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Colour Variance

The science behind colour matching and OEM finishes.


Kids in Saskatoon transform a Nova with help from Parr Auto Body and Hands On Outreach.

PLUS How to flip a rare car, the R-M Best Painter competition, and much, much more!!!

Winter 2016




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632


l  86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2





profile 14 Skill Builders Hands On Outreach and Parr Auto Body help at-risk youth build their skills ... and an awesome street machine! regulars 4 Publisher’s Page by James Kerr

6 News Mohawk College honours pre-apprentice grads and much, much more!

12 Industry Insight by John Norris

42 Final Detail by Mike Davey

30 28


Tech Talk

Young Gun

The science behind colour variance and OEM coatings.

Allison Crawford brings an artist’s sensibilities to the autobody trade.

Battle of the Builders

features 23 Flipping a Rare Car

37 Renaissance Man

Advice and tips from a pro on how to get the most value out of your investment.

Wayne Loker of CarrXpert has worked in almost every segment of the industry.

34 Best of the New

41 Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Awarding winning tools from the 2016 SEMA Show!

Giving students what they need to succeed in industry.

Profiling the Top 10 at the 2016 SEMA Show custom builder competition!

on the cover: Local youth in Saskatoon worked with experienced techs to transform this Chevy Nova.





Collision repair is something to believe in. BY JAMES KERR

PUBLISHER Darryl Simmons 647.409.7070 PUBLISHING DIRECTOR James Kerr 416.628.8344 EDITOR Mike Davey 905.549.0454 ASSISTANT EDITOR Mike Pickford 905.370.0101 CREATIVE DEPARTMENT Michelle Miller 905.370.0101 STAFF WRITER Jeff Sanford


ome of us take the long road to get into collision repair. When I was 23 years old, it was my extreme displeasure to hold a boring office job working technical and sales support at a call centre for an out-of-country cell phone company. It is a common thing when people are young to go through a series of some of the worst jobs imaginable, and this was mine. It’s not the job that was bad. If it were just talking on the phone with people to solve their cell phone

years old all over again, just starting out at a local collision repair shop. A car comes in a little worse for wear, and the whole symphony of jobs dedicated to making it great again starts in force. A car is a puzzle to solve, tackled by a team. The process may be similar sometimes, but there are nearly infinite variations. In stages the car is taken from its worst condition and returned to its best. At the end of the challenging, physically demanding and detailed process, you get to look at something and be proud.

“In the end ... you get to look at something and be proud.” problems and help them pay their bills, I’m sure it would have been kind of fun. But the job was not like that. The difference between a good job and a bad job often just comes down to your ability to connect with the work. Inattentive supervisors and bizarre schedule changes could be shrugged off, but each day I would come into work, work hard and well, and leave never knowing if what I was doing was doing any good. There was never an end result. What I wouldn’t have given to find a job where I could see my efforts come to something real, a place where I could be proud of what I accomplished! I didn’t know then that I was missing the collision repair industry. Imagine if you will that I get to be 23



You don’t have much time to ogle, of course – but you know that you did some good. That’s an amazing gift to any job. The magazine you hold in your hands is more than just a tool to save young people from poor career choices. Bodyworx Professional magazine is a comprehensive guide for production professionals to share their stories, and help the industry thrive. If only I had found a copy of Bodyworx Professional magazine when I was 23! But then, some of us take the long road to get into collision repair.


SUBSCRIPTION One-year $29.95 / Two-year $49.95

Bodyworx Professional™ is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Bodyworx Professional™ may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 86 John Street Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Bodyworx Professional is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of:



Mohawk College honours pre-apprenticeship grads at special ceremony By Mike Davey A new group of students has hit the first milestone on their journey towards careers in the autobody field. Mohawk College held a special event at the school’s Stoney Creek campus to honour the latest round of graduates from its pre-apprenticeship collision repair class. It was a momentous occasion for all of the students but one in particular will likely remember the day for as long as he lives. Student Joey Piercey ran into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and snapped a selfie with him. Trudeau was not attending the graduation, but was visiting the school as part of a trip to Hamilton. The course of study is a pre-apprenticeship, so the students are not officially registered apprentices. However, the training they have recieved is equivalent to that of the Level 1 apprenticeship course. The pre-apprenticeship course at Mohawk College is administered by Debbie DeDauw, a training specialist with the college. DeDauw is something of an expert when it comes to pre-apprenticeship programs. Over the years, she has run 35 similar programs for various skilled trades. The training is free of charge for the students, but DeDauw notes that there is a lengthy approval process for those who want to participate. “We want people who really want to go all the way,” she says. In other words, the program is for those seeking to make a career in the skilled trades. While all of the students have reason to be proud, there are three who deserve special mention. Haroon Basharat was presented with the CARSTAR Outstanding Achievement Award for achieving the highest overall grade point average. Rutul Patel was awarded the CIIA Outstanding Achievement Award for Basic Level 1 - Theory, while Michael Medwin received the Treschak Enterprises Outstanding Achievement Award for Basic Level 1 - Practical. You can find more information on Mohawk College’s Autobody & Collision Damage Repairer program at programs/skilled-trades/auto-body-collision-damage-repairer-310b.

Joey Piercey, one of the students in the pre-apprenticeship program, had a rare opportunity to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau right before the graduation ceremony.

Debbie DeDauw of Mohawk College hands over a diploma to one of the graduates. DeDauw has coordinated 35 pre-apprenticeship programs for various skilled trades.

Mohawk’s pre-apprenticeship graduating class. This is the first time Mohawk College has run the program since 2012.







