The SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program uniquely connects high school automotive shop classes with specialty-equipment manufacturers' products to build one-of-a-kind customized vehicles. Funded by SEMA, this program offers students real-world, hands-on auto-tech skills while becoming engaged in the accessorization and customization lifestyle.
This accessorization project focuses on suspension, wheels and tires, and interior and exterior accessories. With the guidance and instruction of their auto-shop instructors, students customize the vehicles using donated aftermarket products from partnering sponsor companies. After the vehicles are transformed by the students' hands, they will be sold at the end of the school year. Proceeds from the sale will fund the purchase of another vehicle to support a build in the following school year—making this a self-sustaining program. It's SEMA's vision that the expansion of this program will reach thousands of high school automotive shop class students nationwide.
The five fully-customized Jeep Wrangler TJ's built by high school students as part of the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program were up for auction in an event called "SEMA Week of Customs". The auction event launched on Monday July 15, 2019 with one Jeep released for five consecutive days with a seven-day auction life. The final auction closed Friday, July 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PDT.
The finished builds auctioned through program partner, Bring a Trailer, an online auction marketplace for buying and selling special vehicles resulted in a total of $127,000 to benefit high school auto shop programs. Bring a Trailer also generously donated their auction fee to the program bringing the grand total to $133,350! Proceeds from the auctions are being reinvested back into the SEMA program to fund another round of builds for the 5 participating schools and will go towards the expansion of the program to further its reach to 5 new schools for a total of 10 builds in the 2019-2020 school year.
"We at Bring a Trailer are very excited to partner again with SEMA to auction these special custom Jeeps," said Randy Nonnenberg, BaT Co-founder & CEO. "Young enthusiasts are key to the future of the automotive hobby and we applaud SEMA for furthering their investment in this program and these students. We are very happy to again be donating our entire 5% auction fees on these Jeeps to the same great cause."
This program partnered with C.D. Hylton High School, Comstock High School, R.L. Turner High School, Santa Fe ECO and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School to complete the semester-long build projects. Thirty-three automotive aftermarket companies sponsored these builds by contributing parts and when paired with the craftsmanship and vision of the students, these Jeeps are truly one of a kind.
The industry has really supported this project," said Zane Clark, SEMA Senior Director of Education. "Their generosity has elevated the build beyond our expectations and created a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the students."
SEMA partnered with 5 high school auto shop programs for the 2019 high school vehicle build program. Each school customized a Jeep Wrangler TJ utilizing aftermarket products donated by partnering companies. The builds were completed by the end of the 2019 school year and sold through program partner, Bring a Trailer.
Click on each school below to follow the progress of their builds.
The C.D. Hylton High School automotive program is a nationally certified, three-year automotive service technology (AST) program, one of only six in Virginia. The program aims to provide students with a strong foundation they can expand upon after graduation, whether they work in the automotive field or continue the trade as a hobby. A high percentage of students continue their automotive studies, and many earn scholarships from the competitions the program participates in throughout the year.
C.D. Hylton High School students will be building a 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport as part of the 2019 SEMA High School Vehicle Build. The Jeep will be sold at the end of the school year and proceeds will go towards funding another vehicle build for the school.
The Comstock Automotive Technology program is a 2.5-year class held at Comstock High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The program consists of three courses and teaches ASE Education Foundation standards to instill skills such as fundamentals of automotive service; maintenance; and repair, including engine repair, fuel systems, electrical, electronics, steering, suspension and braking systems.
The auto shop program is part of an education consortium called Education for Employment (EFE) where they are able to invite students from other local high schools into their program. There are typically 90-100 students from grades 9-12 each year who participate in the auto tech program.
Comstock High School students will be building a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sahara as part of the 2019 SEMA High School Vehicle Build. The Jeep will be sold at the end of the school year and proceeds will go towards funding another vehicle build for the school.
Students at R.L. Turner high school have a long history and passion for automobiles and accessorizing their vehicles. Photos in yearbooks dating back to the 1960's that highlight the school's hot rod club. Today, many students have a desire to make modifications and upgrades to their personal vehicles, but do not have the resources or funds to make that happen. The auto shop class, which is a NATEF Accredited Program, provides an outlet and learning opportunities for students interested in the automotive field. With a fully equipped, state of the art facility, students learn both basic and advanced techniques in automotive technician, collision and repair, fabrication and more.
The students at R.L. Turner will be building a 2004 Jeep Wrangler X as part of the 2019 SEMA High School Vehicle Build. The Jeep will be sold at the end of the school year and proceeds will go towards funding another vehicle build for the school.
Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Applied Science Magnet School (Santa Fe ECO) is a magnet high school that provides applied sciences and tech training along with traditional academic classes. The school has a robust automotive education program with training in auto tech, auto collision and welding courses. SEMA partnered with Santa Fe ECO in 2018 to pilot the High School Vehicle Build Program with a 2015 4WD Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that the students rebuilt and customized. The Jeep was auctioned off for more than $56,000, which led to the continued expansion of the program. Check out their 2018 build!
The students at Santa Fe ECO will be building a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport as part of the 2019 SEMA High School Vehicle Build. The Jeep will be again be sold at the end of the school year. Proceeds from the auction will go towards funding another vehicle build for the school.
The Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Automotive Technology Dept not only provides students with automotive skillsets and knowledge but gives them a great sense of community. The program, better known as Pirates Garage, hosts an annual car show in their local community, which raises funds to support programs such as sending students to the SkillsUSA competition, community service projects, Pirate Garage Race Team activities, vehicle restoration projects and team uniforms.
The students also spend a great deal of time prepping cars for their Pirate Garage Race Team, which participates in the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Project, Skills USA and more. Santa Ynez High School students will have the opportunity to develop and master the skills needed to go forward in the workplace or seek additional education in the automotive industry.
Santa Ynez Valley Union High School students will be building a 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport as part of the 2019 SEMA High School Vehicle Build. The Jeep will be sold at the end of the school year and proceeds will go towards funding another vehicle build for the school.