November 30th, 2014

For collision repairers, technology these days can be good news or bad news

Technology has become a double-edged sword for collision repairers. It can distract drivers, leading to accident-damaged vehicles — or it can enable those vehicles to avert the accident before it occurs. Technology can help potential customers find your shop — or find your competitor’s shop instead. And it can help you get the information your shop needs to write a complete estimate — and can help insurers audit that estimate to look for ways to reduce repair costs.

Early inspiration sparks service career

Sonoma shop owner stays true to his school and mentors

Sonoma, Calif.—For Larbre Automotive Owner Mike Larbre it all started with a go-kart and a toolbox. “We had a little dirt track and all of my cousins were into go-karts and dirt bikes. My family has a well-drilling business, so I was always around welding, fabricating, and all things mechanical. When I got my first kart and toolbox it was all I wanted to do. Mechanical things are in my blood.”

November 25th

December 2014 - Publisher's Statement

Industry’s well-being on display

Once again, trade show and convention attendees from all the various segments of the automotive parts and service industry as well as enthusiasts of all stripes came to Las Vegas, and what happened didn’t have to stay in Vegas.


̶ Technician will be Awarded $2,500 in Cash and Prizes–

ORANGE, CALIF., Nov. 21, 2014—Redline Detection, the industry leader in OEM-mandated diagnostic leak detection equipment, is encouraging anyone who works with, or knows, a talented technician to nominate him or her for the second annual Redline Rock Star Performance Award. The award recognizes a technician for their commitment to family, community and the industry. Friends, family members, shop owners, etc. can easily nominate worthy technicians through Redline’s online nomination form.

October 31st

East Peoria shop built from hands-on experience and attention to detail

East Peoria, Ill.—Of the 60 or so collision repair shops in the Peoria area, Turk’s Collision Center is one of, if not the largest, collision repair center. At the helm of Turk’s is president and owner Gary Turk, 41. How he got to own one of the biggest collision repair centers — repairing and painting about 120 cars per month — in the area is no secret.

Tom Ham instructs EXCEL attendees on how to have fewer ‘fires’ to put out

St. Charles, Mo.—The NASCAR Sprint Cup car thunders into the pit, its crew springing into action and working in concert to change four tires and pour in as much as 17 gallons of fuel in just 12 seconds.

In the late 1970s, Tom Ham said a pit stop time of 30 seconds was considered remarkable, but times have since been slashed by having better-trained crew members using consistent procedures.

Boutique shop mixes old with new

Scharwz Limited targets full-service repair on high-end European models

St. Louis—A Rolls-Royce is not your typical car, nor is Schwarz Limited your typical service center. From vintage Jaguars to the iconic BMW Z8, the lobby of the St. Louis-based Schwarz Limited greets customers more like a museum. Only here the cars aren’t just for looks, they’re for sale, too. It’s what car dreams are made of, and no one knows that more than Eric and Fred Schwarz, sons of founder Erwin Schwarz.