Employee Spotlight – Yvonne B.

At Steele Rubber Products we pride ourselves on being car guys… and girls, okay so let’s say car people. We all love the industry that we’re in and work hard for it so that it continues on to the next generation. For the next few months we are going to do an Employee Spotlight to showcase the cars our employees have and why they love doing what they do. Some people are just beginning the restoration process and some have completed theirs, but either way there’s a great story behind each one.

We’re starting with one of our Product Specialists, Yvonne Bowe. She got a 1968 Mercury Cougar just over a year ago. She’s wanted the car since she was a kid, but she said it took a little while longer to get than expected. I asked her why she wanted a cougar and her response was, “My dad told me that if I got a job and saved money he would help me get my first car. I found a 68 Cougar for sale in my town and had my dad go look at it with me. It had a blower and huge drag tires, but once it started up my dad said no… before he even SAW it! He stuck me in a Honda, but I had my eye on a Cougar ever since.” Yvonne says she doesn’t have a real goal for her car, just wants it “faster and stronger”. She took it down the drag strip once and now she’s hooked and wants the car fast.


Her dad is the one who got her into cars, teaching her about all the tools, car care, and had her spend time with him in their garage working on his 1964 Falcon ( and 1972 Torino ( Yvonne is trying to teach her daughter, Jianna, the same way her dad taught her. She helps her polish the cougar up for shows and is planning to have her be more hands on when she starts on the interior.

Yvonne doesn’t have any other cars right now, but she may in the future. She would love a 1964 Riviera ( and her daughter wants a 1978 Trans Am although that changes daily. She enjoys having her project car for herself but it’s helped her at work as well, giving her a better understanding of everything her customers need, plus she can relate to all of the heartaches of a project car and share some laughs with them.

It’s important to do exactly what Yvonne’s dad did for her, and what Yvonne is doing for her daughter… teach. We all need to show this next generation how to work on older cars, teach them the importance of the industry, and take them to a car show. Let them see what it’s all about! Yvonne is one of the many car people at Steele Rubber Products and we can’t wait to share some of the others with you. Share your stories with us and you could be our next Customer Spotlight!

Have a 1968 Cougar as well? Check out the parts we have for your vehicle:


Product Specialist – Paul I.

Product Specialist Paul


Paul I. – Product Specialist for more than 2 years


Share an experience you had with one special customer:  I can’t say there is one customer that is more satisfying than another. When it’s all said and done they are all like kids in a candy shop.

Why is restoring old cars important:  Restoration of cars is import to preserve automobile history. I don’t believe we can truly move forward unless we can see where we have come from. Restoration of vehicles is much more than a hobby, it’s a way of life.

What is your dream car: Dream car 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Split window, duh !


Product Specialist – Jake T.

Jake T Product Specialist

 Jake T. is the  latest Product Specialist to join the team. He has been working with Steele Rubber Products since May 2013.

Share one customer interaction:  I helped a guy who was doing his 1st restoration and like a lot of folks, he said he needed everything.  I wanted to qualify the meaning behind “everything” and he assured me he wanted everything he would need to do the job and he trusted me to sell him all of the parts he would need to do it properly.  He left it to my discretion as to quantity of certain parts, sizes of others, and all of the other details.  He then inquired as to where he might find other types of parts (bright-work, hard-parts, etc.)  I offered some choices for other vendors, and then I sent him a quote via email for the parts we offered.  I did not hear back for quite a while and then he called and gave the go-ahead for the order, (which was substantial) and upon completion of the order, he thanked me for steering him in the direction of the other vendors, and appreciated me going beyond what is normally expected to help him with this project.

 Why is the restoration hobby important to you: In my opinion, the auto restoration hobby is not merely shining up and showing off old cars.  While that is part of it, I believe this hobby is fundamentally about the preservation of memory.  Automotive Restoration helps not only to create a sort of shared nostalgia among its participants; be they spectators, builders, young, old, whatever the case; this hobby helps people to connect in a meaningful way to their past, their present and more importantly each other.

For many of the enthusiasts in this hobby, they may be hoping to recapture their “glory days” through their restorations; To build a time machine of sorts that may transport them to the bygone era when a day’s work for a day’s pay was still a national ethos and you could fill-up your car and cruise all night with just a handful of coins.

While those times are long past, the bright chrome and candy-color memories that idle in the minds of those who spent their youth in white t-shirts or poodle skirts live on.  The patina cast by unreliable (and very often, selective) memory can twist the truths about the decades and years past represented in these automobiles and while the future seems vague and uncertain, these machines make the past grow just a little brighter with every passing year.

What is your dream car?   That question is very loaded so I will answer it with three cars:  If  money is no object, A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT; If money is still kind of an object and I saved for a long time, a 1972  Bill Stroppe Baja Bronco; and finally, something within reason for me in the not-so-distant future, a Toyota FJ-55 “Iron-Pig” Landcruiser.



Technical Support- Trent P.

trent p

  Trent P.  - Technical Support Specialist with Steele Rubber Products for the past 10 years.

Best customer support story: I had a customer in Australia with a 1947 Plymouth.  Australian Built 1947 Plymouth with a style code of PS15, not the usual P15 the American built 47 Plymouth had.  After a bit of research and sniffing around, I figured out the 1947 Australian Built Plymouth is a combination of Plymouth & Desoto.  Thus, the “P” for Plymouth and the “S” for Desoto in the PS15.  Are you bored yet ?

Why are classic cars and trucks important to you:  I don’t think they are important, I think they are fun.  If they were important, I probably wouldn’t have anything to do with them.

What is your dream car? Classic Car : Aston Martin DB-5,  Truck : 1946 Dodge Power Wagon,  Hot Rod:  Anything you want to park in my driveway.