The Tesla community is a close-knit network, and many enthusiasts have taken to documenting their experiences with the electric vehicles either for fun, to spread sustainability awareness, or even to raise funding for certain causes, among other reasons still. In recent months, Model Y owner C Woody has decked his vehicle out in preparations for an upcoming road trip in the U.S. Though, he’s currently unsure if the trip will be able to happen.
C Woody and his Herbie the Love Bug-themed Tesla Model Y, dubbed “C Woody Watt,” are hoping to take a coast-to-coast trip from South Carolina to the West Coast, but he isn’t sure if they’re going to be able to pull it off after all. With the remainder of his trip on hiatus due to some ongoing medical concerns, C Woody and his Tesla Model Y are looking to raise funds to continue the trip, manage some medical costs, and give to a handful of charities.
EVANNEX recently hopped on the phone with C Woody to talk about the trip, and he talked about some of his health concerns, his Model Y Performance, and the future of the trip. You can read our interview with him below.
EVANNEX: Tell me a little bit about your trip. Did you have a specific route you’re planning on taking or anything?
C Woody: I actually had to come back to Charleston for a couple days for some medical stuff. But I’ve got two autoimmune diseases, I’ve got psoriatic arthritis and I’ve got psoriasis. And the biologic medication I take is called Humira, you’ve probably seen it advertised on TV and whatnot. It caused me to have acute pancreatitis back in December, and I spent six days in the hospital.
After that is kind of when I really when I put the hardcore press on getting the car finished and getting it ready to ride. There were certain parts I was waiting on and the timing with UPS and FedEx delays, but I wanted everyone who was sponsoring me to have the representation they deserved, especially EVANNEX and the other folks that did the decal work on the car, and the folks that did the tire and wheel balancing.
But the intentioned route was down to Florida to see the folks in Boca Raton, then I was gonna meet up with a guy in Miami, Florida, and that didn’t pan out — he actually was traveling. Then I met with another guy, Reel Deal EV, his name is Chad Reel, and he’s in Tampa, Florida.
And he basically started his business and website by basically just trying to find out how to source the parts he needed to fix his own cars. The first one was a P85 Model S and he wound up finding the parts through a supplier in China to fix his screen. Something was going on with his screen and then he actually figured out how to do it himself.
So he started sourcing these parts for other people like friends and customers and gained customers. It was just a neat story, you know? And he grabbed onto my story right afterward as well, so I wanted to support him also.
And then we actually had a couple of shipping SNAFUs. [EVANNEX] was supposed to be sending some lift springs for my car to raise it up a little bit, and apparently UPS tried to deliver them to my apartment complex and couldn’t be in the building because they had to have a code but it was on a Sunday and the office was closed.
So that first round actually ended up getting shipped back to the supplier in Ohio. They had them shipped again and they shipped last Friday. Well, they were supposed to be in Tampa by Tuesday, and they had other delays and stuff like that, and now they’re not going to be in Tampa until Friday.
It’s just been a few stumbling blocks, I’ll say. But the intention was to do those things and I was going to try to wait in Florida until the springs arrived in Tampa and then drive back down there from Jacksonville and get them installed, and do what I needed to do and get back on the journey. Hopefully, that’s still gonna happen, but I’ve got to figure out some financial things first because it was way more expensive than I anticipated it being, just starting off.
The time in the hospital back in December kinda scared me a bit, but it also prompted me to do something different. To do something like this, that maybe can benefit other people, because I’m not guaranteed tomorrow. Neither are you, but my “tomorrows” can sometimes get a bit short.
EVANNEX: So would you say that all of this was kind of the reason for you planning this trip?
C Woody: Yes. That was the main reason. But the charities are charities I’ve donated to for years. That was an easy thing, I mean I’ve got them in my tax records already. The charity part was the easy thought, like “I can bring awareness and have them pasted all over the car.”
Basically, all I was trying to do was just make enough money just to take the trip all the way. I even told the people at EVANNEX I was planning on sleeping in the car at national parks and eating beans out of the can and stuff. I’m not trying to “make money,” I’m just trying to support myself long enough to do this, that I felt led to do. And just having the finances to do it.
EVANNEX: What are the charities you’re looking at helping out with this trip?