Will titanium be the next material revolution? By Mike Davey The quest for strong, lightweight materials never ends. The collision repair industry is on top of aluminum and high-strength steels of various grades. Carbon fibre is widely anticipated to be the next revolution, but recent reports indicate that titanium may start showing up in production vehicles before too long. It won’t actually be pure titanium, of course, but an alloy. Researchers at the US-based Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed an improved titanium alloy that they say is stronger than any commercial titanium alloy currently on the market. The material gets its strength from the way the atoms are arranged to form a special nanostructure. For the first time, researchers have been able to see this alignment and then manipulate it to make the strongest titanium alloy ever developed. The new alloy also has a lower cost process than previous titanium alloy processes. Raw titanium is 45 percent of the weight of low carbon steel, but it’s not very strong. Metallurgists tried blending it with iron, combined with vanadium and aluminum. The resulting alloy, Ti185, was first produced about 50 years ago. It was light and also very strong, but only in certain places. The mixture tended to clump, with the iron clustering and creating defects. This made it a difficult proposition to produce the alloy for commercial purposes. Researchers at PNNL and their colleagues at other institutions found a way around that problem about six years ago. They also developed a lower cost process to produce the material on industrial scales. One key was to use titanium hydride powder instead of molten titanium. The Advance Materials Group, also known as ADMA, co-developed the process with PNNL metallurgist Curt Lavender and now sells the titanium hydride powder and other advanced materials to the aerospace industry and others. However, researchers kept working on the material in an attempt to make it even stronger. Using powerful electron microscopes and a unique atom probe imaging approach they were able to peer deep inside the alloy’s nanostructure to see what was happening. Once they understood the nanostructure, they were able to create the strongest titanium alloy ever made.

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have used high-tech methods to see into a titanium alloy optimized with a heat treatment process. The researchers have significantly improved the material’s strength, leading to possible use in the automotive industry.

The answer relies on heat-treating the material. Heating the alloy in a furnace at different temperatures and then plunging it into cold water essentially rearranges the elements at the atomic level in different ways. The resulting material is even stronger than before. “We found that if you heat treat it first with a higher temperature before a low temperature heat treatment step, you could create a titanium alloy 10 to 15 percent stronger than any commercial titanium alloy currently on the market and that it has roughly double the strength of steel,” said Arun Devaraj, a material scientist at PNNL. The new titanium alloy still has a relatively high price compared to steel, but it’s much stronger. “This alloy is still more expensive than steel but with its strength-to-cost ratio, it becomes much more affordable with greater potential for lightweight automotive applications,” said Vineet Joshi, a metallurgist at PNNL. The process the team invented to make stronger low-cost titanium alloys may also prove to be a way of producing aluminum alloys that are both stronger and cheaper. Raw aluminum is more expensive than the iron used to produce mild steels, but still less expensive than titanium. This means the process invented to produce the new titanium alloys may lead to even cheaper aluminum alloys, which in turns means that titanium may never see its day in the sun as a material of choice for auto manufacturers.





Axalta announces winners of 2016 Calendar Competition The competition from across North America was fierce, but Axalta Coating Systems has narrowed down the entries in its 2016 Custom Finishes Calendar Competition to the final dozen who will appear in the 2017 calendar. Custom car owners and builders from across the United States and Canada vied to have their vehicles featured in the custom calendar that Axalta has produced annually since 1993. A statement from Axalta says entries were judged on “best use of colour,” including finish quality, technical difficulty, design originality and artistic merit. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000, a complimentary professional photo shoot of the winning vehicle, cover position on the 2017 Custom Finishes Calendar, one calendar page highlight and 35 copies of the 2017 calendar. Eleven first place winners will each receive $500 cash, a complimentary professional photo shoot of the winning vehicle, one in-calendar page position and 35 copies of the 2017 Calendar. The winners’ names and locations, descriptions of their vehicles, basecoat brand used and the months in which their vehicles will appear in the calendar are below. Grand Prizewinner - Cover and April: Derick Samson, Marshall, Missouri, 1952 Mercedes Benz 170S (Cromax) January: Scott Austin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1965 Ford Falcon Futura (Hot Hues) February: Michael Velek, Manuta, Ohio, 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport (Spies Hecker) March: Tim Strange, Lewisburg, Tennessee, 1968 Chevrolet C10 Pickup Truck (Cromax) May: Lamar Ard, Westwego, Louisiana, 1961 Chevrolet Corvette (Standox) June: Jim and Pat DeFew, Benton, Kentucky, 2015 Custom Motorcycle (Hot Hues) July: PJ Burchett, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1950 International Harvester Metro Van (Cromax) August: Micky Heflin, Paducah, Kentucky, 1933 Ford Roadster (Nason) September: Robbin Sheets, Lodoga, Indiana, 1934 Diamond T 211 Truck (Cromax) October: Scott McCormack, Leesburg, Florida, 1967 Pontiac Tempest (Cromax) November: Patrick Buse, Omaha, Nebraska, 1960 Pontiac Ventura (Cromax) December: Bruce Ricks, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, 1956 Ford Victoria (Cromax)



Axalta’s Custom Calendar for 2017 features some of the top custom builds and paint jobs from across North America.





Clean Sweep: Tropicana Career Fair sees every student hired You couldn’t ask for better results. The Tropicana Career Fair saw every single graduate of the most recent program hired by one of the participating employers. The event took place at the Tropicana Community Services Centre of Excellence in Toronto. Since 2010, AYCE has facilitated pre-apprenticeship training for those interested in a career in the collision repair industry. Due to continued and unwavering support Program Co-ordinator Marc Tremblay (centre, at the podium) from industry stakeholders, the addresses the waiting employers at the 2016 Career Fair. program has continued to grow each year. Well over 60 aspiring technicians Employers participating in the career fair have started apprenticeships and entered the included CSN-427 Auto Collision, CARSTAR, collision industry thanks to the program and Co-Auto Collision Services, Mercedes Benz its supporters, including Centennial College. of Oakville and AWIN Auto World Imports. The Tropicana Pre-apprenticeship Training Tropicana Community Services would like Program is clearly of benefit to the industry to thank the numerous collision centres, in providing fresh talent, and the industry has companies and individuals who have helped consistently stepped up to help out in return. to bring the program to where it is today.

