The Ultimate Tesla Show Car: CJ Cardinalli’s 2018 Tesla Model 3
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The Ultimate Tesla Show Car: CJ Cardinalli’s 2018 Tesla Model 3

From stock to jaw-dropping insanity, CJ's Tesla Model 3 will leave you breathless. Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff!
  • Award-winning Casper, the SpaceX-themed Model 3, triumphed with Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior.
  • CJ’s prior builds, like the turbocharged BMW M3, fueled his expertise for Casper’s exceptional transformation.
  • RUINED EV, founded by CJ, revolutionizes the modded Tesla scene, pushing boundaries with unmatched automotive creativity.

CJ Cardinalli, a web developer and car enthusiast based in Lake Elsinore, CA, set out on a mission to transform Casper, his 2018 Tesla Model 3 into a show-stopping masterpiece. With a background deeply rooted in the car scene, CJ saw an opportunity to push the boundaries of Tesla modifications, taking them beyond the typical wheel and wrap upgrades.

With over 20 years of prior build experience under his belt, CJ’s passion for customization led him to create an impressive lineup of previous builds. From a mildly modded 1996 BMW 328i to a full show build of a 1995 Turbo BMW M3, he had always strived for innovation. The Tesla presented a fresh challenge, and CJ was eager to take on this new mission.


Impressive Powertrain, Electronics, Wheels & Tires

From stock to jaw-dropping insanity, CJ's Tesla Model 3 will leave you breathless. Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff!
Yokohama Tire aerial view of the Tesla Model 3s owned by RUINED EV club members.

The Tesla Model 3 boasts a staggering 450 horsepower, which stands as a testament to CJ’s meticulous attention to detail in his custom Tesla Model 3. From performance electronics such as the Ingenext Ghost Module and THOR Dual Sound Generator to the powerful 3 Ohmmu 12v lithium batteries that provide power to the powertrain, every aspect of Casper has been carefully upgraded.

The wheels and tires alone are a sight to behold. Casper proudly showcases 20″ HRE 540 3-piece forged wheels for show-stopping appeal, wrapped inDelinte D7 tires. For street driving, Rotiform 19″ ZMO 3-piece wheels and Yokohama Advan Sport tires provide the perfect balance of style and performance.


From stock to jaw-dropping insanity, CJ's Tesla Model 3 will leave you breathless. Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff!
CJ’s 2018 Tesla Model 3 is equipped with 20” HRE 540 3-piece forged wheels and wrapped in Delinte D7 tires (show). Street version sits on Rotiform 19″ ZMO 3 Piece in Yokohama Advan Sport tires. Brakes: Don Marcoini 370mm Big Brake Kit (Brembo), Teal painted Calipers / Purple anodized hats.

Casper’s modifications extend far beyond the surface. From the Don Marcoini 370mm Big Brake Kit with teal-painted calipers and purple anodized hats to the Air Lift Performance 3H System and AccuAir ENDO-CT 5-gallon air tank, the chassis, and suspension have been fine-tuned to perfection. Custom frunk displays, LED clear air lines, and mesmerizing infinity mirrors from CEEJ Customs further elevate the vehicle’s uniqueness.

The exterior of Casper demands attention with its stunning full wrap in TinyBot Gloss Laser Flip Snowstorm Blue. Carbon fiber accents from ADRO add an elegant touch, while custom LED rear reflectors and a carbon fiber tail light wrap ensure that Casper cannot be ignored.


Interior Innovations: From Fiber Optic Stars to Custom Steering Wheel

From stock to jaw-dropping insanity, CJ's Tesla Model 3 will leave you breathless. Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff!

Step inside Casper, and you’ll be transported to a whole new world. The interior is adorned with metal rivet door jambs and back of doors wrapped, a custom galaxy headliner with fiber optic stars, and an EV Annex swivel screen. The Unleashed Customs Yoke Steering Wheel adds a futuristic touch, while the Model 3 Performance Pedals enhance the driving experience.

One of the standout features of Casper is undoubtedly the frunk setup. With clear LED lines, a custom SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Tank, a starlight tub, and infinity mirrors shaped like broken glass, it’s an unrivaled frunk show display. CJ’s love for constantly evolving the setup has led to six unique iterations, ensuring that boredom never sets in.


