July 25, 2015: At the Sun Valley Road Rally’s No Speed Limit Open Road event. Driver Scott Riedl pulled some serious Gs in “Insane Mode” to exceed Tesla’s top speed, reaching an unprecedented 157.9 mph. Appropriately bejeweled with custom-designed STRUT grille, rear spoiler, wheels and carbon-fiber side molding painted bright electric blue, the STRUT Tesla makes electric car history.
Phantom Hill. A stretch of open road surrounded by a National Forest and back dropped by the Boulder Mountains, 12 miles north of Ketchum, Idaho, the setting for the Sun Valley Road Rally, an annual local event rapidly winning national attention as the only open road, no speed event of its kind in North America.
In a meadow typically home only to sage grouse, now lined with chairs, bleachers and an enormous tent, are the lucky 800 spectators who thought far enough ahead to buy a ticket to the sold-out event. Two miles up the highway; the start line is as silent as the Tesla Model S that approaches it. Inside the car, however, there is chatter among driver Scott Riedl, backseat passenger and STRUT Chief Operating Officer Simon Trumper and in the front seat next to Riedl, this lucky writer.
Simon: “Turn on the GoPros.” Check.
Scott: “What about Mötley Crüe’s ‘Wild Side’?” We test the GoPros, blast the music. Yes, good choice.
Simon: “Press your head back before we take off, or it’ll get thrown back.”
Scott: “We’re set.”
Simon: “Make sure it’s in Insane Mode.”
“Wild Side?” “Insane Mode?” Wait. Anyone passing a white Model S on the street might overlook the car, with its signature understated design and minimalist external cosmetics. The Tesla is undoubtedly a feat of scientific wonder and the ultimate statement of environmental citizenship, but while it has astonishing technological features and a smooth, silent ride, it’s relatively inconspicuous when it comes to announcing its awesomeness to the world.
Enter STRUT. The team at STRUT wants to add color, personal charm and beauty to your life. To create its line of jewelry collections for fine automobiles, STRUT designs and produces handcrafted custom grilles, wheels and accessories for luxury cars. Seeing a bumper crop of Teslas appearing on the streets of southern California, the guys at STRUT began to envision a grille and wheel collection to further personalize the car. Why should Porsches and Ferraris have all the fun?
Arriving in a STRUT custom wrapped SportChassis M2-106 at the Sun Valley Auto Club for Friday’s technical inspection are the two STRUT Teslas—one black, one white— featuring side moldings painted in Ferrari Red and Ocean Shimmer blue and carbon-fiber vehicle wraps by Protective Film Solutions of Santa Ana, California. Both vehicles sport nose-cone replacements with STRUT designed main grilles made from the finest available stainless steel, fiberglass, and true carbon fiber.
No ordinary shoes for these beauties—the Teslas make their Sun Valley debut wearing the auto equivalent of Manolo Blahnik stilettos: Icon T 21-inch wheels designed by STRUT and HRE high-performance tires from Continental. With not a detail overlooked, the Teslas deliver some final bling, accessorizing carbon fiber wrapped trunks with the distinctive STRUT spoiler. The entire cosmetics package entices you to take a ride.
And what a ride it is. “Getting the Tesla to top speed was an exhilarating experience,” says STRUT driver Scott Riedl. “Feeling the power of the Tesla going from 0 to 100 was almost a dizzying experience in Tesla’s ‘Insane Mode.’ I’m excited to see what the new ‘Ludicrous Speed’ upgrade feels like. Hopefully, we can figure out a way to go even faster with the STRUT team next year.”
The perfect blind date: a STRUT team giddy with anticipation, a gorgeous personalized Tesla with a superstar makeover, and an open, no-speed-limit, the road stretching out to the mountainous horizon to make history.
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