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.