By Carr Winn and Juan Torres
Jacob Neuenschwander, 22, will travel to Las Vegas in a few months to compete in one of the industry’s most prestigious vehicle build competitions—the 2017 SEMA Battle of the Builders—after winning the Young Guns category at the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Lima, Ohio.
The SEMA News team was on site at the Allen County Fairgrounds to capture highlights from the Jamboree weekend, including an interview with Neuenschwander moments after he was awarded one of the Young Guns Grand Prize packages.
For his Young Guns victory, Neuenschwander was awarded a spot at the 2017 SEMA Show, October 31–November 3, for his ’04 Dodge Ram pickup, which will now go head-to-head against hundreds of vehicles from some of the world’s top builders in the exclusive competition.
“It’s so awesome to win the SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns title. It’s a dream come true to be able to display my truck at the SEMA Show,” said Neuenschwander, who was also awarded an all-expense-paid trip for two and transportation for his truck to the Show. “It’s unreal. It will continue to seem like a dream until I finally get to the SEMA Show and it hits me that I’m actually there.”
In an effort to support young builders and recognize them as the future of the industry, SEMA created the Young Guns regional program this year and partnered with car shows to highlight builders 27 years old or younger, six of whom will be sent to the 2017 SEMA Show.
“We partnered with AutoCon, Bonnier and Goodguys due to the excellence of their shows and to recognize and encourage participation of young builders from around the country,” said SEMA Vice President of Marketing, PR and Communications Ira Gabriel. “The youth are essential to our industry. There are many amazing and talented younger enthusiasts and vehicle builders who can look to the SEMA Show and Battle of the Builders and get excited about our industry.”
SEMA Show builders interested in gaining national exposure by showcasing their car and parts through the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition can register at www.sema.org/botb. The deadline for entry is September 1.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the SEMA Show’s YouTube Channel to see the latest builder interviews and more leading up to the 2017 SEMA Show.