Bertrand Supplies holds demos at Tony Graham Collision Centre Getting the most up-to-date information on equipment is vital, and it often falls to the local jobbers and distributors to get that information out to the shops. Bertrand Supplies recently held a demo of new equipment at Tony Graham Collision Centre in Nepean, Ont. Staff from PBE Distributors came in to conduct the demonstrations. The event was attended by about 25 repairers representing 16 different local collision facilities. Demos were conducted by Bruce Murray, Craig Pierce, Dave Pereira and Chris Haldane of PBE Distributors. The products demonstrated were Pro Spot’s aluminum welding station with pulse MIG welder and the PR-5 self-piercing rivet system, the Hot Box paintless dent repair system, the Rail Saver from TG Products and Wedge Clamp’s Eclipse 3D measuring system. Marc Bertrand is the co-owner of Bertrand Supplies. He says the MIG welder from Pro Spot received the most attention during the demo, thanks in part to its unusual design. “It’s got three heads, one for each roll of

Demonstrating the capabilities of Pro Spot’s aluminum welding station.

wire: steel, aluminum and silicon bronze,” he says. “A big reason for this demo was to show the aluminum equipment. Aluminum has been the talk of the town for the last couple of years, but there are still guys who say ‘I won’t do that!’ You have to stay on top of technology or one day you won’t do anything.” For more information, please visit





BASF reveals new SmartSCAN spectrophotometer BASF has announced it will bring a new spectrophotometer to market in 2017. The new SmartSCAN spectrophotometer includes 12 geometries to cover every angle of the vehicle, white and blue LED light sources that BASF says will capture the best colour match and temperature warnings for a precise measurement. The new unit features an intuitive touchscreen and video preview combined with Wi-Fi connectivity to BASF’s colour database. BASF previewed the new SmartSCAN spectrophotometer at the 2016 SEMA Show. BASF Automotive Refinish’s hand-held SmartScan spectrophotometer works by matching wavelenghts of light. The operator places the unit on an area of the car’s finish that needs to be be matched, and SmartScan reads the light wavelengths. The unit then finds the colour formula in BASF’s database that has the same wavelengths. For more information, please visit the company’s site at



Eric Heisler, BASF Refinish eBusiness Product Manager, showing a crowd the new SmartSCAN spectrophotometer at BASF’s booth at the 2016 SEMA show. The unit will come to market in 2017.



House of Kolor celebrates 60th anniversary with five new custom colours House of Kolor by Valspar is well-known for its unique colour formulations. Jon Kosmoski, founder of House of Kolor, was on hand at the 2016 SEMA Show to introduce five new custom colours that will be added to the company’s range. “I have worked for the past 60 years developing and expanding a range of colours that are vibrant, unique and easy-to-use,” said Kosmoski. “And I am still creating exciting formulas. This year, we are presenting five new custom colours handcrafted to really impress.” The new colours previewed at SEMA include Viollac; a colour which comes straight out of the minds of master builder and painter Joe Martin and Javier “Shorty” Ponce. According to a statement from Valspar, this colour “... is a perfect blend of mischief and style that’ll give your ride that one-of-a-kind custom finish.” You can see it used to full effect on the car in the accompanying photo. The other new colours include Don Juan Rose, a one-of-a-kind pairing of fuchsia and a warm blue; Lime Mist, a quixotic green that the company describes as “like a fresh blade of grass in the sun after a summer mist;” Blue Indigo, a cool blue similar to the sky in the early evening on a chilly November night and Honey Gold, a rich colour with warm honey hues. House of Kolor is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with the launch of a redesigned website, custom colours and memorabilia.

One of the new colours from House of Kolor, Viollac, displayed to stunning effect. Other colours in the new collection include Don Juan Rose, Lime Mist, Blue Indigo and Honey Gold.

This year’s Prestigious Painter winners were also announced at SEMA in the House of Kolor booth. “It has been a momentous year for House of Kolor, and we continue to look to the future,” said Gina Mahan, Brand Manager for House of Kolor. “Each year we see the newest, most inventive colours and paint products coming from House of Kolor and each one is tailor-made to make your ride stand out. This year’s five new colours follow the tradition of innovation that has made this company thrive over its 60 years.”




INCREASED VALUE Up your chances of being hired by knowing the advantages you bring. BY JOHN NORRIS


ore and more young people are signing up in Ontario to become an apprentice in the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer trade. Last year some 245 apprentices signed up to work towards a skilled trade in this industry. That’s a good year for the trade. On top of that number are the college students, the pre-apprenticeship students and others that don’t go through the traditional process. THE BENEFITS But for the majority, apprenticeship is the way to go. If you’re an apprentice, or thinking of becoming one, please bear the following in mind. These are just some of the benefits you can bring to a potential employer.

