Student-built SEMA Jeep Inspires Young Enthusiasts

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Jeep Wrangler project from Santa Fe ECO High goes to auction on Bring-A-Trailer and all funds will go toward another student build.

The exceptional looking Jeep build is being auctioned on Bring A Trailer with 100 percent of the funds, as well as the five percent buyers fee, going towards another build project by Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Auto Tech School. The aim is to create a self-sustaining program that will expand into auto-tech programs around the country. Ultimately, the project is designed to get young people involved in the automotive customization lifestyle, specialty equipment, and potentially, careers in the automotive industry.

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited build by the students also features parts donated by 23 automotive aftermarket companies with a value of over $20,000. We’re not talking just aesthetic bolt-ons either. Under the hood, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 now has a big power upgrade via an Edelbrock supercharger. The intake and exhaust system is bolstered by parts from K&N Engineering and Flowmaster that include a snorkel and a cat-back single-exit exhaust system.

2015 Jeep Wrangler

The suspension upgrade is just as impressive. ICON Vehicle Dynamics donated a 4.5-inch Stage 3 kit as well as ICON shocks with remote reservoirs. In fact, no stone has been left unturned when it comes to making this Jeep into a one of a kind off-roading king. The drivetrain has even been beefed up with B&M nodular iron differential covers on top of a custom front driveshaft.

Jeep Wrangler built by students

Icon didn’t stop at suspension parts, and supplied Five 17 x 8.5 Alloy Rebound wheels that have 37-inch Atturo Trail Blade BOSS tires mounted on them. The winch is provided by ExtremeTerrain along with the headlights, tail lights, and a custom fuel door. We’re pretty sure the only places this Jeep can’t go are underwater, but it’s worth not getting lost in just how cool this build is.

Chris Coriz, Santa Fe ECO’s auto-tech teacher, and program manager, told The Drive that they documented the Jeep Wrangler project in order to project to build a curriculum that other schools can follow. Not only is this one of the coolest Jeeps we’ve seen this year, but it’s also a step towards creating another generation of automotive enthusiasts and technicians.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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