Doug Starbuck, owner of Star Side Design, says, “one year there were more than 20 vehicles at the SEMA Show that I painted.”  His work has been featured on more than 65 automotive magazine covers.
Riverside, Calif.—Few custom painters have had their work featured in as many automotive magazines as Doug Starbuck, owner of Star Side Design, with more than 65 covers to his credit.    
The best shops in this country do it all — online marketing, direct mail, SEO, e-mail marketing, social media and rely heavily on their POS systems to be successful. Using just one no longer works, says Kukui CEO Todd Westerlund.
San Jose, Calif.—In February 2017, Todd Westerlund embarked on an ambitious journey to visit 1,000 shops to get a complete view of the industry from coast to coast.
Shop owner Gene Cross still likes to work on vehicles out in the shop.
St. Helens, Ore.—When a man walked into St. Helens Auto Body recently, company founder Gene Cross immediately recognized him as having been the shop’s first customer three decades earlier.
Owner’s Scott and Beth Buenger say they will soon perform digital inspections.
Granite City, Ill.—“We’re the best-kept secret in Granite City,” said Beth Buenger, referring to the fact that despite being in business for 85 years and that 40 percent of their business is automotive care, many people still think O’Brien Tire &a
Owners Sherri Stock and Jared McPike position inMotion Auto Care as a dealership alternative, offering comprehensive digital inspections and a five-year, 50,000-mile warranty. From left are Jared McPike, Henry Bull, Bryan Tepe, Ben Cordova, Alex Fayman, Jason Delgado, Chris Stock, Pat Heng, and Sherri Stock.
Lincoln, Neb.—Whether it’s a service advisor or a technician, hiring the right people is probably the hardest part of her job, said Sherri Stock, co-owner of inMOTION Auto Care, noting that, “People can make or break your business.”
General Manager Sandy Medeiros and Operations Manager Darren Maltbie, Jim Maltbie’s son, make sure that Jim’s Auto Body hit its numbers every month.
Concord, Calif.—To repair 600 vehicles on average every month out of its three locations, Jim’s Auto Body relies on continual training, cutting-edge equipment and OEM repair procedures to succeed.
Rolf Pickering says the amount of technology a shop has to be equipped with is creating a barrier to entry for many would-be shop owners.
Lakewood, Colo.—A customer pulls into the parking lot of Front Range Automotive, an O’Reilly Certified Auto Repair Center, with a check engine light on.
Doug Starbuck, owner of Star Side Design, says, “one year there were more than 20 vehicles at the SEMA Show that I painted.”  His work has been featured on more than 65 automotive magazine covers.
The best shops in this country do it all — online marketing, direct mail, SEO, e-mail marketing, social media and rely heavily on their POS systems to be successful. Using just one no longer works, says Kukui CEO Todd Westerlund.
Shop owner Gene Cross still likes to work on vehicles out in the shop.
Owner’s Scott and Beth Buenger say they will soon perform digital inspections.
Owners Sherri Stock and Jared McPike position inMotion Auto Care as a dealership alternative, offering comprehensive digital inspections and a five-year, 50,000-mile warranty. From left are Jared McPike, Henry Bull, Bryan Tepe, Ben Cordova, Alex Fayman, Jason Delgado, Chris Stock, Pat Heng, and Sherri Stock.
General Manager Sandy Medeiros and Operations Manager Darren Maltbie, Jim Maltbie’s son, make sure that Jim’s Auto Body hit its numbers every month.
Rolf Pickering says the amount of technology a shop has to be equipped with is creating a barrier to entry for many would-be shop owners.
Noah Stevens, a former accountant, has made a name for himself at Mile High Classics, a restoration shop in Denver.
Denver—Reading financial statements is second nature to Noah Stevens, so is restoring cars. In an unlikely combination, Stevens, a Florida transplant, has successfully shifted from corporate accounting into entrepreneurship as owner of Mile High Classics. As a young economics graduate from Florida...
Nick Modesti, general manager of Modesti’s Car Care Center, in Culver City, says he has worked with Dave Fischer of California Employer’s Services for several years, who always makes sure the shop is Cal/OSHA compliant.
Fresno, Calif.—Everyone who works in California — as a shop owner or employee — is subject to the regulations set forth by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), also known as Cal/OSHA. According to a recent report from the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF), from 2012-...
Survey data from CRASH Network and Collision Advice shows that how long a backlog of work collision repair shops reported having last fall varied by region from a low of just over one week in the South Central states to a high of 2.6 weeks in the Mountain region.
Portland, Ore.—Are some states better than others for collision repairers? There are any number of ways to rank any state in relation to others in terms of where collision repairers have it best. But here are four factors that likely have some impact on the body shops in each state, offering some...
Randall Fehr stands between 1966 and 1970 Lotus models that will have major restoration work performed at Horton Restorations.
Seattle—Several years ago Parts & People visited a totally nondescript building in Seattle’s SODO District that is nestled amongst a variety of industrial buildings. With just 30 Horton St. above the door, few would know what really occupies the inside space — a combination of three unique...
Doug Starbuck, owner of Star Side Design, says, “one year there were more than 20 vehicles at the SEMA Show that I painted.”  His work has been featured on more than 65 automotive magazine covers.
Riverside, Calif.—Few custom painters have had their work featured in as many automotive magazines as Doug Starbuck, owner of Star Side Design, with more than 65 covers to his credit.     “I’ve done countless custom paint jobs on vans, mini vans, trucks, mini trucks, cars, motorcycles, race cars,...
Chris and Mallory Jones, who own and operate Precision Collision Center’s two locations in Pleasant Valley and Gladstone, Mo., push for customers to look for certifications, just as they would in choosing a doctor.
Pleasant Valley, Mo.—It’s an ad designed to elicit an emotional response: clutching a teddy bear, a smiling young girl is cradled in her mother’s arm as they leave a doctor’s office. “Would you take your child to a noncertified doctor?” the headline asks rhetorically. “Then why would you take your...
Chris Doria takes on restoration or resto-mod projects, such as this ’51 Ford F1 pickup.
St. Louis—With its roots in the specialty of restoring ’50s and ’60s Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, Frisco Hill Auto had tooled up for insurance-based collision repair before devoting all of the shop’s time, energy, and production space to restorations and “resto-mods.” It was tough to make the two...
Basecoats and clearcoats are designed by the manufacturer to work as a system, PPG’s Jennifer Boros says, and mixing and matching them can cause issues such as pinching and dieback.
Las Vegas—It’s glass-smooth and looks miles-deep, laid over an eye-popping, sparkling custom finish on a Ridler Award-winning street rod. Or it’s a factory-like orange peel finish, designed for an invisible repair. Regardless of the desired outcome, the clearcoat is the finish everyone sees. “It’s...
 
 

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.

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