Information Assistance (CIIA), representing shops across Ontario. If you’re currently registered or looking to start an apprenticeship, I suggest the following. First, register with an Employment Ontario office locally that offers hiring grants and incentives. I know the Ontario market best, but there are similar agencies and programs in other provinces. You should be able to find them easily with a quick Google search. If that doesn’t turn up what you’re looking for, contact your local high school or college. They should be able to point you in the right direction. THE INCENTIVES Once you’ve been interviewed by the employment agency staff, you’ll be able to bring transferrable incentives to any

Note that the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer trade in Ontario is under the auspices of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). OCOT has produced a factsheet that can help you understand your responsibilities and opportunities. You can find it at: For young people looking at how to approach shop owners and start their career, CIIA offers a Help package at: ciia. com/provinces/ontario/stepstoapp.html. Any young person with a resume and interested in this trade can have their information published at no charge at: Bodyworx Professional also runs a site for employment at: I strongly encourage you to check them both out. For those of that never finished apprenticeship or are working without benefit of an apprentice agreement, CIIA offers a no charge “Technician Equivalency Assessment” package that may allow you the opportunity to be able to write the trades exam based on significant experience. Demand for this process is high. We receive over a dozen calls a week for the package. Also offered is a training course that can help provide you with additional knowledge to help write the final trades exam. Shops are becoming more familiar with the reality that hiring a trained tech

“You could potentially bring an employer up to $15,000 in tax credits, just by being hired.” One report identifies that only 30 percent of shops even apply for the Apprentice Training Tax Credit (ATTC). Each eligible employer with a new apprentice can claim up to $5,000 as a tax credit (not a deduction) on their taxes. This credit is available for each year for three years. In other words, you could potentially bring an employer up to $15,000 in tax credits, just by being hired. As well, shops can apply for this credit retroactively, all the way back to 2004 (when it was $10,000 per year). One shop in Ottawa received a cheque for $82,000 in one year for this. I work on behalf of Collision Industry



shop that employs you. These incentives can often be enough to offset your new employer’s payroll costs for some weeks. This compensates the shop for the additional risk and costs associated with a new hire, and will doubtless help you get a foot in the door. The shop management needs to make a decision soon after you start employment. The key is whether or not you will officially start as an apprentice, with a written apprenticeship agreement. Once that’s signed, the Apprentice Training Tax Credit starts to accumulate. In Ontario, you’ll also receive an $800 tool loan from the province and later, retention bonuses are paid.

(usually from another shop) to work in their business is a difficult and often shortsighted solution to their employment needs. Many shops now advertise for an experienced apprentice that they can “mold” into their business model and become a long-term asset to their business. If you know all the advantages you can bring, you greatly increase the chances that you will be hired. John Norris is the Executive Director of the Ontario collision repair trade association at CIIA (Collision Industry Information Assistance) and Administrator of the CASIS Vehicle Security Professional program. He is also Collision Chair of the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA).




S E V I L S E V SA Kids in



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The Nova project put at-risk youth together with experienced technicians.

bit of structure, training and discipline does anyone well. For the at-risk youth attending the Hands On Outreach & Development Centre in Saskatoon, the oppor tunity to develop the skills and patience necessar y to restore a ‘70 Nova has been life-changing. In an industr y founded on big block engines and pulling steel, this is not a typical stor y. But the tale of how the Saskatoon-area custom car and collision repair industr y came together to help the kids at the outreach centre is a great one.


More than 20 years ago Rick Langlais created the organization that is today Hands On Outreach. The self-funded organization serves the physical and emotional needs of Saskatoon’s inner city children and youth. The centre provides a place for overlooked, at-risk youth to hang out, use a computer, get something to eat. The kids are as young as 11 and 12 years of age. “Most of them don’t have a mother or father,” says Langlais. “A few are literally on the street. They feel like they come home when they’re here. I worry about losing them to the streets when



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they get into their mid-teen years, but at least we’re doing something for them now.” The need for the service runs deep in the city. “Last Saturday we had 68 kids come through the doors. Some days we’ll have 15, other days more than 300. It depends,” he says. Langlais is a bit of a legend in the city. He wrote a book, Disfunctional, about the abuse and neglect he suffered as a kid. He’s worked on oil rigs up north. He eventually dedicated himself to helping kids survive similar situations. He is an inspiration to the city, says Tom Bissonnette, the recently retired owner of Parr Auto Body in Saskatoon. He also takes time to host a regular men’s group at his local church. Bissonnette invited Langlais to come and speak at one of the meetings. “He’s a talented guy,” says Bissonnette. “He could have done a lot of different things with his life. He has a largerthan-life history. I read his book. It’s frightening what he went through. That he survived the conditions he grew up in is amazing. And yet, he’s given up his life to work with these kids. He’s been very unselfish that way. He’s really a great guy. He is an interesting speaker and so we had him come in and talk about the kids he works with.”


<<< <<<

Jerry Koroluk helping the kids drill out the spot welds.

Putting the rear leaf springs together.

After the meeting, Langlais asked Bissonnette if he could bring a group of kids to Parr to learn some skills. Thinking through the practicalities, Bissonnette declined that idea, but had another thought. “I thought, ‘We’re busy.’ Having a bunch of young kids running around ... that’s just not going to work. We’re way out in the east end.’ So I said, ‘If you can find a place downtown, we’ll come and help out.’” Bissonnette didn’t think twice about it. “It was one of those things I kind of forgot about,” he says, laughing. Langlais did not forget. It wasn’t long after that Langlais found a bigger space downtown with garage doors, and moved his centre to the new and larger location. A corner of the new spot was given over to a area that could act as a teaching garage. “I give him credit. I have no idea how he found that space and got that together. He actually went out and found a building,” says Bissonnette. “I didn’t think he’d take us up on it. But he came back a year later and said, ‘Hey, I want to do this project.’ Now I was stuck! So one part of it we turned into a kind of autobody shop.” Alliance Energy came in and installed lighting. Neufeld Buildings Movers replaced a structural post with a metal I-beam. Both of these companies provided their services at no cost. “The construction guys came over, punched out the wood beam, put the steel one in, and said, ‘No problem, don’t worry about it. No cost.’ That was amazing,”says Bissonnette. As they were moving out of the old building Langlais told the kids to be sure they showed up at the new building, “I said come back, we’re going to build a car. And it’s going to be a nice one.” Bissonnette got the local auto body association involved to round up volunteers. “Rick came out and spoke to that group, and that sparked some interest,” says Bissonnette. A plan was coming together and the project got underway. Four years of weekly sessions began. Bob Heroux, owner of Lazer Autobody, the local hot-rod guy in town, soon began showing up at the regular Wednesday night meetings in the new garage. “The kids loved him. He’s got a long shaggy mane of hair. He comes across as a bit rough and tumble,” says Bissonnette. “He kooks like a tough guy. But he has a heart of gold. He was great with the kids. They really liked him.”

