Young Guns Battle of the Builders

Trevor Wilson won the Young Guns competition at Silver Lake Jeep Invasion in Mears, Michigan June 1-3, 2018. Jeep Invasion is a sister event of the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals.

Part of Wilson's prize is an expense-paid trip to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas this November to compete against other young builders in the national Battle of the Builders competition.

Trevor Wilson



24 years old


Battle Creek, MI


2011 Jeep Wrangler JKU Sport


Engineering Development Tech – GENTEX Corp, DJ/ MC – TDP, Mobile Entertainment, Firefighter – Newton Township Fire Department


Q: How Long Have You Owned the Vehicle?

A: 3 years


Q: Tell us about the build and list the core customizations:

A: Jeep 14, as I have named it, was purchased in 2015 as a used vehicle with very few modifications and low miles. It was the perfect blank canvas to build my dream Jeep. I knew from day 1 that I wanted to build the Jeep with a Fire & Rescue theme because my father & I are both firefighters. My goal was to build something that had “Show & Go”. I wanted the Jeep to look great, while at the same time being practical and capable. The Jeep 14 name represents Fire Station 14 (Newton Township Fire Dept.) where my father and I both work. Although Jeep 14 is a personally owned vehicle and not directly a part of the Station 14 fleet, my father and I use it to respond to emergencies on a regular basis. I also take the Jeep to several offroad parks and 4x4 events every year. Often Jeep 14 can be found playing in the sand at Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

Here are some of the modifications that I’ve done to Jeep 14:

  • RIPP Supercharger
  • Magnaflow Performance Series Exhaust
  • Custom Painted DV8 Heat Dispersion Hood
  • JKS JSPEC 3.5’’ Suspension System with Fox 2.0 Shocks
  • Yukon 5.13 Gears
  • Front EATON E-Locker
  • Stock Dana 30 Front Axle was Sleeved & Gusseted
  • 17x12.5 Method Race Wheels 105 Beadlocks , 37x12.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires
  • JCR Offroad Crusader Mid-Width Fender Flares, JCR Offroad Front & Rear Inner Fender Kits, JCR Offroad Tailgate Cover Plate
  • Smittybilt SRC Front Bumper
  • Warn XD9000 Winch
  • Barricade Trail Force HD Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier, Barricade Enhanced Rubi Rails, Bartact Seat Covers & Grab Handles
  • 2x JL Audio Amplifiers, 2x JL Audio Stealth Series 10’’ Subwoofers, 6x Kenwood eXcelon 7’’ Speakers
  • Alpine CDE-W265BT Head Unit, sPOD JK 8 Switch Panel & Source SE System
  • J.W. Speaker 8700 Evolution J2 LED Headlights with Red Halos
  • RIGID Radiance+ 20’’ Light Bar with Red Backlighting, RIGID Radiance+ 50’’ Light Bar with Red Backlighting, 4x RIGID D-Series Pro Light Pucks, 4x RIGID A-Series Under Body Lights (Red)
  • RIGID Jeep JK Dual D-Series A-Pillar Mount Kit, RIGID Jeep JK Brow Mount Kit, RIGID Flasher Module
  • US Speedo Stealth Series Speedometer with Red Backlighting
  • RedRock 4x4 Body Armor Cowl Guards, Barricade Headlight & Tail Light Guards, Barricade Locking Fuel Door
  • Rugged Ridge Billet Aluminum Grill Inserts, Rugged Ridge Headlight & Turn Signal Trim, Rugged Ridge Door/ Hood Hinge Covers, Rugged Ridge Aluminum Hood Latch Kit, Rugged Ridge Hood Dress Up Kit
  • Feniex Fusion Emergency Lights, Feniex Cannon Emergency Lights
  • Code 3 Emergency Siren
  • Husky Liner Floor Mats

Q: Any interesting stories behind the build?

A: The RIPP Supercharger installation took me roughly 10 hours. The first engine start after the installation was complete didn’t go smoothly. I eventually discovered that I had left the #6 fuel injector unplugged. I had to spend an additional 2 hours removing the intake plenum in order to reach the fuel injector and plug it in properly.

Jeep 14 recently responded to a house fire and was the first emergency vehicle on scene. I used three of the onboard fire extinguishers to put out the fire before more extensive property damage could occur. All occupants of the home were safe.

I have equipped Jeep 14 with several firefighting and medical emergency supplies. Some of this equipment includes: Four fire extinguishers, various sizes/types of bandages, bag-valve device, bag-valve mask, blood pressure manometer, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, gloves, cervical collars, scissors, bulb syringe, oxygen masks, portable oxygen, personal protective equipment, saline, sterile isotoni, splints, tongue depressors, pulse oximeter, tourniquet, flashlights, rope, safety belt, and at least one complete set of firefighter gear. Jeep 14 is stocked with nearly everything that is required by the state of Michigan to be a Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance.

My father & I have assisted the DNR and local medical teams in several motor vehicle accidents at Silver Lake Sand Dunes using the equipment in Jeep 14.

Jeep 14 won the 2017 Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep Invasion people’s choice award.

All of the offroad and emergency lighting is controlled using a sPOD JK 8 rocker switch system. The sPOD module allows all lighting to steady burn, flash, and strobe. In addition, all of the wiring on Jeep 14 was installed in sections and linked using water resistant connectors. Despite most of the lighting being in series, any particular section can be easily removed without having cut or rerun any wiring. This makes removing anything with wiring strung through it a simple task.


Q: How did it feel when you were announced as the winning Young Gun?

A: I was very honored to be announced as the winner and grateful for the opportunity to compete. I’ve always had a competitive mindset in everything that I’ve setout to do. It was extremely rewarding to see all of my hard work payoff, especially on the level that is the SEMA Young Guns competition. I’m looking forward to proudly representing the Jeep community and young builders at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.


Q: Anything else you want your fans to know about you, the vehicle or the build?

A: Youth in motorsports and the auto industry is something that is important to me. I have both competed and promoted youth automotive/ racing programs for several years. Competitions such as the SEMA Young Guns Battle of the Builders helps to drive the interest of young individuals, such as myself, in the automotive industry. I hope to see more competitions like this in the future and increased participation from young builders for many years to come. I strongly encourage companies within the auto industry to invest in youth programs and to continue promoting our industry’s future.