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Famed red Jeep from Hurricane Dorian is all dry now and will be at Charlotte AutoFair

The red Jeep that drew viewers worldwide as Hurricane Dorian threatened to wash it off the South Carolina shore will appear at the Pennzoil AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway next week, speedway officials said Thursday.

The Jeep, which ended up totaled by the storm, will be parked in front of the speedway’s Victory Lane during the show Oct. 17-19.

Its owners are using the Jeep to raise money for Dorian victims in the Bahamas through a GoFundMe account, with all donations going to UNICEF.

“Our insurance wanted to total it, but they wouldn’t let us buy it back because of health reasons,” Jeep owner Nick Feliciano told speedway officials, according to a news release. He owns the vehicle with his wife, Brittany.

“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,” Nick Feliciano said.

“We are taking the opportunity handed to us to raise money for the families in the Bahamas,” he said.

When Hurricane Dorian hit in September, Feliciano said the couple loaned the Jeep to a cousin because the weather had turned too dangerous for him to ride his motorcycle.

His cousin drove the vehicle onto the beach to get video of the sunrise over the crashing waves, Feliciano told speedway officials. The Jeep got stuck, but no towing service would agree to remove it as Dorian approached Myrtle Beach, he said.

The Jeep became “a TV and social media fixture ... after it became stuck in the sand,” and “one man even serenaded the Jeep with ‘Amazing Grace’ on bagpipes,” The (Columbia) State reported.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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