CTEK Thanks All Veterans For Their Service & Supports Veteran-Led Projekt Cars
This Veterans Day, CTEK is proud to recognize and support the work of all veterans and active-duty military servicemen and women.
Projekt Cars, based in El Paso, Texas, was the brainchild of Carlos Molina, an Army veteran, and the early concept for the group started while Molina was on active duty.
As a military intelligence officer stationed in Panama City, Panama, Molina said he found it “very difficult” to get car parts. “It would take two or three weeks to get the parts, and if they were the wrong ones, you’d have to wait another two or three weeks for a replacement,” said Molina.
In the days before the internet, Molina created an intranet program as a way to obtain aftermarket parts. He dubbed the online program “Projekt Cars.”
Returning to civilian life after 14 years in the Army, Molina again used the name “Projekt Cars” when trying to find sponsorship parts for his very first SEMA build.
Molina transformed the success he had marketing and finding sponsorships for his first build into doing the same for others, primarily active-duty military members and veterans.
Molina said 90-95% of the Projekt Cars members have served or are serving in the military. “Normally, outside of these COVID times, we spend spring and summer on the weekends building vehicles for SEMA. The cars are built out of my garage. We don’t have a car shop or a big automotive center,” said Molina, who described Projekt Cars as a mentorship.
“It’s about giving back. The guys are able to learn about different aspects of the business, they learn about marketing and about the cars,” he said. “Many of our members might only make $40,000 to $50,000 a year, but a SEMA build vehicle can have $50,000 in parts on it. Projekt Cars helps facilitate sponsorships for the builds.”
Molina said some have even taken the lessons they’ve learned from Projekt Cars and used it to create their own businesses. “There’s no formal structure to the mentorship, it’s just a way to share business acumen.”
The son of a 20-year Army veteran who served two tours of Vietnam, Molina said he knew “early on” that he wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and join the military.
“The biggest thing I learned in the military was about not stressing when faced with adversity - that and organization,” said Molina.
Both are important when it comes to creating a one-of-a-kind auto builds, as is teamwork, which is a hallmark of Projekt Cars.
“Veterans have a warped sense of humor, and nobody is above anybody else, so the time we’re together in the garage working on a build goes by so quickly. We have a good time joking and working together,” he said.
Molina added, “One thing we’ve discovered is for those with PTSD, working on vehicles allows us to relax. It helps with PTSD especially when you’re joking around and getting things done.”
Projekt Cars is located in El Paso, which is also home to Fort Bliss, the largest installation in the United States Army Forces Command. Molina said the majority of Projekt Car’s active duty members are stationed at Fort Bliss.
As a membership requirement, Projekt Cars participants are asked to participate in at least two car shows at least 450 miles away from El Paso. “It’s important to understand the economic strain of doing the shows,” he said.
It’s at those shows that the veterans’ hard work and dedication shines. “If you tell them to be there at 6 a.m. for set up, they’re there at 6 a.m., no questions asked,” said Molina. “We all know what needs to be done, so we do it. That’s just the way the military does it. You’ll work hard until you’re done, and then you can enjoy yourself.”
CTEK provides battery chargers to Projekt Cars to help the veteran-led organization with their one-of-a-kind custom automotive builds.
“At CTEK, we appreciate not only the amazing builds created by Projekt Cars but the mentorship and learning opportunities they provide for veterans and active-duty military members,” said Bobbie DuMelle, Executive Vice President of CTEK North America. “We’re proud to support their work.”
CTEK would like to offer all veterans and active-duty military members a 15% discount today on products purchased at www.smartercharger.com. Use code VET at checkout to receive the discount. Code valid through Nov. 11, 2020.
ABOUT CTEK, INC.
- CTEK is a leading global brand in the care and maintenance of vehicle batteries. CTEK's unparalleled knowledge and continuous investment in innovation means they push the boundaries of research and development to bring new and unique battery charging technologies to the global market.
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