The AAM Group staged a little invasion of its own at the 2019 Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Club Invasion held Aug. 23-24 at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Collaborating with partners CURT Group and Man Cave Designs, AAM had a hand in six different Jeep builds at the event, headlined by Greg Griffith’s 2018 Best in Show “Renegade III” 1974 CJ-5, which held court in the Rancho/Dynomax booth.
2019 was a record year for the Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Club Invasion, which staged its seventh consecutive event. The 23,000 people recognized at the gate represented a 64% increase over last year’s attendance, with 12,000 Jeeps rolling through the grounds over the single weekend (as estimated by eagle-eyed drone operators). The visitors, who hailed from more than 40 states and 3 Canadian provinces, enjoyed access to 204 unique vendors and the comradery of thousands of their peers.
“It amazes me that the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion continues to grow at the pace it has,” said Griffith. “Especially when you think about all these folks attending a Jeep event that currently has no ‘trail riding’ venue to four-wheel. But Pigeon Forge is such a great destination, and the area has some great road rides that let participants enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains.
“The thing I enjoyed most was watching all our vehicles and the cross-selling they were doing for our great AAM manufacturers in attendance. A visitor might be at one booth asking about a part on a Jeep, and we could just walk them over to the vendor who made it.”
Other builds included the following custom rigs:
· AAM/CURT Group’s 2019 JL Unlimited, to be given away at SEMA 2019 as the Grand Prize of the “Keys 2 Ride” contest (ARIES/CURT Booth).
· Rob Baker’s 1966 CJ-6 (Painless Performance Booth)
· Casey Shelton’s 1946 CJ2A (Feature Circle)
· Dave Hamilton’s 2012 Wrangler JK (Tennessee Speed Sport Booth)
· Greg Griffith’s 2006 Grand Cherokee WK (Feature Circle)