If you’re a fan of custom Teslas, then the term RUINED EV should ring some bells. What was just a hashtag a few years ago is now a nationwide show team.
Its members drive the hottest Tesla builds on the Planet, dominate the car events, and have a mission – bringing the aftermarket industry and culture to electric vehicles.
As you probably figured, today’s featured ride is a modded Tesla owned by one of the RUINED EV’s members. The Vice President AJ Velasco from Clifton, NJ.
Meet AJ’s Modded Tesla M3P
A multiple award winner featured in various magazines, this Model 3 Performance is built to inspire. With the support of sponsors and creative builders, AJ’s RUINED Tesla represents his vision of what the electric cars’ future could be.
Owner’s Favorite Modifications
Custom Metal Widebody
Porsche Mexico Blue Paint
20-inch Rohana Wheels
Of course, the list of Tesla mods is way longer than that. You’ll get to see it all and how the RUINED Model 3 evolved over the years. But first, let me tell you a little about AJ’s background.
Wanna have your ride featured? Message me!
AJ’s Experience with Cars & Customizations
Now that I know his background, I’m not surprised AJ got into the custom car scene. His dad ran a body shop in Dallas, TX, back in the day.
He used to buy, restore, and flip beat-up luxury and sports cars. That was in the 80’s, and although AJ was a little boy, he remembers those days.
"I remember being like 5 or 6 years old and seeing my older brothers and sisters driving around in Ferraris!"
Fast forward to the late 90’s, AJ started working on his own projects. During the next 10 years, he customized a ’97 Honda Accord, ’98 Acura Integra GSR, and 2003 Mitsubishi EVO 8, to name a few.
He had to take a break for several years, but you know how it is; Once you enter the world of modified cars, you’re hooked for life. In 2015, AJ returned with a new project; A 4-door Wrangler that he lifted and wrapped 35-inch tires around the wheels.
The RUINED Tesla Model 3 Performance Build
AJ was in the market for a new project car, trying to pick between the BMW M3, Audi RS3, and Ford Raptor. Thinking that the Tesla Model 3 was much more expensive, but being curious, he went to a dealership and was surprised by the prices. He took a M3P for a test drive.
As soon as I stepped on that acceleration pedal, I was sold. The thrill of being thrown back into your seat was something that I’ve never experienced before in my life!
A couple of months later, AJ took delivery with no intentions of doing any drastic customizations to his new stock Tesla Model 3. A PPF, window tints, chrome delete, just what most people start with.
A few hundred miles later, he bent a wheel. When he saw the cost of a factory wheel replacement, AJ realized that going for aftermarket rims was the better choice. He got a set of Vorsteiners for the Tesla, and that’s where the transformation started.
Inspired by the members of RUINED EV and the OG builders at hot rod events, AJ never stops pushing the limits of his electric vehicle.
Since winning the Best Domestic award at Tuner Evolution in August of 2020, the modded Tesla Model 3 has been displayed at over 30 shows, including SEMA. He racked up the Best of Show and Best Sedan at the 2023 Electrify Showoff in Washington, DC.
The Progress of AJ’s Modified Tesla Model 3
AJ sent me a couple of photos so I can show you the previous stages of his Tesla build. Let’s look at those, and then we’ll get into the current state of his car with all the modifications.
Preparing the RUINED Tesla for SEMA 2022
Taking your ride to a show like SEMA isn’t like modifying a car for the street or the track. It’s a totally different experience that requires careful planning. Having clear goals and enough time to achieve them is crucial.
Yet, 99% of the builds I’ve featured on my blogs over the years were finished at the last moment.
AJ’s Model 3 Performance build was no exception. The car was painted in House of Kolors Snow White Pearl 24 hours before heading to Vegas.
While the concept has been in discussion for 12 months, AJ and Alex from 66 Customs NJ had no idea what body kit they’d put on the car. Two months before the show, they decided to go with a custom metal widebody, which resulted in four weeks of sleepless nights.
Finding the right rims to ensure proper fitment was also very challenging, shares AJ. They didn’t know how wide they could go, and ordering custom wheels is bound with a long wait time. Rebuilding a light 3-piece SSR Koenigs with less aggressive specs compensated with wheel spacers was the solution.
As you can see in the photos, the modified EV looks stout, but AJ and Alex felt like something was missing. So after the SEMA show, the RUINED Tesla M3P saga continued.
Project 3.36 – Current State of the Model 3
Changing the color was the first thing to be done, but not by applying a vinyl wrap. AJ had his eyes on the Porsche Mexico Blue (Code 336) for a while and went for it. That’s where the name Project 3.36 came from.