Bob Heroux of Lazer Autobody found he had a knack for teaching.

Bob Heroux showing the kids how to mix body filler.

Jerry Koroluk of SGI helps one of the kids line up the hood.





The kids picked up welding quickly.

Doug Bodnar, helping the kids install the motor.

Grinding the welds on a quarter panel.

Dave Savoie from CSN-Kavia Auto at-risk kids and teach them skills by Body also helped out. “He’s a real car working one-on-one with real body techs nut and came out on Wednesdays,” as they restore classic and custom cars. according to Bissonnette. Another “They wanted to come out and see key member of the project was Roger how we were doing it. I think they were Braun, a senior manager with Tiger looking at the working model. How we Automotive. He knew where they could find a 1970 Nova. “I think whenever there are kids involved people are more likely to want to step up and help. You see a drunk on the side of the road and you think, ‘You did that to yourself.’ But with kids you know it was not their fault that they’ve ended up in this situation, and that makes people want to help them,” says Bissonnette. “A lot of people stepped up.” As a way of doing some Working on the upholstery. No detail was overlooked. research Langlais and Bissonnette travelled to Vancouver to get some advice from source the par ts, that kind of thing,” another exper t in this area, Mark says McKim about the visit. See McKim, a team member of the group “Customs for Urban Teens” on page 20 that runs the Customs for Urban Teens for more on this program. (CUT) program. The program does what Langlais and Bissonnette returned Langlais and Bissonnette were hoping with a vision of what could be. With to achieve in Saskatoon; they take a promise from Tiger to help out by

sourcing and supplying necessar y par ts, the project really took off. The same kids began showing up week after week. They enjoyed the sense of discipline, regularity and scheduling. “They loved it. They were ecstatic,” says Langlais. Working for two hours ever y Wedneday, they stripped the car down. They welded the frame and installed new panels. A 5.3 litre engine out of a Chevy truck was acquired. A mechanic came in and worked with the kids to strip the motor down and then put in new rings, bearings and valve seals. They put on new headers and a new manifold. “It was totally rebuilt by the kids. We should also mention Tyler Stein, Rick’s right-hand man at Hands-On. He worked with us throughout the project and you could tell it really mattered to him,” says Bissonnette. The transmission went to Saskatchewan Polytechnic where it was rebuilt at no charge as par t of a school project. Another technician came in with a laptop and reprogrammed the engine to shift properly. The restoration was coming along.





Rob Thompson of Saskatchewan Polytechnic shows how to pack grease into the wheel bearings.

Terry Boyenko, a retired SGI estimator, helping one of the kids grind welds.

Planning the next week’s work.

But what about wheels? A true custom job needs some good rims. The community stepped up again. Halfway through the project the local hot-rod association held their annual car show, the Draggins Rod and Custom Club event. “We had the car half done in primer and wanted to bring it to the car show to let people know what we were doing,” says Bissonnette. “I called Kelvin’s Wheels and asked if they had some nice rims we could put on the car, just for the show. Well, they put on beautiful mags and tires and said, ‘Go ahead, keep ‘em’.” Problem solved.

Retired body tech Frank Nemeth demonstrates how to block body filler.

CUT Program participants and volunteers discuss a current build, a ‘47 Chevy pickup. The program, which provides at-risk youth with practical experience, needs a new space in which to continue its work.

a brand new car. It’s great. It’s amazing what these kids can do,” he says. “Sure, it’s a relief to get my Wednesdays back, but it’s amazing to see. To get an idea and have everyone pulling through ... It’s a really great feeling. It was great to see the community come together like that. In all honesty, it turned out way better than I thought it was going to.” As for Langlais, he’s happy the kids had the experience. “They got to hit the paint booth. They got to weld. They got to do a bit of everything,” he says.

“I think whenever there are kids involved people are more likely to want to step up and help.” - Tom Bissonnette During the show, “... all kinds of people came by. Biker guys, trucker guys ... they all said they wanted to help,” says Bissonnette. And so they came down on Wednesday nights as well. Eventually, after 1,500 hours of labour, four years and $40,000 in parts, the job was finished. “If you had to go and pay for what was done I don’t think you could get it done for less than $50,000 today,” says Bissonnette. “It’s a fun little drive. It’s a two-door coupe with a 300 horsepower engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. And it looks and drives like



The genuine sense of belonging to a team is the biggest benefit for a lot of the kids. They got $20 for showing up, and that was a real help in these lives. “But we were building the bonds between these kids and the rest of society,” says Langlais. “That’s important. A lot of these kids don’t have that. Their parents might be in jail. So this gave them a sense of belonging and stability, and that counts for a lot in these lives. They thank me for the encouragement to move on and get skills they can use in life,” says Langlais. “That’s valuable. They learn a lesson and that’s what this is really about.”



Rob Thompson gives a short lesson brakes.

The team from Alliance Energy and Tom Bissonnette (far right). Alliance Energy installed the shop lights for free.

