Photos by Jesse Matlock
Article by Larry Crain
Jesse Matlock, the builder of “Striker”, is the owner of Jesse's Auto Body in Dewey, Oklahoma and has been in business since 2002. Jesse’s passion for cars started as a very young man, and that passion led him into auto bodywork at just the age of 13. Fast forward to now and Jesse still has the love of doing bodywork, now at the age of 40.
He has restored many vehicles throughout his life, but his main automotive passion is Mopars with many of them having won a multitude of awards locally and nationally. Some of these award-winning cars gave him the opportunity to have his work appear in magazines and helped showcase his talent as a builder.
Because of these wins, he has had the chance to meet some amazing big-name builders that helped strengthen his confidence in building a car that could compete on the national level. Jesse hoped that the project that he was going to tackle would be a first from a small town builder and shop that would inspire other builders to follow their dreams.
Out of the many vehicles he has done over the years, “Striker” is Jesse’s ultimate Mopar build. One I believe will strike fear into any and all of its competitor’s. Here’s how it came together.
About five and a half years ago the project started with humble beginnings from a 1971 318 equipped Barracuda, which had been slowly dying in a pasture in Oklahoma. The build started but was hit and miss for several years - starting out as a resto-mod. Then in 2013 Jesse switched gears when he saw the potential in the car to become his chance to “strike” first from his area with a major build.