A swan neck rear spoiler by Adro installed on a BMW M4 caught AJ’s attention at the event. He told them this mod would look great on the Tesla Model 3, and in early 2023, Adro reached out asking if he wanted to rock the pre-release on his ride.
- 66 Customs NJ Hand Shaped Custom Metal Widebody
- Custom Front Bumper
- Artisan Spirits Black Label CF Front Lip
- Artisan Spirits Black Label CF Side Skirts
- Artisan Spirits Black Label CF Rear Diffuser
- RevoZport Carbon Fiber Hood
- Adro Carbon Fiber Swan Neck Spoiler
- Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps
- Carbon Fiber Camera Cover
Building relationships with auto enthusiasts and brands happens naturally when you go to so many automotive events. Rohana and Yokohama played a key role in the RUINED Model 3 new look post-SEMA.
I don’t feel like a customer but rather part of the Rohana family, and the same goes with Yokohama.
Wheels & Tires
- Rohana RFG 15, Aircraft Grey Face, 20×11.5
- Yokohama Advan Neova tires, 275/35/20
- Electric Speed Design Titanium Lugs
- Carbon Fiber Stem Caps
The suspension setup consists of a Universal air kit with dual compressors and Seamless tanks in the frunk. Furthermore, upgrades from Mountain Pass and Unplugged Performance were added, ensuring a good ride quality. The RUINED Tesla relies on MPP Page Mill Rotors brakes.
Chassis & Suspension
- Unplugged Performance End Links, Front & Rear Sway Bars
- Unplugged Performance Front Upper Control Arms
- Mountain Pass Performance Rear Camber/Toe Arms
- Universal Air Suspension
- Viaair 444 Gen 2 Dual Compressors
- Seamless Tanks
- Airlift 3h Management System with Level Sensors
The audio system installation was one of the most challenging parts of the build because of the Tesla’s electrical system. Matt Schaeffer of Musaic Audiophile Design did a killer job on that, shares AJ. I haven’t gotten a chance to hear it, but looking at the trunk, I’m more than impressed.
Audio & Multimedia
- Illusion Audio Carbon C10XL Subwoofer
- Illusion Audio C3CX Components
- Illusion Audio Carbon 8” Midbass
- Focal FPX5.1200 Amp
- Focal FPX4.400 SQ Amp
- AMAS 96k High Res Bluetooth
- Mosconi RCD Controller
- Mosconi Mos-Bluetooth management
- Mosconi 8 to 12 Pro Aerospace Digital Signal Processor
- Soundshield Acoustic Foam
- Stinger 6000 Series RCA Cables
- Astell & Kern SE200 High Res Music Player
- Custom Sub Enclosure
- Custom Amp Rack
- Custom A-Pillars
The carbon fiber interior inserts (dash and center console) were overlayed by AJ to complement the exterior carbon fiber mods. When it comes to aftermarket steering wheels, most folks customizing a Tesla M3 would go for a Yoke steering wheel. AJ went for a very cool Tai Fighter design.
- Carismo Design “Tai Fighter” Steering Wheel
- Carbon Fiber Seatbacks
- Carbon Fiber Dash, interior trim, panels
- Leather Reupholstered Arm Rest
- Alcantara Reupholstered Pillars and Roof Lining
Future Plans for the RUINED M3P
AJ says redoing the air frunk is the next task. The liner will be repainted in blue and black using a marble technique. The Seamless tanks are to be replaced with Squaretanks, a bit more carbon fiber will be used in this area, and motion sensor RGB lights will be added to mimic the look and feel of the audio system.
The interior will also be further customized by the end of the year, shares AJ. Spirit of Lemans tartan fabric will be incorporated into the Tesla build along with Recaro Sportster CS seats and full reupholstery with leather and alcantara.
Stay up to date with his RUINED Tesla. Follow AJ on Instagram
AJ’s Tesla Customization Tips
During the Model 3 Performance build process, AJ faced a number of challenges and spent many hours on research, trial, and error. He wanted to share some customization tips with those looking to modify their Teslas.
Modding a Tesla is like building any other car that is a new platform. You have to wait for good aftermarket parts to be developed, so patience is key.
Take your time, do your research on shops and parts, build relationships, and always prioritize quality over quantity.
Don’t buy every single Ali Baba modification that comes onto the market. Use your imagination, be creative, keep the car clean, and make it truly yours.
From the Author
I’m glad I had the opportunity to feature AJ’s modded Tesla. Not just because his RUINED M3P is a show stopper, but because we’re both fathers and car nuts. From the love for 90s cars and Teslas to being inspired by old school hot rodders, we have a whole lot more in common.
We both love banging gears, and the magical noise of V8 cold starts in the morning, but we believe that all the hate towards EVs should go away. The efficiency, the power, the tech, there is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future, and being part of it makes sense.