People, Places & Racing News

Fully Customized 2008 Jeep JK Wins Mideast SEMA Young Guns Virtual Qualifier

By Richard Hail

Oliver Swanson and his custom 2008 Jeep Wrangler claimed the fifth Golden Ticket for the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition's “Young Guns” classification.

Representing the Mideast region, Oliver Swanson has claimed the fifth coveted Golden Ticket with his custom 2008 Jeep Wrangler. At 25 years young, this SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns virtual regional qualifier winner is heading to Las Vegas in November.

Oliver grew up on a small farm in New Richmond, WI racing dirt track. In addition to his love for racing, he showed and early interest in metal design and fabrication. After working on various project vehicles, he picked up his 2008 JK intending to just tweak a few things on it. Once he got started, he couldn’t help himself.

From the completely hand fabricated roll cage to the custom-built half-doors, Oliver has modified or built nearly every aspect of the suspension on his Jeep. The driveline upgrades include an XS Power Batteries AGM system, a Dana 300 transfer case, and Yukon gears.

A 3M Satin Black wrap is complemented by the hood vent, custom bumpers and Warn VR10 winch. PRP racing seats, a 22-gal fuel cell and numerous other modifications finish off the cab. The Jeep sits high on 40” Nitto Grapplers wrapped around 17” aluminum beadlocks.

As with most builds, this Wrangler still is not complete. It is currently getting some additional suspension work done plus an engine swap. Oliver’s future plans include entering his Jeep into the 4500 ULTRA4 Class and hopes to one day run King of the Hammers.

The Battle of the Builders competition celebrates the amazing craftsmanship and talents of people who create and build some of the most unique cars in the world. The “Young Guns” classification is exclusive to up-and-coming builders that are 27 or under who have performed the majority of the work on their vehicle. For more information about the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition or the SEMA Young Guns program, visit www.semabotb.com or www.semayoungguns.com.