According to Langlais one particularly talented 16 year-old—mother in jail, an absent father—wants to go on to do welding. “He’s so gifted. He’s 6’ 2”, in Grade 10 and automotive is undoubtedly where he’ll end up,” says Langlais. This kid’s life could have easily gone off on another path save for the stability the project provided. “We’re changing lives here,” says Langlais. He’s already thinking about the next project, a ‘96 Monte Carlo. As for the Nova, it will be raffled off, with the final winner announced at the April 17 Draggins Rod and Custom Club Show, with the proceeds going to benefit the outreach program. For more information on this, please contact Tom Bissonnette via email to

Program participant Arizona trimming the metal to install the right quarter panel.

CUSTOMS FOR URBAN TEENS In a warehouse on Vancouver’s east side, Mark McKim helps run the CUT Program (Customs for Urban Teens). At-risk, urban youth get hands-on experience with auto restoration and customization. It’s somewhat similar to the one Langlais runs in Saskatoon, though this one was established long ago and has already done four cars. Participants meet Monday and Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. They rebuild a car from scratch. “We’re word-of-mouth. We take high risk kids and teach them some skills,” says McKim.“We get kids from all walks and all socio-economic levels. Anyone who wants to come in our shop and learn can do that.” A recent build involves a 1930 Model A Coupe. One of the program’s participants purchased it when he was 15, but McKim notes that it simply wasn’t safe. The program cut it up and rebuilt it for him while McKim was looking for a new project.


“We pulled the body and redid the frame,” says McKim. “I never set a time limit on them. The last one took 18 months.” Students from the program have gone on to attend British Columbia Institute of Technology on a welding ticket. Others have found jobs as autobody techs in regional shops. McKim also has a connection to legendary car builder and customizer Gene Whitfied who has come up from California in the past to paint CUT program cars. “We are currently finishing off a full custom ‘47 Chev pickup that was chopped with help from Gene,” says McKim. He goes on to note that after age 18, there’s a “real drop-off in youth programming. A program like this can keep kids out of trouble.” Getting to work with world-class talent like Winfield is another bonus. A round of funding from the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council was enough to get the program out of the garage and up and running.


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A 1972 De Tomaso Pantera that the author recently flipped. This particular vehicle appeals to a number of different collector markets, including collectors of muscle cars and ‘70s era vehicles.


erhaps at no time in history have Canadians felt more cash squeezed and house poor. From one end of our country to the other people are searching for ways to augment their income through a second job or moonlighting in an assortment of odd jobs. As technicians in the automotive industry, we have an advantage in assessing a commodity that Canadians consume in vast numbers: automobiles. We can assess cars at a much higher level than the average consumer, which means we have the ability to spot the diamond in the rough and turn that diamond into something even more valuable: cold, hard, cash. In my opinion, whether you’re a bodyman, mechanic, painter, glass technician or upholsterer you have the skills to “up market” vehicles for profit. Obviously, we all know that x-ray eyes don’t exist so we can’t predict every eventuality hidden beneath paint or undercoating, but as techs, we have a distinct advantage in recognizing hidden gems, fixing what needs to be fixed and flipping the vehicle for profit. Before we get into specifics, it needs to be mentioned that selling cars is a regulated industry. The rules and regulations for this vary from place to place, so please make sure to check into the local statutes. Very often you can sell only a certain number of cars per year before you need to get an auto dealer license. Always make sure to stay within the law, or you may see all your profits (and more!) disappear under the weight of fines. Here are some tips on making sure your flip is a profitable one.

1. PICK YOUR CAR Whether it’s an air cooled Porsche, vintage ‘30s hot rod, ‘60s muscle car or anything in between, do your research on the actual value of whatever car you choose. Don’t let Craigslist or Kijiji be your only guide. I like to first see what the experts at are placing the value at, then compare that to prices in your local market. I like the fact that Hagerty’s gives you a low, medium and high price and based on that average you’ll be able to decide if the car your looking at is a potential project. We’re in a global marketplace and high demand vehicles of any era might be best suited for a US or international flip. That’s why I like Hagerty’s so much, they don’t tell you what your collector vehicles is worth on your street, they tell you what it’s worth in the world. I always follow what I call the rule of three to determine if a car I’m looking at is a good project. Mechanical, bodywork or interior: the car can be in need of two of the three, but not three of three. Most people have done some basic research on the value of the vehicle, and I rarely, if ever run, into a situation where the economics of doing all three aspects of the upgrade leave enough profit in the end. It’s also about mitigating significant investment, because even if you can do one or all of the three trades yourself, investing in the cost of materials can eliminate the project in many cases.




CLASSIC CORNER 2. UNDERSTAND YOUR COSTS Luckily, as techs we can eliminate much of the labour expenses by doing the work ourselves, but the reality is that an interior is an investment in materials. Same as paint. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that an interior in a car is the same as a kitchen in a house—a good one in either is the single biggest step to a strong sale. But before buying a project I have a clear understanding of how much, at my cost, is a paint job, an interior, or engine replacement or overhaul. Today, I can walk up to a vehicle and­—if it’s a car that I think there is demand for and has up to two aspects needing a refresh—I can do the math to within 5 percent of the final costs.

3. DO A BETTER THAN AVERAGE JOB. I’ve travelled the world looking at, researching and speaking about car repair and restoration and I can tell you without a doubt, Canadians are known globally for having higher than average expectations about their vehicles. If the car is worth your investment in money and time, put your pride into it and make it a great example of whatever nameplate you’re flipping.

The world is a big place and it’s easier to connect than ever before. You may realize a better return selling a rare car to a collector in another country.

