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My name is Kelly Jance
Burch and I invented Tonneau Gate. I came up with the idea
many years ago
back in 1999. I am a huge custom truck fan. I got into trucks about the
time I got my drivers license.
years back, one of the biggest things that were customized on trucks, were
the taillights. Someone decided to use Cadillac Deville taillights on
trucks, creating one of the biggest and most common modifications still
used today. Soon after that Cadillac taillights were popping up on just
about every truck with a custom touch.
getting my driver's license, it took me only 4 months to have my first
fender bender. I was late to school so I was speeding to make up for lost
time. The roads were icy due to freezing rain, and being an inexperienced
new driver at the time, I didn't think about braking early to avoid icy
spots. So as I came to a stop, I hit a big sheet of ice and my brakes
locked up hitting the car in front of me;
pulling over to check for damage, (mine being the only one damaged) I
really noticed the trunk lid more than anything. Somehow the backend of
that car just stuck in my mind, I guess because in a way it flashed before
my eyes. Seeing the trunk and the taillights on the car
made me think about putting a trunk lid on a truck. And so I did.
I have seen several
trucks with tag boxes located on the tailgate before, but that just didn't
have the look that I was going for. One thing that I noticed about the
Cadillac Deville taillights was that they (taillights) don't have reverse
lights. They are located around the license plate on the trunk.
After going to several
car shows and looking in all the truck magazines, I never saw my idea the
way I had it pictured in my head. I kept thinking, someone will pop up
with one and sell them, and then I can just buy one. After waiting and
waiting for my idea to come out on the market, I decided that I better be
the one that makes it possible.
After looking into filing
for a patent, I decided to invest in one. After 14 months, and
spending thousands and thousands of dollars. I now own a piece of history
in my name.
After making the prototype
and getting granted with 2 patents and a little bit of advertising. I have
spent over $30,000 to get to where I am today, which is patiently waiting.
It has been a long ride since day one, but I'm happy with my creation and
I am proud to show off what I have paid for by myself (no handouts, grant
money, loans or borrowed money from anyone). No parents, grandparents,
aunts, uncles or even my brother or sister helped me in the finances,
(which is what I wanted) penny after penny I take pride in my self-made
I hope that Tonneau Gate
hits the market and starts showing up at car shows all over the nation! So
crashing into the backend of a Cadillac wasnít all bad. If that didnít
happen, I might not have ever come up with the idea of putting a trunk lid
on a truck. I just hope a Cadillac doesn't return the favor. So Tonneau
Gate just happened due to a careless mistake at a
young age. Thanks to inexperienced driving and mother-nature.