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Kelly Jance Burch

Elk City, OK





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Tonneau Gate
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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.
      A few 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.
 After 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; a 1997 Cadillac Deville.
 After 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 creation.

 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.

Tonneau Gate is currently not on the market or available for individual sales. This is only a prototype.
I am looking for a manufacturer to team up with for production.

Click here to sign the petition if you are interested in purchasing Tonneau Gate!