I didn’t know about the Porsche Wave until just now, but I did learn about the Wrangler Wave — mere hours after I picked up an old Jeep a few years ago.
First time I took the Wrangler out — not off-road, mind you; just down to the store — another Wrangler passed in the opposite direction. The driver had his left hand in the 12 o’clock position (I assume his right hand was, like mine, on the stick), and as he passed he raised and waved four fingers at me, his thumb still locked around the wheel.
“I wonder who he mistook me for?” I thought.
Next day: same thing, different Wrangler. And again, just a couple seconds later. (There are lots of Wranglers on — and off — the roads of Colorado.) So I caught on quickly that Wrangler drivers give each other a little wave. Sometimes a nod. Less frequently, a headlight wink. But almost always a wave.
There’s more to it than that, though. Here’s what I’ve gleaned over the years.
• If the driver of an old Jeep Cherokee (not the Grand, mind you) initiates a wave, Wrangler drivers are encouraged, but not required, to wave back. Same goes for any Jeep produced before the Chrysler buyout.
• Drivers of old CJ Jeeps have wave seniority, like salutes.
• If a Liberty driver waves, try not to laugh.
• Odds are, if the Wrangler in question is one of those new four-door models, and the paint is shiny, then they have never heard of the Wrangler Wave. Also, they’re probably still trying to figure out why they couldn’t get a leather interior.
• The driver of a Grand Cherokee or a new Commander will never wave, as it might distract them from their cell phone, their mocha latte, their snacks, and whatever is playing on their in-dash DVD.
• If, as the driver of a Wrangler, you ever receive a wave from a Jeep Compass or Patriot, you are required by Federal law to pull off the road immediately, drop your transfer case into Four-Lo, and drive up over the nearest great big rocks.
Alternately, you may drive up over the Patriot or Compass in question.