After pairing with SEMA, students sell custom Jeep for over $50K

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Students designed and built this Jeep in partnership with SEMA and other sponsors. | SEMA photo
Students designed and built this Jeep in partnership with SEMA and other sponsors. | SEMA photo

A custom Jeep designed by high school students in partnership with the Specialty Equipment Market Association has sold at an auction for more than $53,000.

“The industry has really supported this project,” Zane Clark, SEMA senior director of education, said in a news release. “Their generosity has elevated the build beyond our expectations and created a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the students.”’

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was built by students at the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Auto Tech School in New Mexico. More than 20 companies donated parts to the project, which began late last year.

One of the sponsors, Jeremy Headlee of Icon Vehicle Dynamics, recently visited the school to tour the facility and meet with the students.

 “The Jeep build created excitement with the students, who were engaged, answering my questions, and asking some of their own,” Headlee said at the time. “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.”

SEMA and supporters of the Jeep project are hoping other schools could initiate similar build programs. 

“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,” SEMA said in a different news release.

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Carter Nacke is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He began his career at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix, the largest news radio station in Arizona, where he specialized in breaking news and politics. A burgeoning interest in classic cars took him to the Journal in 2018. He's still on the hunt for his dad's old 1969 Camaro.

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