Dan and Bonnie Maurer, along with Jake's older brothers, Joe and Josh, had changed their minds about selling the hulk of a Barracuda that Jake's active imagination believed could become a show-winning 383-powered Lime Light '70 AAR replica, thanks to the motivation of Jake's friends at Schoolcraft High School in southwestern Michigan. They all sought to help Dan create a lasting memorial of Jake.
Immediately after Keith and Joy's phone call, I wrote a letter to Dan informing him that Mopar Muscle and the entire Mopar community was interested in assisting his effort. Dan's enthusiastic reaction just minutes after receiving the letter would result in an 11-month project, with the help of contributions from The Paddock, Stephens Performance, U.S. Radiator, Sherman & Associates, BASF/Glasurit, and PMI/Ultimate Rides. The fundraising activities of Jake's friends also helped to offset much of the family's costs.
Best of all, the car was completed just in time to serve as the centerpiece of The Mopar Nationals "Young Guns" area at the '02 Nats.
While a beautiful Mopar is certainly an outstanding tribute, this story is about more than paint and sheetmetal. The most vital contribution to the car's completion is the determination of Jake's friends, who inspired the grieving family and lent a passionate hand in the restoration.
While "Young Guns" celebrates Mopar enthusiasts 25 years old and under for their passion in Chrysler performance cars, the involvment of young people begins with community. Here's to the mentors, like Dan and Bonnie Maurer, who convey their own enthusiasm in Chrysler performance cars to their children and to Mopar's next generation -Jerry Pitt