Dan’s Tribute Car, Truck and Trailer
Disclaimer: The truck, trailer, car, and custom wraps, were paid for out of the Dolan families own pocket. The car was painted at the expense of the Dolan family with all labor provided by Jake Taylor. NONE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM HOOAH OR DAN’S RIDE HAVE EVER BEEN USED FOR THESE VEHICLES.
The CarA beautiful black 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi purchased by Dan before he was deployed to Iraq, with all intentions of driving the wheels off on his return. This car was what he talked about, what he dreamed about, and one of the things he most looked forward to on his return home. As evident in this paragraph taken from a Stars and Stripes article from August 31, 2006, 4 days after the attack in northwestern Baghdad that took the lives of Dan and another member of his platoon, CPL Kenneth Cross:
“Pfc. Daniel Dolan, 19, loved apple-flavored chewing tobacco and talked incessantly of his snowboarding exploits and what he described as “the only girlfriend I need”: his Subaru STi sports car.”
After Dan’s death, his parents had to decide the fate of the car: the most obvious decision to sell it, pay off the debt, and clear the space in the garage or they could keep it in memory of Dan by continuing to store it and make the payments. Knowing how much the car meant to Danny, they couldn’t even think of letting it go. They decided to keep it.
Dan’s Car before tribute customization
This car was already an awesome vehicle to begin with. A sporty Subaru WRX STi that was expected to be used as a great, fun, and enjoyable, mode of transportation for a teenager to young adult from Roy, Utah. But then, four and a half years after the car was purchased, and four years after the plans for the car were changed forever by a tragic loss and heroic sacrifice, it was determined to be customized into a spectacular tribute to Dan and everyone that serves or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The ArtistU.S. Army SGT Jake Taylor knows only too well about service and sacrifice. He received two Purple Heart’s for injuries received during his tour in Iraq. An extremely talented artist now residing in southeastern Idaho with his wife Jaime and 5 kids. Now a close, personal friend of the Dolan family, he took on the project with a vision and perspective that only a veteran with his experiences and history could provide. And even more amazing, Jake donated his countless hours of labor and his incredible talent for a “brother in arms” and to make sure the fallen are not forgotten!
Body WorkBefore Jake could start the custom paint, preparation on the car included paintless dent repair that normally would have amounted to hundreds of dollars in labor costs. Fortunately, Andy Clawson, Jake’s cousin and the owner of Car Medic in southeastern Idaho, donated his valuable time and effort to this great project.
The ResultVery few people knew of the work being done to Dan’s Car. It was kept a secret with the intent that it would be unveiled at the first Daniel G Dolan Memorial Ride, aka Dan’s Ride, at the end of July, 2010. After a long enjoyable ride, the start of our Veterans Appreciation Festival was highlighted by the unveiling of the car. As it pulled out of the trailer, everyone knew they were witnessing something incredible. The car exceeded all our expectations, the results: AWESOME!
The Truck and TrailerKnowing that the car was meant to be seen, but not wanting to put a lot of miles on it, Tim Dolan knew that another form of transport would be needed. Even before the customization of the car had began, the Dolan’s purchased a heavy duty truck and large custom trailer and had them both custom wrapped with a carefully designed image to befit the vehicles’s important mission: to carry Dan’s tribute car as well as be used as a tribute of their own to all our military forces.