The Tesla group is a comparatively close-knit community, and with auto mods nonetheless being comparatively new amongst these communities, the crossover between each represents an ever extra area of interest group. In a latest interview, automotive present builder and Instagram influencer CJ Cardinalli talked to EVANNEX about his background constructing out automobiles, the modified Tesla group and his plans for his subsequent EV build-out.
With 14,500 followers on Instagram for his @casper_model3 Instagram account, CJ has garnered an in depth community of followers and pals by way of the Tesla mods group. Together with his present crew @ruinedtesla and his auto constructing enterprise @CEEJ_Customs, CJ talks about watching the automotive modification group transfer past fossil fuels, alongside along with his personal initiatives on different Teslas, and his customized Mannequin 3 construct.
Modded Tesla Speak With CJ Cardinalli Of CEEJ Customs
EVANNEX: How did you change into thinking about driving a Tesla?
CJ: As a automotive present builder, I wished one thing model new that nobody has actually modified but. I purchased the automotive in mid-2018 and from the beginning, the imaginative and prescient was to construct a full-blown present automotive.
The loopy factor is I purchased the automotive with out even test-driving it. I simply had a sense I used to be going to adore it on account of all of the expertise that was within the automotive. Seems I used to be proper and liked it at first drive. I began modding it the following day with fundamental bolt-ons and vinyl overlays.
EVANNEX: Inform me extra about being a automotive present builder. Any favourite automotive builds earlier than the Mannequin 3 got here alongside?
CJ: I’ve been concerned in DIY modifying and constructing automobiles for over 20 years. I’ve carried out hands-on modification installs for Euro, JDM, and now Tesla and EV automobiles. I began my very own firm in 2019 referred to as CEEJ Customs. CEEJ Customs was based to provide again to the Tesla group and supply inexpensive set up costs to assist fellow fans personalize and construct their automobiles, from imaginative and prescient to actuality.
I must say that my favourite construct, moreover the Tesla, was my BMW e36 M3. It really had extra mods on it than my Tesla, should you can imagine it.
EVANNEX: How did RUINED, your automotive present staff and modded Tesla membership, begin?
CJ: I used to be really one of many founders of the group, and am the present SoCal Chapter Director. RUINED Tesla is a automotive membership/present staff with chapters all around the US. It began as a hashtag (#RUINEDTESLA) within the fall of 2019, when the Tesla purists would inform us we “ruined” our automobiles by slamming them into the bottom.
It was based by a bunch of the primary modified Mannequin 3 models on air suspension. With an lively and increasing membership base, we attempt to stay tasteful but refined as we broaden our wealth of technical information, with an encouragement for DIY. By sharing our love for automotive model coupled with sustainability, we transfer to maintain automotive tradition alive as we advance past fossil fuels.
EVANNEX: Any favourite EVANNEX components up to now? Any favourite mods?
CJ: Total it’s a one-stop store to construct up your Tesla to a reasonably respectable construct. The carbon fiber door trim and seat backs stand out to me essentially the most for the inside. On the outside, the truth that you carry so many top-name manufacturers for physique kits can be good.
As for my favourite mod, my frunk builds are all the time my favourite. I like getting inventive with customized shows. I’ve had 5 totally different variations of my frunk, and I’m engaged on the sixth now.
EVANNEX: What makes the Tesla group totally different from different automotive communities?
CJ: I feel the group may be very cut up between the Tesla purists and the individuals who need to mod them. Many of the Tesla guys within the present circuit got here from both a Euro or JDM background, and you may completely inform by the way in which they mod their Teslas. I might say that the folks within the modded group are very welcoming and good general, in comparison with different communities I’ve been part of up to now.
It’s often the folks outdoors the group that are likely to hate on our automobiles, nevertheless it’s getting higher as time goes on. You retain seeing modded Teslas in all places now, and bagged ones are a dime a dozen.
EVANNEX: Who else would you suggest speaking to within the Tesla group, or is there anybody particular offering distinctive protection that you simply wish to observe?
CJ: I get pleasure from good present builds, so I might say my favorites for the time being are @jrzy_m3p and @tesla_r3x on Instagram. Each of these automobiles have the whole package deal in my eyes.
EVANNEX: Are there any questions you assume I missed that I ought to ask?
CJ: My subsequent automotive after the Mannequin 3 — I might love for my subsequent challenge to be the CyberTruck. I do have a reservation on a dual-motor that I made the night time of the discharge. I have already got some cool concepts that I need to do to it.
EVANNEX: Any occasions/happenings arising that you simply assume readers ought to learn about?
CJ: Right here in SoCal there’s just about a meet or automotive occasion nearly each night time of the week. However I might say my favourite present of the 12 months is all the time Spocom. In the event you’re in search of a very good Tesla-only meet, my favourite is Scorching Tesla Nights. It’s an occasion that RUINED co-hosts with @teslameets that attracts as much as 100 modded teslas.
EVANNEX: Any recommendation you’d give to these hoping to get into modifying their Teslas? Any good locations to begin?
CJ: I might say plan your build-out earlier than you begin. A great factor to begin out with is suspension; then concentrate on wheels. Plan a theme and keep it up all through the construct. Websites like EVANNEX have just about all you should get your begin.
Observe together with CJ’s bagged and ruined Tesla Mannequin 3 on Instagram, or discover his web site right here.
Featured picture courtesy of CJ Cardinalli’s “Bagged and Ruined” Tesla Mannequin 3, dubbed “Casper” (Picture: CJ Cardinalli / Casper_Model3). By way of EVANNEX.
Initially posted on EVANNEX. Written by Peter McGuthrie.