called his cousins with the news, the cops had already been by to ask why their truck was parked in the ocean.
After the worst of the storm passed, the Jeep was dragged out of the water.
Knowing how much accidental joy their story has brought people, the Felicianos have agreed to display the car at the Pennzoil AutoFair. The “must-sea” attraction will be parked in front of the speedway’s Victory Lane during the three-day show.
The Jeep is also being used to raise money for Dorian victims in the Bahamas through a GoFundMe.
“Our insurance wanted to total it, but they wouldn’t let us buy it back because of health reasons,” Nick Feliciano said. “We explained the role it played in the hurricane coverage and that our goal was to help the Bahamas through the Jeep’s popularity, so the company gave us a year’s grace period to use it for that. We are taking the opportunity handed to us to raise money for the families in the Bahamas.”