I watch football (go Pats!) and at the end of last season, we got to see the genius GMC guy climb the mountain with this new tailgate and all the pilgrims with their dummy tailgates walk toward him as he stood there like Moses or something.
OK, I get it, bearded suburban chiseled jaw guy who has never walked a top plate.
But, the tailgate’s functionality, what about that?
At first blush, for weekend bark-mulch haulers who have a lot of money they don’t want, sure. For the weekend 4-wheeler transporter, sure. For the insufferable suburban show-off, well of course.
But the guy who invented it.
Holy amaze-balls. Props bro.
While the whole article is amazing, the snippet that I think resonates with us is below. This guy is a mega gamer.
Jim Gobart's name is on 11 patents with GM, including the patent on the MultiPro tailgate along with Albert Butlin, who invented the latching for it. Gobart's name is on eight more patents that are pending, he said.
Gobart has no college degree. He races endurance motorcycles and snowmobiles, plays on half a dozen softball teams at once and builds anything he can by hand. In fact, Gobart hand-built the sprawling ranch home in Oakland Township, Mich., where he and his wife live and raised their two daughters.
He knows the power of innovation and secrets too. His father worked on the U.S. space program in the 1960s and Gobart remembers that dad "couldn't talk about stuff."
But Dad's work sure did rock Gobart's world growing up near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As a 10-year-old boy, he remembers frequently waking in the middle of the night, "and the house would be shaking and vibrating and you'd look outside and it was bright as daylight and there was a missile launching into space.”
That space-age progress exploding outside his bedroom inspired the young inventor. By early high school, Gobart could build an entire car by hand. Since then, he's hand-built at least 200 cars, he said.
He also has the rare ability to operate an English wheel. An English wheel is a metalworking tool that creates different types of curves from flat sheets of aluminum and steel for building cars by hand. GM found itself struggling to find an English wheel operator in the mid-1970s. In 1978, Gobart interviewed for the job.
"They walked out to the parking lot and saw the car I built by hand and hired me on the spot," said Gobart.
Not only can he operate an English wheel, but, you guessed it, he built the English wheel he uses in his home.