Just the Jeep: Coastal Jeep Club hits the sand running

Special to the Coastal Point • Billy Beck: Above, rain can’t put a damper on the Coastal Jeep Club, lined up along the Atlantic.Special to the Coastal Point • Billy Beck: Above, rain can’t put a damper on the Coastal Jeep Club, lined up along the Atlantic.They wanted to meet other Jeep enthusiasts and wrangle their resources into future fundraisers for the community. But ultimately, it’s a club. They’re there to have fun.

A wet, foggy evening didn’t stop them from hitting the 3 R’s beach in June. That’s where Bob “Koz” Kozlowski’s Jeep rolled into its 300,000th mile.

His former two-hour commute helped inflate that number, as he once averaged 26,000 miles per year. He also drove “with the top down” from Seaford to Massachusetts.

“When I hit 200,000, I thought, ‘I’ll trade it in soon.’ When I hit 250, I thought, ‘Let’s see how far it goes,’” said Kozlowski, who got the vehicle in January of 2002.

“We’re really just getting started,” President Mark King said of the 15 members who officially organized in February.

They talked about the Jeeps they’ve owned and the awards they’ve won. They also made plans to drive in the Independence Day parades in Bethany Beach and in the Bear Trap community in Ocean View.

On Sept. 11, they’ll also form a SEAS the Day veterans escort from Sea Colony to the Freeman Stage at Bayside.

“You gotta admit, when all of them get together, they attract a lot of attention,” King said.

“Just look at the miles,” Kozlowski said. “You can tell we love our Jeeps.”

Plus, they retain their value, said Rick Delaney.

Kozlowski called the vehicle a toy for summer or winter, the beach or snow.

Lisa Wynn compared it to a convertible, shedding its layers when summer comes.

Invented for World War II, Jeeps have long been associated with adventure over many terrains. Locally, beach driving is more common than mountaineering.

“We’re beach people,” King said.

He joked that their arms get sore from waving to other Jeep drivers on the road.

If you don’t own a Jeep, you might not understand the draw. After all, as the club flag reads, “It’s a Beach Jeep Thing.”

Any Jeep and any owner is welcome to join Coastal Jeep Club. Registration costs $30 per Jeep. That typically covers one driver, plus a guest (such as a spouse or child).

Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month, in different locations.

“If you have a Jeep, come on out,” Kozlowski said. “We’re just out to have fun and help the community.”

Learn more online at www.facebook.com/CoastalJeepClubDE.