“Whether it’s an air cooled Porsche, vintage hot rod, muscle car or anything in between, do your research on the actual value of whatever car you choose.” 4. DON’T DISCOUNT A GLOBAL MARKETPLACE It is very possible to advertise your vehicle for sale in the US. In some cases it doesn’t require money, but it does take time. Listing on Craigslist on a per city basis is very doable, but make sure you give lots of details and show all aspects of the vehicle in the photo section. Drive it to a nice location and take lots of pics of all parts of the car. Don’t forget to show the straight lines of your bodywork, the underside and the engine compartment. In the write-up include information such as whether you have original manuals, the jack and any history on the car. This is especially important if your target buyer is a real collector. By taking the time to itemize the features and imperfections, you avoid spending a lot of time dealing with what I like to call chicken strokers. Craigslist is fine, but when I’m serious about selling a vehicle, I list it on Hemmings Motor News at It’s a couple of hundred bucks, and I factor that into my sale price, but it is where true collectors are going to find a car. Applying these principles, my wife and I recently purchased a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera off the side of the road in a small town on Vancouver Island. We did a quick iPhone check to verify the Hagerty’s pricing, which put the average sale price of the car at $103,000 USD. The car we were looking at met my criteria; Pantera’s are relatively rare and they appeal to a wide range of collectors including Pantera collectors, exotic collectors, Ford collectors, 70s era collectors, limited production vehicle collectors and muscle car collectors. The one we were looking at just needed a refresh, not a rebuild. 24


It met my “three” rule: the mechanical was great (it had a great condition replacement engine, but the original was crated and came with the sale), it needed paint (we straightened the body out and eliminated what rust there was) and a partial interior redo. I knew looking at it, baring any unforeseen issues, my all-in price, including purchase, taxes, materials and labour would be $70,000 CAD. I knew that on top of the sale price, I would have the advantage of the lower Canadian dollar, as it was very probable that the car would sell into the United States in US dollars. As the owner of 360 Fabrication I have an advantage of having all aspects of the custom side in-house. I put time into planning the production side of each flip from start to finish so that days aren’t lost waiting for parts. This type of planning in key to get your investment, and profit, out in a reasonable time. If you’re going to be doing the work yourself, factor in the schedule in your purchase decisiom. Is it reasonable to invest ten grand and tie that money up for months, in order to make five grand? Probably not. My ideal timeline is to have the project ready for sale within six weeks. Good luck with your projects, and for more information please drop me an email at Rick Francoeur is the owner of 360 Group of Companies in Abbotsford, British Columbia. 360 is located in a stateof-the-art 22,000 sq. ft. shop that includes CARSTAR Abbotsford, 360 Fabrication and 360 Car Audio and Marine. 360 Fabrication is Canada’s largest custom car builder with an average of 40 projects in production at any given time.





Myles Veljacic, second from left, proudly displays his third place trophy at the R-M Best Painter awards ceremony in Clermont, France. Next to Veljacic is first place winner, Berry Kooijman from the Netherlands and Genya Yokota from Japan who won second place. Standing behind the winners are (from left) Dan Bihlmeyer, BASF Marketing and New Business Development Manager; Jan Ravenstijn, BASF Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions, Europe; Katja Scharpwinkel, BASF Senior Vice President, Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions, Europe and Rene Lang, BASF Vice President, Sales, Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions, Europe.

Myles Veljacic wins two awards at R-M Best Painter Contest. By Mike Davey


he competition was intense, but that didn’t stop Myles Veljacic from bringing home two awards. Veljacic recently competed in the R-M Best Painter Contest at the R-M Refinish Competence Center in Clermont de l’Oise, France. He won third place in the overall competition and also received the Sustainability Award. Berry Kooijman of the Netherlands took first place in the competition, with Genya Yokota of Japan coming in second. A total of 15 countries participated in this year’s competition. Veljacic is employed with CSN-OpenRoad Auto Body in Richmond, 26


British Columbia. He started studying the craft of prepping and painting while he was still in high school, through the province’s Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) program. For four days a week, Veljacic would attend classes at Vancouver Community College, learning the craft of prepping. On Fridays he would attend regular classes at his high school. “On the day I graduated from high school, I also finished my Level I,” he says. Veljacic’s career choice was influenced by his family. “I grew up with five brothers, and they influenced my attraction to cars. When I found out about the ACE IT program, it looked like a good opportunity.”

REFINISH The International R-M Best Painter Contest is held biennially for painters under 30 years old with an aim to develop young talent through a competition on technical painting skills using ONYX HD. During the three-day competition, painters compete in seven areas: preparation, blending, colour retrieval, colour reading, masking, paint-related product knowledge and health and safety. “The competition was three days long,” says Veljacic. “They drew a running order for who would compete when, so everybody had a different task to do at a different time of the day.” Part of the reason for this is to ensure a level playing field, where competitors can’t see what the others are doing. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from each other outside of the competition. “There was a language barrier with a lot of the contestants, but there were three or four who could speak English well enough to have a conversation about what we do,” says Veljacic. “It was definitely worth the effort.” As mentioned above, Veljacic took home the Sustainability Award in addition to his third place win. It’s a tribue to Veljacic’s talents and it’s likely an indicator of good workplace habits. “The Sustainability Award focuses on using the least amount of materials and having the least impact on the environmnet,” says Veljacic. “They look to see if you’re not using an excess amount of masking tape or an excessive amount of paper. They also want you to mix as close to the amount required for the job as possible, so you don’t have a lot of waste that needs to be disposed of.” For more information on BASF’s R-M Best Painter Contest, please visit

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Myles Veljacic (centre) of CSN-OpenRoad Auto Body competing at the R-M Best Painter Contest. Veljacic won the Sustainability Award and third place in the competition overall.

Veljacic’s waste bucket at the end of the competition, containing an estimated 30 percent less material than the other contestants. You can see why he won the Sustainability Award!








By Justin Jimmo, Technical Representative, Refinish Sales for Co-Auto Co-Operative.

