Menasha entrepreneur Mark Blank invents tailgate handle for pickups

Mark Blank of Menasha has come a long way since dropping out of high school and leaving home at age 16. Despite a hard beginning, he equates his journey to the story line in the movie “Gran Torino.” In that film, a bitter and lonely young man is transformed into a confident […]

While restoring a 1970 Chevy C10 pickup, Mark Blank had an idea for a tailgate handle.

Mark Blank of Menasha has come a long way since dropping out of high school and leaving home at age 16. Despite a hard beginning, he equates his journey to the story line in the movie “Gran Torino.”

In that film, a bitter and lonely young man is transformed into a confident and happy individual. For Blank, it was his best friend’s father who made that great impact in his life.

“We worked side by side, and he taught me how to do all of the mechanical basics like electrical and plumbing,” Blank said. “His attention and direction changed my life.”

Another great influence came when Blank was given the opportunity to rebuild a 1970 Chevy C10. The truck had been driven hard for many years before being relegated to a pasture on his father-in-law’s farm for 23 years.

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