By Andrea Carney
In collaboration with the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Applied Science Magnet School (Santa Fe ECO) Auto Tech School, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, SEMA is building a ’15 four-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Santa Fe ECO is a magnet high school that provides applied sciences and tech training, along with traditional academic classes. The build began in late 2017 with the delivery of the Jeep to students at Santa Fe ECO Auto Shop Program, which has elicited considerable industry support (23 companies contributed parts), and SEMA volunteer leaders, who have taken time to work with the students and help guide the project.
Jeremy Headlee of ICON Vehicle Dynamics recently had the opportunity to visit Santa Fe High School to tour the facility and interact with students participating in the ECO Auto Shop program.
“The Jeep build created excitement with the students, who were engaged, answering my questions, and asking some of their own,” said Headlee. “These students represent the fuel that will keep the industry pushing forward, and the program demonstrates to young people that they can make a living doing something they love.”
The Jeep will be auctioned through Bring-A-Trailer in early June, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale donated to the school to fund the next vehicle build for the purposes of creating a self-sustaining program. If successful, this program model can be expanded into auto-tech programs around the country, introducing young people to cool cars and trucks, automotive specialty equipment and potential careers in this segment of the industry.
More auction details are coming soon. Check out the video to learn more about the build and the students behind it.