CJ Cardinalli Talks Automotive Mods & His “Bagged & Ruined” Tesla Mannequin 3
The Tesla neighborhood 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 neighborhood. In a current interview, automotive present builder and Instagram influencer CJ Cardinalli talked to EVANNEX about his background constructing out autos, the modified Tesla neighborhood and his plans for his subsequent EV build-out.
With 14,500 followers on Instagram for his @casper_model3 Instagram account, CJ has garnered a detailed community of followers and associates by means of the Tesla mods neighborhood. Along with his present crew @ruinedtesla and his auto constructing enterprise @CEEJ_Customs, CJ talks about watching the automotive modification neighborhood transfer past fossil fuels, alongside together with his personal tasks on different Teslas, and his customized Mannequin Three construct.
Modded Tesla Speak With CJ Cardinalli Of CEEJ Customs
EVANNEX: How did you develop into fascinated 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 as a consequence of all of the know-how that was within the automotive. Seems I used to be proper and liked it at first drive. I began modding it the subsequent 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 Three got here alongside?
CJ: I’ve been concerned in DIY modifying and constructing vehicles for over 20 years. I’ve carried out hands-on modification installs for Euro, JDM, and now Tesla and EV vehicles. I began my very own firm in 2019 referred to as CEEJ Customs. CEEJ Customs was based to provide again to the Tesla neighborhood and supply reasonably priced set up costs to assist fellow lovers personalize and construct their vehicles, from imaginative and prescient to actuality.
I must say that my favourite construct, apart from the Tesla, was my BMW e36 M3. It really had extra mods on it than my Tesla, when you can imagine it.
EVANNEX: How did RUINED, your automotive present crew 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 crew 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 vehicles by slamming them into the bottom.
It was based by a bunch of the primary modified Mannequin Three items on air suspension. With an energetic and increasing membership base, we try to stay tasteful but refined as we increase 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 elements previously? Any favourite mods?
CJ: General it’s a one-stop store to construct up your Tesla to a fairly 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 at all times 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 neighborhood totally different from different automotive communities?
CJ: I believe the neighborhood may be very cut up between the Tesla purists and the individuals who need to mod them. A lot of the Tesla guys within the present circuit got here from both a Euro or JDM background, and you’ll completely inform by the best way they mod their Teslas. I’d say that the individuals within the modded neighborhood are very welcoming and good total, in comparison with different communities I’ve been part of previously.
It’s normally the individuals outdoors the neighborhood that are likely to hate on our vehicles, nevertheless it’s getting higher as time goes on. You retain seeing modded Teslas in every single place now, and bagged ones are a dime a dozen.
EVANNEX: Who else would you suggest speaking to within the Tesla community, or is there anybody particular offering distinctive protection that you simply wish to comply with?
CJ: I take pleasure in good present builds, so I’d say my favorites for the time being are @jrzy_m3p and @tesla_r3x on Instagram. Each of these vehicles have the whole package deal in my eyes.
EVANNEX: Are there any questions you suppose I missed that I ought to ask?
CJ: My subsequent automotive after the Mannequin 3 — I’d love for my subsequent undertaking 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 developing that you simply suppose 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’d say my favourite present of the yr is at all times Spocom. If you happen to’re searching for a very good Tesla-only meet, my favourite is Scorching Tesla Nights. It’s an occasion that RUINED co-hosts with @teslameets that pulls 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’d say plan your build-out earlier than you begin. 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 could get your begin.
Comply with together with CJ’s bagged and ruined Tesla Mannequin Three on Instagram, or discover his web site 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.