Auto Service World
News   October 18, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Penticton team to compete at SEMA “Battle of the Builders”

Perhaps the most quickly built car on SEMA’s list of display vehicles is Chelsie Lesnoski’s purple 2013 Scion FR-S that is the first Toyota 86 chassis vehicle with an RB25 engine swap. It was built in a single month, all in a garage, and has a rocket bunny widebody kit.

The team at Penticton’s Throttle Thrashers are heading to SEMA to show off their tricked out 2013 Scion FR-S in the annual Battle of the Builders competition.

Chelsie Lesnoski, and her business partners Reb Lesnoski and Cole Marten, spent a month completely modifying the vehicle as a demonstration of what their business is capable of.

She said all of the design and planning for the concept of the car was done by her, while Marten and Reb helped in their own capacities.

Chelsie Lesnoski, Penticton resident and co-owners of Throttle Thrashers Garage, custom rebuilt this 2013 Scion FR-S, which was selected as fan favourite to compete in the SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns 27 & Under Category.

“This was a way to show off all of our work together on the car,” she said. “It all came together pretty smoothly and we built that car in a month. So to do something like that, that had never been done before, was an achievement in itself.”

Upon completion, Chelsie, Reb and Marten decided to enter the car in an auto show in Seattle as an attempt to have it showcased at the upcoming Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, which runs from Nov. 5 to 8. It was there that they qualified for an online contest that let voters choose the 10th contestant in the SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns (aged 27 and under) category.

Chelsie said she was surprised by the amount of support her car received from the community when it was entered into the online contest, but surprise turned to glee when she got the call earlier this week that her car had won it.

“It hasn’t really set in yet to be honest, it was a little bit shocking,” she said.

Chelsie said she is grateful for the opportunity to represent the small British Columbia city on an international platform, and said her hopes are to inspire others that they can achieve great things, regardless of their education or background.

“I just worked retail in Penticton until about two years ago, when I actually quit cold turkey. I’ve been working in this business with my two partners ever since, and it was a really big change and we did a lot of learning along the way but it seems like it’s starting to pay off,” said Chelsie.

Rod Nielsen’s 1972 MAZDA R100

Last year, Rod Nielsen – Abbotsford, B.C. was the winning builder in the Sports Compact category, putting him in the top 4 with his 1972 MAZDA R100.

He beat the other Canadian in the competition, Mike Pateras of Niagra Falls, Ont., who was showing his 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti WRC, also in the Sport Compact category.

The ultimate winner last year was Kyle Tucker of Mooresville, NC with his 1969 CHEVY CAMARO in the Hot Rod category.


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