While Mopar Muscle cannot take credit for even lifting a wrench, we are proud to have worked with and created an excellent relationship with many companies in the marketplace. Our first call was to The Paddock. Tom Eddy spearheaded the Paddock's effort, and we introduced Dan to Tom. Tom and Dan then spent countless hours on the phone determining which components The Paddock had in stock and could immediately provide as well as other components that they had access to. We had an opportunity to speak with Tom and asked, "What was the most satisfying part of participating in this effort?" Tom's reply: "The thing I liked about it was how the kids made it happen. All those kids jumped in there and made a commitment to have it done for the Nats. Having youth involved in our hobby will keep it alive. It was Dan's commitment and that of Jake's friends that compelled us to be involved."
In an effort to provide opportunity to other advertisers to assist on the project, Sherman & Associates provided the quarter-panels and decklid. Sherman & Associates was able to provide parts and offer in-state shipping.
With The Paddock and Sherman & Associates handling the E-Body reproduction parts, we then turned to Ted and Jackie Stephens of Stephens Performance for the hard-to-find original components. Those who know Ted and Jackie know that if they don't have the Mopar part you need, especially those for E-Bodies, they will track it down. The sheetmetal beneath the rear seat needed to be sourced. Ted and Jackie both went far beyond the call of duty, securing this part and several components. Their expanse of E-Body knowledge was very helpful. At the Mopar Nationals, we were able to get a photo of Ted and Jackie with the 'Cuda. Ted says, "Pride may be frowned upon in Heaven, but I'll bet they made an exception for Jake the weekend of the Mopar Nationals. I applaud these fine folks on their dedication to completing Jake's project."
Dan's resourcefulness was also proven with some tough-to-find parts he found locally. One source was Kolly New, the man who sold Jake the car. Both fenders were sourced locally and at a price many would find hard to believe. Additionally, Dan worked with Arnie's Glass in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who provided a new windshield and delicately removed the glass and reinstalled the rear window-donating all the labor involved.
While Dan was sourcing parts, Ken needed paint and body materials. As do most seasoned professionals, Ken had his favorite materials. So, rather than use products he was unfamiliar with, we turned to Restomotive Laboratories and their popular POR-15 product line. Furthermore, we were able to work with Ken's local paint distributor, who provided the name of his district representative for BASF's Glasurit product line. Both companies came through in the clutch and helped offset nearly $2,000 in product costs.
Luckily, many of the drivetrain parts had been locally sourced, but Dan knew finding parts to cool Jake's 'Cuda would be a challenge. At that point, we contacted U.S. Radiator. Here, Don Armstrong and Lloyd Brown provided their trademarked Triple Flow design that keeps the 383 cool.
Finally, when it came time to finish the interior, the dash was the most daunting. When Dan called us in late May, we immediately recommended Alan Foxx from PMI/Ultimate Rides, whose all-new construction '70-'74 'Cuda and '70-'74 Challenger dashpads have been the anchor of most, if not all, E-Body dash restorations. Alan and his staff immediately responded to Dan's needs and supplied the dashpad. Many thanks to all companies who worked with the Maurer Family and supported the effort on Jake's 'Cuda. We simply couldn't have done it without you.
After returning home from the '01 Mopar Nationals, Keith and Joy Rohm of the Mopar Nationals phoned to tell me the story of Jake Maurer. As Keith conveyed the story of the Maurer family's loss of their youngest son and brother, Jake, I was immediately motivated to provide any resources that Mopar Muscle and the Chrysler community could coordinate to assist in the completion of Jake's AAR replica.