Awards and Accolades: Recognitions in the Show Car Community

Casper’s remarkable journey has garnered attention and acclaim at various competitions and events. From winning awards for Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff driven by Yokohama in Long Beach (CA) to receiving recognition at SPOCOM and Winter Wonder Slammed, this show car has made its mark.

Behind the scenes, CJ acknowledges the invaluable support of his sponsors and partners. CEEJ Customs, ADRO, Delinte Tires, Don Marconi Brakes, TesLuxInnovations, Mod Bargains, EV Annex, EV Playground, and Alpha Rex have played a pivotal role in bringing Casper to life.

CJ’s vision extends beyond Casper alone. As the Founder and President of RUINED EV, he has built a community of like-minded enthusiasts who share his passion for pushing boundaries and creating unique automotive experiences.

Reflecting on the past five years, CJ describes the build as an incredible journey. What was once considered a heavily modified Model 3 has now evolved into a show car that continues to defy expectations. The future holds exciting possibilities, with a new wrap and possibly a custom wide body planned for the near future.

Casper embodies the pinnacle of Tesla modification and showcases the limitless potential of automotive creativity. Its awe-inspiring features, from the mesmerizing frunk setup to the meticulously designed interior, make it a true work of art. Follow CJ and Casper’s journey on Instagram @casper_model3 and @ruined.ev, and be part of the electrifying evolution.

For more information, visit the RUINED EV website at www.ruined.cc. Join us as we reinvent the custom car scene, because the future of car modification is electric, and RUINED EV is leading the charge!

For more information on Electrify Showoff, visit www.electrifyexpo.com/showoff.


2023 Electrify Expo Schedule

May 19-21Long Beach, CA
June 24-25San Francisco, CA
July 22-23Washington, DC
Aug. 12-13Long Island, NY
Sept. 9-10Seattle, WA
Oct. 14-15Miami, FL
Nov. 10-12Austin, TX

From stock to jaw-dropping insanity, CJ's Tesla Model 3 will leave you breathless. Best Use of Frunk and Best Interior at Electrify Showoff!
Awards and Accolades: Recognitions in the Show Car Community

OWNER/VEHICLE DETAILS

Owner: CJ Cardinalli
Location: Lake Elsinore CA, USA
Company: Founder/President – RUINED EV, CEEJ Customs
Instagram: @casper_model3
Club: RUINED EV
Vehicle: 2018 Tesla Model 3
Horsepower: 450


Performance Electronics

  • Ingenext Ghost Module
  • THOR Dual Sound Generator

Powertrain

  • 3 Ohmmu 12v lithium batteries

Wheels & Tires

  • Show: 20” HRE 540 3-piece forged wheels / Delinte D7 tires
  • Street: Rotiform – 19″ ZMO 3-piece wheels / Yokohama Advan Sport tires

Brakes

  • Don Marcoini 370mm Big Brake Kit (Brembo)
  • Teal-painted Calipers / Purple anodized hats

Chassis & Suspension / Frunk

  • Air Lift Performance 3H System 3/8″
  • AccuAir ENDO-CT 5 Gallon Air Tank; Custom SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Tank
  • Universal Air – Solution Series 2 Air Struts
  • Universal Air – Custom Height Sensor Brackets
  • Custom Air Line Shut Off Valves
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Frunk Show Display
  • CEEJ Customs – 11 Piece “Broken Glass” Infinity Mirror Floor
  • CEEJ Customs – LED Clear Air Lines
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Infinity Mirrors
  • CEEJ Customs – Starlight Frunk Tub
  • CEEJ Customs – Matrix 500 Led Hood Panel
  • Custom Backlit False Floor
  • Galaxy Wrapped Tank Stand
  • Blue Painted Frunk Accents
  • MPP Camber Arms
  • MPP Toe Arms

