The Mopar Community Mourns the Loss of David J. Patik

Image: David J. Patik Facebook Page

All of us at Mopar Connection Magazine are truly saddened to the core to announce that David J. Patik, Mopar historian and owner of Performance Car Graphics in Tallahassee, FL has lost his battle with cancer. Over the past 44 years, David dedicated his life to Mopars.

He put all of his time, energy, passion and love into the products he supplied for Mopar restorations and the restoration work he performed. Whether it was the stripes and decals he created for Mopars or the various parts he restored such as instrument clusters or consoles, David was truly the best. His products were absolutely the finest on the market.

A true Mopar historian to the core, David was always willing to share his vast knowledge about everything Mopar. He will be sorely missed by all. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family and friends for their loss. We’d like to share David’s obituary as per his Facebook:

David John Patik November 21, 1953 – November 2, 2020

David was born in Oskaloosa, IA on November 21, 1953, the first of four children born to Barbara Ellen and Frank Patik. After graduating from La Salle High School (Cedar Rapids) in 1972, David quickly began pursuing in earnest, his passion for Chrysler muscle cars (Mopars) of the 1960s and early 1970s. David was ahead of his time in realizing the need to save these cars from the scrap yard crusher, and rust, and he bought as many cars as he could and put them in storage, for later resale and restoration.

On February 14, 1976, David’s first “winged warrior,” a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona arrived from the east coast, and on that same day, he founded Performance Car Graphics, his highly-acclaimed Mopar restoration business of almost 45 years.

On August 12, 1982, David moved to Tallahassee, FL, where the warmer climate allowed him to work year-round restoring instrument panels, consoles, gauge clusters, as well as meticulously reproducing original stripes and decals. No customers could have been more appreciated and well-taken care of than David’s were, and numerous are their stories of how he went the extra mile to help them in their various restoration projects, freely sharing his vast knowledge and his time with all who sought his expertise, as though their projects were his own.

Jobs arrived on David’s worktable in appalling condition, but all were returned to the customers looking like they had just come off the assembly line. As one customer and friend put it, “David was the only person I know who could turn junk into gold.” In addition to managing his business, David found the time to return to college and earn a degree in psychology from Florida State University. In 1997, David met his longtime partner/girlfriend, Dianne Melissa Whittaker, who passed on in 2018.

David is survived by his 94-year-old mother, and three siblings: Theresa and Kate (Cedar Rapids), and Anthony Richard (NYC), who left his home and job to be David’s full-time caregiver in his time of need.

David has donated his body to science, and there will be no service at this time.

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Cody Krueger

Car Feature Editor – Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '71 Charger R/T, '71 Super Bee, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '12 Ram 3500. Cody can truly and proudly say that he is a true Mopar nut in love with all types of Mopars!

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