C Woody: I’ve got the Wounded Warriors, Support Our Troops Foundation, the American Alzheimer’s Foundation because my father was just diagnosed about five months ago with Alzheimer’s. Also the Autoimmune Disease Foundation, which is what I have, so supporting those with psoriatic arthritis and different ones like rheumatoid arthritis and even Crohn’s disease. So it’s a mixed bag; a lot of different foundations grouped into that one foundation. And then also the American Cancer Society and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
So those are kind of my main groups that I’m trying to support. At the same time, Support Our Troops is all over the car, all six branches of the military on the car, stars and stripes are on the car.
And also, so is EVANNEX’s logo, and Hey Tire Pros. Signorama Summerville (?) where I live is the one that volunteered and did the decal with the stars and stripes and everything. Even the guy that painted the car — he was like “No, I don’t want to be recognized on the car. People are gonna know that this isn’t a factory paint job.”
It’s not the factory silver that Tesla is just starting to produce out of Austin. And nobody in South Carolina has a silver Model Y. Nobody, even now. And I’ve searched all the channels and all the socials and everything, and I’ve not been able to find a silver Model Y in South Carolina — yet.
EVANNEX: Wow, that’s pretty cool owning the only one in the state.
C Woody: Yeah, it is! The car speaks for itself, but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. It’s one of those that makes me proud, and people that care about me and lots of other people have been very positively responsive to the car. There’s been a few turning their noses at me.
Some people still prefer gas cars, you know, and that kind of thing. There’s gonna be haters all the way across the board, but for someone to dislike that car, it’s like, “Are you even an American?” [Laughs] I don’t understand why stars and stripes, even though it’s on a Tesla, would bother you.
And the Herbie theme, and Batman and Lightning McQueen decals — that was the cool vibe I was going for just to bring more attention to it, obviously, but for the right reasons. It wasn’t just me making a car that looks like a rally Herbie Tesla, you know? It was a crazy idea, but it works, and there’s a lot of people that respond very very good to it.
EVANNEX: How did you become interested in Tesla?
C Woody: So I’ve got a couple of best friends who are husband and wife, and they’ve had their Model Ys since she got hers in March of ‘21 and he got his in August of ‘21. I got mine in August of ‘22. But it was just in hanging out with them and talking about it [that I became interested.] She was one of the first 500 [FSD] beta testers, out of now some 50,000 I think there are. And I’m one now, but I’m probably like number 45,000 or something [laughs].
But she was one of the first 500, and that’s pretty special. So she gets all the updates early, which is neat. And she doesn’t like to discuss that too much because she’s not assuming it all. She doesn’t like to brag too much, but she’s totally geeked out on Tesla and SpaceX, and all of it. And I get it — I am too.
But yeah, it was just that and riding in the car and then getting a chance to drive it with my best friends. Hers is a Model Y Long Range and his is a Model Y Performance, which is what mine is. She’s got FSD and all that, but he does not. But it’s still a Model Y Performance, and it’s the [Midnight Silver Metallic] color, which is what I’ve got.
This is kind of a funny story. So the first time I drove a Tesla, it was his car, and he had only had it for about four days. And I got a speeding ticket doing 94 in a 55, because I didn’t know how to drive it! I mean, I had driven the car for less than a mile before I was doing 94 miles an hour, and I got pulled over. And I didn’t even know how to really like stop the car right! I was on and off the pedal, so the brake lights were going off.
The officer was like “Are you drunk?” And I’m like “No, I’m not, but this is the first time I’ve ever driven a Tesla and I don’t really know what I’m doing. But I’m trying.” And he said, “Well I got you going at 94 miles an hour.’ And I said, ‘I didn’t know how to undo that quickly. I mashed the pedal down and it happened.” [Laughs]
So the nice part of that story is they actually wound up cutting me a break. It was going to be a six-point ticket, and I had no points. And I told him I was actually thinking about getting one of these. He goes, “I really think it’s new technology, and I’m not quite ready for it myself, but it is cool.”
We showed him around the car a little bit and he was like “This is nice.” And he said, “So listen, I gotta write you a ticket because I had you on the dash camera and all that stuff. But come to court, and I’ll cut the points down to two and I’ll reduce the fine to like $100.”
So I did — I went to court. So he reduced the points down to two, and then took one of those online driver safety courses to reduce it back down to zero. And my insurance never picked up on it, so that was good. But yeah, that was my first Tesla driving experience. [Laughs]
C Woody is raising money to be able to finish his trip, deal with ongoing medical costs, and donate to the aforementioned charities.
You can support his work on Patreon here, or on Spotfund here, and you can see his Model Y and follow along with his adventures on the social channels below.
YouTube / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Patreon / Spotfund
Originally posted on EVANNEX. Written by Peter McGuthrie.
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