Exterior

  • Full Wrap – TinyBot Gloss Laser Flip Snowstorm Blue
  • ADRO – Carbon Fiber Front Lip
  • ADRO – Carbon Fiber Side Skirts
  • ADRO – Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser
  • ADRO – Carbon Fiber Swan Neck Wing
  • Infinite Auto Design – Carbon Fiber Hood
  • LED Rear Reflectors
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Chrome Delete
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Mesh Grill
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Tail Light Wrap
  • Carbon Fiber BMW M3 Style Mirrors
  • Charging Port Carbon Fiber Wrap
  • Wind Noise Reduction Kit
  • Madico 20% Ceramic Tint
  • Ceramic Coated
  • Flexshield PPF

Lighting

  • TesLuxInnovations – Plaid Headlights
  • TesLuxInnovations – Plaid Fog Lights
  • TesLuxInnovations – Plaid Underglow
  • Blueghozt Controller (X2)
  • Custom RBG Flow Interior LED Ambient Lighting
  • AutoBeam – RGB LED Ambient Footwell Lighting
  • Alpha Rex Tail Lights
  • RUINED – LED Puddle Lights

Interior

  • Metal Rivet Door Jamb + Back Of Door Wrap
  • Unleashed Customs – Yoke Steering Wheel
  • EV Annex – Carbon Fiber Door Trim
  • EV Annex – Swivel Screen
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Galaxy Headliner With Fiber Optic Stars
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Steering Wheel Center Wrap
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Carbon Fiber Frunk
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Top Dash Board Wrap
  • CEEJ Customs – Metal Rivet Full Dash Wrap
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Side Trim Center Console
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Glove Box
  • CEEJ Customs – Carbon Fiber Under Dash Pieces
  • CEEJ Customs – Metal Rivet Center Console Wrap
  • CEEJ Customs – Metal Rivet/Snowstorm Blue Screen Back Wrap
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Snowstorm Blue Stripping Accents
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Accessory LED Switch Plate
  • White Full Coverage Floor Mats
  • Metal Rivet Arm Rest
  • Carbon Fiber Window & Door Switch/Surrounds
  • Peekaystudio Gated Shifter Cup Holder
  • Hansshow LED Door Sills
  • Model 3 Performance Pedals

Audio & Multimedia / Trunk

  • Custom Trunk Enclosure
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Galaxy Headliner With Fiber Optic Stars
  • CEEJ Customs – Custom Infinity Mirror Display
  • Galaxy Wrapped Sides walls
  • Cadence 15” Wild Beast | SUB
  • Cadence QRS1.1500GH | AMP
  • Audiocontrol LC2i
  • Audiocontrol Bass Knob
  • Ohmmu 12v Battery
  • Crydom D06D100 Solid State Relay
  • Kilmat Sound Deadening

Sponsors / Partners

  • CEEJ Customs
  • ADRO
  • Delinte Tires
  • Don Marconi Brakes
  • TesLuxInnovations
  • Mod Bargains
  • EV Annex
  • EV Playground
  • Alpha Rex

Shops & Mechanics

  • 100% DIY, never seen a shop except to mount tires

Competition Events, Class, and Awards

  • 1st Place Best Interior – Electrified Showoff 2023
  • 1st Place Best Frunk – Electrified Showoff 2023
  • 1st Place Best Crew – Electrified Showoff 2023
  • 1st Place Best Interior – TheLineup 2023
  • 1st Place Best EV – SPOCOM 2022
  • 1st Place Tesla – Winter Wonder Slammed V 2021
  • 1st Place Tesla – Slammedenuff 2021
  • 1st Place Best Interior – Spocom 2021
  • 1st Place – Canyon Hills Car Show 2021
  • 2nd Place Best Exotic – Wheels and Masks 2 2021
  • 3rd Place Domestic – Winter Wonder Slammed IV 2021
  • Top 20 – AL and Eds 2020
  • 1st Place EV – Local Car Scene 2019
  • 2nd Place Domestic – Winter Wonder Slammed III 2019
  • 3rd Place EV/hybrid – Extreme Autofest 2019

Press / Features

  • DUB Magazine – Cover – SEMA Winter 2022
  • SEMA booth car for ADRO – North Hall 2022
  • MOTORTREND – Aug 2022
  • TopGear – June 2022
  • Countless online interviews and big-name industry brands reposting my content on social media



IMAGES: ELECTRIFY EXPO, JOSE VALDEZ PHOTO, CJ CARDINALLI

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.

AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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