HOUSTON — As Jeep Gladiators, Grand Cherokees and Wranglers conquered hills and uneven terrain set up inside the expansive NRG Center, it almost felt like old times.
That feeling of normalcy was among the biggest attractions for visitors to this month’s Houston Summer Auto Show, one of the first new-vehicle expos since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a year ago. So was Camp Jeep, a show staple that draws long lines and resembles an amusement park attraction.
There were new rules, a reminder that the world is still coping with a crisis as auto shows begin to reemerge, meaning riders got the Jeep experience only from the back seat as masked drivers whisked them around the bumpy setup. Once the rides ended, cleaning crews disinfected the Jeeps and nearby Rams, which had a test track of their own, before the next passengers hopped in.
“We’re pumped to be back,” said Benny Munguia, a Camp Jeep track manager who was shuttling people around the course and felt safe with the…
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