Custom ’77 Celica GT Drifts into SEMA, Young Guns Contender


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (October 30, 2018) – Swag Custom Rides, an award-winning restoration and fabrication shop and the only non-profit restoration garage in the U.S, will hit the Las Vegas Strip for SEMA 2018 to showcase the team’s latest custom creation – a ’77 Toyota Celica GT drift car. The entire build crew will be at SEMA – booth #61020 in the Silver Lots – to see their custom car to the finish line in the Young Guns category of the Battle of the Builders competition.

“These young builders are seeing the project through from ‘rust to restoration’,” said John Muratori, President and Founder of Swag Custom Rides. “Every young man who contributed to on this build is learning skills on how to construct a vehicle, as well as what can be accomplished in life through hard work and determination.”

Swag’s engineering team – in partnership with CARDONE Industries – collaborated with the nation’s top custom restoration brands to reimagine the Celica GT from the ground up into a high-performance drift car.

“This car may look like a beauty, but it drives like a beast. Our team used premier performance parts to build this GT and make sure it shreds up the corners,” said Muratori.

For top performance, the build team custom fit the drift car with a powertrain retrofitted with a Ford 2.3 EcoBoost motor modified to 600HP, a fully customized and modified front and rear suspension to handle intense pressure and torque, Ford nine-inch rear differential, a Ford MD-82 manual transmission with modified gear ratios, and front and rear modified Wilwood brakes. For the sleek design, the Celica GT features a custom three-inch stainless Black Widow ‘Neighbor Hater’ exhaust, fully customized interior, and a PPG Waterborne abstract art exterior.

This is Swag Custom Ride’s second year at SEMA and the first time competing in the Young Guns category. Last year the team submitted a dual-fuel ’66 Chevelle.
Swag’s team of industry professionals provide job training, education and life skills for individuals recovering from addictions or criminal convictions, giving promising young men and women a second chance.

The ’77 Celica drift car and build team will be in the Silver Lots, booth #61020 all week and Swag Custom Rides’ new performance shop will be on display in Central Hall, booth #23781.

To set up an interview with Swag or a personal tour of the car, contact Kevin Hartman at +1 503-269-7311 or


About Swag Custom Rides

Swag Custom Rides is the first and only automotive custom restoration nonprofit shop in America. Swag restores, customizes and fabricates vehicles with two missions in mind – restoring vehicles and transforming lives. With a team of leading industry professionals, Swag Rides provides job training, education and life skills for troubled individuals recovering from life-controlling problems like drug abuse or criminal conviction. For more information, visit