Someone who knew nothing about off-roading – or Jeeps for that matter – took a chance. That chance? Buying a 2013 Jeep® JK Wrangler with her savings. She’d always dreamed of owning one, so she went for it.
What was once an ordinary Jeep® has turned into a hit with off-road and custom build enthusiasts, not to mention its owner. Nicholas Ashby and his team at Rockstar Performance Garage (RPG) customized the vehicle as part of their ambassador program. The program was created for when companies and manufacturers request to show an RPG build.
“There are events all over the country, but we’re out of the West Coast. It’s not always easy to ship vehicles,” said Ashby. “Through my partnership and programs, I’ve created ambassadors all over the country.”
These brand ambassadors, as Ashby said, “are ordinary people, but there’s always a catch to them.” The Bad Penny’s owner is a single mom who is a schoolteacher. And the owner of The Gavel – he’s a retired police officer.
Bad Penny’s upgrades include a 3.6-liter supercharged engine that delivers 330 rear wheel horsepower on 37-inch tires, plus a new exhaust system, suspension, shocks, stabilizer, gears, axles, wheels, paint scheme and more. The transformed Wrangler JK gets its start from an ODYSSEY® Performance Series™ battery by EnerSys® that also supports the build’s new taillights, customized high intensity discharge headlights, an LED bar, power winch and audio system.
“At Rockstar Performance Garage, we’ve done lots of builds and we really push our vehicles to their limits,” said Ashby. “Batteries play a critical role in each of our custom vehicles, and ODYSSEY® batteries are the most reliable we’ve ever used.”
One of the main focuses for RPG in their builds is the paint scheme – and it’s one of Ashby’s favorite components. “We always push it to the limit of where it’s classy and looks really good, but doesn’t cross that gaudy line,” said Ashby.
The question: “What’s going to look good with the base color? What’s going to look good with the chocolate brown?” According to Ashby, “A copper and a chocolate would look really good together.” There it was – the inspiration behind the name.
You’ve probably heard the adage before – “There’s no such thing as a bad penny.” It’s a phrase Ashby heard countless times in life. He believes it. He also believes there’s no such thing as a bad Jeep®.
“I’ve heard the term bad penny before – it means all money can spend,” said Ashby. “It’s the same with the Jeep® industry. The Jeep® is cool because you can make what you want out of it.”
Part of the success Bad Penny has seen was due in part to a week in the spotlight. ODYSSEY® battery was looking for a build to feature in its booth for the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. It was only natural to turn to RPG first, but none of what they had met the needs of what ODYSSEY battery was looking for, but there was one in the works – the 2013 Jeep® JK Wrangler. From the ODYSSEY battery wrap to her distinctive “eyes”, it was perfect for SEMA.
Bad Penny is ready to shine in the spotlight – or some could say sunlight – once again. RPG will be making its way to Moab, UT this year for the Easter Jeep® Safari as it has done in years past. It’s a community of Jeep® lovers coming together for a week along the clay red mountain lined trails.
“Since SEMA, every weekend has been like a football game to her – going out on the trail and having fun,” said Ashby. “Easter Jeep® Safari is like the Super Bowl. We’re probably going to be dragging her out of there kicking and screaming like a three year old because she wants to stay in Moab.”
The Bad Penny marked RPG’s 30th marketing build, but the background story makes it different from all the rest.
“Being able to light that passion in someone is what sets the Bad Penny build apart from everyone else. We took someone who knew nothing about the automotive industry; nothing about the Jeep® world and now she’s like a hook, line and sinker,” said Ashby. “She’s gone. She’ll never come back from the Jeep® world.”
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