WD-40 Announces 2017 SEMA Show Project Car Build

By SEMA Editors

The WD-40/SEMA Cares 50th Anniversary Camaro designed by Neil Tjin and built in partnership with Tjin and instructors from Universal Technical Institute.

WD-40 Co. is once again commissioning a vehicle build to showcase WD-40 brand products, be displayed at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, October 31–November 3, and ultimately be auctioned off through Barrett-Jackson to benefit SEMA Cares and ChildHelp. In past years, the builds have generated an annual average of more than $110,000 in donations to the charities garnering an average of 7 million media impressions.

This year’s WD-40 brand 2017 vehicle build should:

  • Generate media (traditional and social) before, during and after the Show. The vehicle should stand out with innovative design, parts and accessories. WD-40 Co. will lend promotional support in addition to that generated by the selected builder.
  • Showcase uses for WD-40 Brand products during the build/restoration process, as well as maintenance. The build should demonstrate that WD-40 Brand is more than the original blue-and-yellow can, offering a variety of products best suited for multiple needs, including the WD-40 Specialist and WD-40 Greases lines. (Note: WD-40 Co. believes a restoration build (versus a new car) is ideally suited for this project, due to an older vehicle’s ability to showcase uses for WD-40 Brand products.)
  • Leverage the builder’s relationships to bring added value and secure donations (parts, accessories and in-kind support) for the car build, ultimately increasing the value of the vehicle and generating significant return for the SEMA Cares Foundation.

The car will be owned by SEMA Cares.

WD-40 Co. is looking for a valued partner to:

  • Design and develop a concept for building a 50-state, street-legal off-road vehicle.
  • Manage sourcing of materials and oversee any fabrication, installation or work done to the vehicle.
  • Set and abide by a mutually agreed-upon timeline of activities, with a completion date prior to the SEMA Show.
  • Submit monthly status reports leading up to the Show as specified in the contract. Reports should include the documentation of the car build’s key milestones via photos, videos and updates that can be shared by WD-40 Co. in its promotional support plan. Monthly reports should include WD-40 Brand product uses, modifications to the vehicle, and social and traditional media exposure as generated by the build partner.
  • Leverage his or her relationships to bring added value and secure donations (parts, accessories and in-kind support) to the car build, as specified above.
  • Bring promotional support to the build showcasing the WD-40 brand and logo (example: via social media and/or other marketing tactics at the discretion of the build partner).
  • Purchase and maintain $3 million in general liability, $3 million in automotive liability, $1 million in employer liability and demonstrate worker’s compensation coverage. An umbrella policy may be used to achieve coverage limits.


Project/build management: $10,000–$15,000
Car purchase, labor and fabrication costs: $25,000–$45,000

Request for Proposal

The request for proposal includes a two-step process. During both phases, WD-40 Co. will evaluate potential build partners against his or her ability to meet the above criteria and expectations.  

Part 1:

Email a summary, no longer than two pages, describing how you will meet the above goals and criteria for the build partner. In addition, WD-40 Co. asks that you include an overview of your vision for the vehicle build, including a sketch, along with your ideas for type, year, model, etc., of the 50-state, street-legal, off-road vehicle/theme.

Proposal Submission Deadline: Monday, June 12, 2017.

WD-40 Co. will review proposals and select three to five builders to submit a proposal during Part 2, which is invitation-only, and a stipend of $500 will be allocated to each builder asked to submit a proposal.

Part 2:

Additional details/support for how builders will meet the goals and criteria are outlined here. Part 2 should include:

  • A detailed project proposal, including color rendering.
  • Proposed vehicle modifications.
  • A promotional support plan, including estimated impressions.
  • A breakdown of estimated related costs (within the budget specified above).
  • An estimate of value-added partners/sponsors/donations that you can bring to the table.
  • An estimate of the total value of the completed vehicle.

Part 2 Submission Deadline: Seven to 10 days after notification of finalists.

Submission Guidelines

Responses to the RFP should be submitted via email to Teresa Siles at by the deadlines listed above. The award recipient will be notified in mid-July 2017.