“Time” magazine has its Person of the Year Award. Rock and Roll and Football / Baseball / Basketball / Hockey all have a Hall of Fame. Politician, musicians, actors and sports stars are used to being put in the spotlight, but have you ever heard of an auto body repair person taking center stage? Probably not. Other than a handshake and/or a tip for a job well done, it is typically a thankless job.
All of that is about to change with ATCOA’s recent launch of the Auto Body Man Hall of Fame. Short for Air Tool Corp. of America, ATCOA manufactures the straightline sanders used in repair shops across the country. The corporation recently issued a press release urging all auto body repair craftsmen and their projects to put their name in the running for induction into its Hall of Fame.
According to that news release, “The Auto Body Man Hall of Fame has been established to acknowledge the contributions of the hard working craftsmen, designers and artists involved in all aspects of auto body repair.” The HoF was founded by Karl Selander, who has devoted the whole of his career to the work.
It is precisely that type of devotion that is the impetus behind the recognition program. “The Hall of Fame is intended to celebrate the hard work and creativity of the men and women that have done the hard work of repairing auto bodies and those that have customized them to an art form,” ATCOA explains.
It’s a form of recognition that Selander believes “is long overdue.” To that end, he has “made a commitment to preserve the lives, personalities and history of the auto body repair industry.” Craftsmen who enroll and are selected on the basis of pride in their work receive permanent induction into the Auto Body Man Hall of Fame. In essence, it elevates a blue collar job to celebrity status.
Whether your shop chooses to put its name in the running for the Hall of Fame or not, next time you take your car in for repair, you might want to offer some extra thanks for a job well done anyway. Most customers don’t realize just how much time and devotion goes into restoring their vehicles. In fact, many of today’s most reputable full-service repair centers rose from no-frills style mom-and-pop body shops into the ultra-modern collision repair facilities they are today.
Indeed, it’s not unusual to walk into a repair shop these days and find grandfather, father and son working side by side each other. That’s because the craftsmanship and pride that goes into top-quality repair is in the blood of many a repairman.
Auto body repair is their calling. They can’t not do it. In fact, chances are, they couldn’t even dream of another career path. That said, most will gladly perform their craft without any type of recognition, but it’s nice to see that somebody has finally stood up and taken notice.