By Della Domingo
More than 100 students participated in the pilot program between SEMA and the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) Auto Shop Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to build a fully customized Jeep.
A fully customized Jeep built through a unique student program that launched in late 2017 is now complete and will be auctioned this month, with 100% of the proceeds used to fund another project that will continue to support and educate students about vehicle builds and careers in the automotive industry.
More than 100 students participated in the pilot program between SEMA and the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) Auto Shop Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For nearly six months, students oversaw and executed the entire project vehicle build, including tracking time, expenses and associated resources, using a pre-owned vehicle purchased and donated by SEMA.
With upgrades and product donations from nearly two-dozen manufacturers, the modified four-wheel-drive Jeep includes:
- A Magnum grip shift handle kit part, front nodular iron differential cover and rear nodular iron differential cover (donated by B&M/Driven Performance Brands).
- Bumpers, inner fender liners and slider steps (donated by Bodyguard Truck Accessories).
- A supercharger kit (donated by Edelbrock).
- A cat-back system 409s-single rear exit – American Thunder (donated by Flowmaster/Driven Performance Brands).
- A 4.5-in. Stage 3 suspension kit and wheels (donated by ICON Vehicle Dynamics).
- An air intake with a snorkel system, oil filter and cabin air filter (donated by K&N Engineering).
- A light package (donated by Metra: The Installer’s Choice).
- A tire carrier, vented hood, hood catches and an antenna (donated by Rugged Ridge/Truck Hero).
“The final build is amazing,” said Zane Clark, SEMA’s senior director of education. “Our hope was to provide students with a unique experience that would educate and inspire future industry professionals, and the end result is a top-quality vehicle that looks great and performs remarkably.”
“The students gained valuable hands-on experience that they could not get in the classroom,” said Chris Coriz, instructor at the Santa Fe ECO. “We’re excited to see the vehicle move on to the auction block and raise funds to begin the next project.”
The Jeep will be auctioned online later this month through Bring-A-Trailer, with proceeds used to create a sustainable program for the Santa Fe ECO. Details about the auction will be announced at www.sema.org/jeep-build. Interested buyers are encouraged to create an account on Bring-A-Trailer in advance so that there are no delays or glitches once bidding opens.
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