SEMA News—February 2014
By Chad Simon
Kids Helping Kids
A $50 Raffle Ticket Could Win You an $80,000 Custom F-150 Charity Truck Built by Students
Instead of being auctioned like previous WD-40/SEMA Cares vehicles, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150 off-road truck that was revealed at the 2013 SEMA Show is now available through a raffle at $50 per ticket.
“We thought we’d try something different this year,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM and product development programs. “This year’s raffle truck will get a lot of promotion because it will be publicized in the Source Interlink Media [a build partner] magazines and bring more attention to SEMA Cares and its charities.”
The WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150 was designed as a tribute to off-roaders, truck enthusiasts and aftermarket companies that have used WD-40 products over the past 60 years. The vehicle carries an estimated value (including parts and labor) of $80,000.
Built in the SEMA Garage
The Foose-inspired truck is the first vehicle to be built in the new, state-of-the-art SEMA Garage—a facility that allows SEMA-member companies to test and prototype parts, try its 3D modeling and printing and use its fullscale photo studio. Through a partnership with the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), leading SEMA manufacturers spent two months working alongside students to install parts and equipment on the truck.
The project’s theme was “Kids Helping Kids,” where the teenage students from AXC helped to build the truck, and the proceeds raised from its raffle benefit the kids of three SEMA Cares charities—Childhelp, Victory Junction and the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The custom vehicle is painted with BASF Onyx HD paint by LGE*CTS Motorsports and features a converted front Raptor suspension with Icon Vehicle Dynamics 3.0 coil-overs and upper uniball billet arms as well as ICON rear triple bypass shocks with Atlas 3.0+ leaf springs. Outfitted with Baja Forged front and rear bumpers by LGE*CTS Motorsports, the custom Ford F-150 also has a Boatec Raptor fiberglass hood, fenders and bed sides. The bed cage is equipped with Bulldog LED lighting and a Warn winch. AMP Research supplied and installed power running boards, bed steps and a tailgate extender to make it easy to get in and enjoy the Katzkin Leather interior and Clarion sound system installed by Audio Innovations.
The pickup also features a Whipple Supercharger, a Gale Banks Straight-Shot water/methanol injection system and a MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust system that, working together, provide the 6.2L V8 with more than 600 hp. The custom truck rests on Falken Wild Peak A/T 37x12.5R17 tires wrapped around 17x9-in. MHT Fuel Maverick wheels in a matte graphite finish.
Additional upgrades include HushMat automotive sound deadening and thermal insulation material; a Fuel-Tool fuel pump for the truck bed; Mag-Hytec rear differential covers; an Optima Batteries yellow-top battery; PowerBass speakers, subwoofers and a five-channel amplifier; and a Metra Electronics Turbo2 dash kit with HVAC controls, an amp kit and steering wheel controls.
“We’re trying to turn it over to the next generation,” Spagnola said. “Working alongside the manufacturers in the SEMA Garage gave the students firsthand knowledge of how to correctly install the products. The students actually did 90% of the work, and they got the benefit of developing relationships with some key manufacturers, so they’ve got someone to pass their resumes to when they get out of school.”
AXC—A Grassroots Institution
The AXC program is relatively new; the first class of 14 students graduated last August, and 13 landed jobs upon graduation. Free to students, the two-year automotive program has been developed in collaboration with automotive business owners and classic-car enthusiasts from the Inland Valley outside of Los Angeles. The program allows students to gain the confidence and hands-on experience needed to enter the automotive industry, and it’s funded through the support of private donors and sustaining partners.
Eight students involved in the build attended the 2013 SEMA Show and participated in the WD-40/SEMA Cares press conference where the truck was introduced.
“It was a chance of a lifetime for them to work with a legend such as Chip Foose and the other manufacturers,” Spagnola said. “Every student was willing to work hard; many wanted to stay late to work on the truck. They went above and beyond their requirements for school.”
Theresa Contreras and Sara Morosan from L&G Enterprises coordinated the project and helped recruit students from AXC. Contreras believes the experience is valuable because it shows the students how passionate the industry is about getting them involved.
“Manufacturers took time out of their day to help them, which showed how important students were to this project,” Contreras said. “Icon was there for a few days working with the students and showing them how to do suspension, because it’s not something they focus on in school, but it’s something they learned while they were here.”
Contreras and Spagnola describe AXC as a grassroots school that emphasizes instructors working side by side with students as opposed to sitting in a classroom and learning from a book.
This is the sixth vehicle that WD-40 Co. and SEMA Cares have teamed up to build, and it’s the fourth vehicle that Chip Foose has designed with them. To date, WD-40/SEMA Cares vehicles have raised more than $575,000 for SEMA Cares charities.
How to Enter the Raffle
The drawing will take place May 30, 2014, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. Tickets will not be sold after April 30, 2014. Raffle tickets for the vehicle are available for purchase by calling 888-880-5057. Fax your entry form to 888-408-8857 or mail it to SEMA Cares Charity Truck Raffle, 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765. You may call the raffle hotline at 888-880-5057 to provide your name, address, phone number, credit-card number, credit-card security code and expiration date. Tickets may not be purchased on the website or by e-mail. Discounts are available for individuals purchasing multiple tickets, and the prize winner does not need to be present to win.
For complete details, visit www.wd40.com/truckraffle.