Even something as simple as the rate of drying can affect the final colour of your paint.

Metallics can present additional difficulties when it comes to matching appearance. Small variations in the size and shape of the metallic flake can drastically alter the look of the coatings, even if other variables are unchanged.


hen you first hear the term “blending colour,” it may be a little confusing as to why it’s necessary. You would be justified in thinking that every vehicle that shares a common paint code would be identical, but just about everyone in our industry knows that simply isn’t the case. Let’s take a look at why. Colour matching is a challenge across industries, and not just the ones that use paint. It’s a struggle for the printing industry as well. This is largely because of how pigments are affected by temperature and humidity. Two samples from the very same batch of paint, if allowed to dry at different rates, may not necessarily produce the same colour. When it comes to automotive paint, the problem is compounded by aluminum metallics and effect pearls, which will reflect diffferently based on how they are orientated.




Metallics can present additional difficulties when it comes to matching appearance. Small variations in the size and shape of the metallic flake can drastically alter the look of the coatings, even if other variables are unchanged.

Paint companies produce a number of variants for each colour code. This helps you to match the new paint as closely as possible to the coatings already on the vehicle.

If paint is applied a bit wetter, metallic colours will settle differently and give off a darker look. Unless you can apply paint using the exact same formula, equipment, pressure settings, technique and drying environment, you will never be able to match a colour 100 percent. Metallics are classified in seven categories: extra fine, fine, medium, medium-coarse, coarse, and extra-coarse. A slightly differing coarsness can lead to an enormous variation in the final appearance. Drying rates also impact metallics quite a bit. The longer the dry time, the darker it will appear. The reason for this is simple. The flakes naturally will settle towards the bottom of the paint as it dries, and the pigment will float to the top. This will cause the paint to shift to a darker shade the longer it takes to dry. There are also differences between how paint is applied in the factory and how we apply it in the shop. Paint is applied in the factory using a rotary valve. This is a turbine driver atomizer that would never be used in the refinish process of a repair facility. They’re very fast, but they generate enormous amounts of overspray. We cannot afford to waste that much material in the shop.

However, even the manufacturers can see colour shifting occur because of environmental changes and pigment inconsistencies that create multiple versions of a colour. These are usually minor differences that you wouldn’t notice unless you were making a panel by panel comparison, but they definitely exist. An observable example of this is on plastics. You’ll find the majority of plastic bumpers do not match the body of the vehicle. This is because they’re painted separately, sometimes in an entirely different facility. Oftentimes, manufacturers will assemble the same coloured vehicles in multiple plants. Sometimes, a plant in Mexico for example, could be using a metallic with a different size or shape of flake than the one used by the plant in the US. Or they could be using an entirely new pearl! These inconsistencies cause paint companies to release multiple variants of each colour, but each colour will still be slightly different from what’s already on the vehicle. During the refinishing process, the paint technician must determine the closest matching variant for that vehicle, and blend the colour into it to make it appear as if it’s all the same colour.




By Mike Davey

The ‘Ultimate Builder’ is crowned at SEMA Ignited, the show’s official after party. It’s also the only part of the SEMA Show open to the public.

“One of the interesting twists to Battle of the Builders is that it’s up to the Top 10 competitors to judge the final entries.”


he SEMA Show has always exhibited some of the finest custom vehicles, with builders and sponsors frequently trying to outdo each other. The competition became official a few years ago with the first Battle of the Builders event in 2014. The 2016 SEMA Show introduced a new category this year: Young Guns, consisting of builders under 35 years of age. The “Young Guns” took the opportunity to show what they could do, with three of them even winning coveted spots in the Top 10. This year’s Battle of the Builders started with over 200 cars and 98 competitors trying to win the title of Ultimate Builder. A panel of industry experts consisting of David Freiburger, Executive Producer for TEN: The Enthusiast Network; Fred Williams, Editor-AtLarge, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off Road and RJ de Vera, Customer Engagement Leader for Meguiar’s, narrowed the field first to 21



cars, then narrowed the field even more to select the Top 10. One of the interesting twists to Battle of the Builders is that it’s up to the Top 10 competitors to judge the final entries. This may seem odd, but who better to judge the hard work, passion and skill that was put into these vehicles than the people who build them? They selected the final three: Jesse Greening, 1961 Chevy 2 Door Sedan; Cam Miller, 1969 Chevy Camaro and Kyle Tucker, 1941 Willys 2 Door Coupe. In the end, Cam Miller was named “Ultimate Builder” for his restomodded 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. Miller is the owner/operator of HS Customs, located in Logan, Utah. The build took three years to complete. Miller may have won the top spot, but there’s no denying that each of the Top 10 is a sweet machine in its own right. Let’s take a look at them, starting with Miller’s entry.




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Cam Miller and his shop, HS Customs, have been building custom cars and trucks full time for six years. This was their first entry in SEMA’s Battle of the Builders. “The ‘69 Camaro is a legend for so many reasons and there are so many awesome examples of these cars in this world,” says Miller. “Probably one of the hardest cars to build and stand out. This is what we came up with trying to be different, innovative and creative, yet maintain what makes the Camaro so legendary.”


Tucker’s entry this year made it into the Top 3 finalists, but he’s been in the winner’s circle before. He won the inaugural 2015 SEMA BOTB with a 1969 Camaro. Other awards include Goodguys Street Machine of the Year and numerous show awards from across the country. “I have been building cars and designing parts for the automotive aftermarket industry for over 15 years. We specialize in making parts that transform older cars into modern day super cars,” he says. “Our custom car builds feature state-of-the-art technology blended with the iconic body styles of years past. I expect our cars to not only sit right, look right, but drive and perform at a level that is uncompromised.”

JESSE GREENING 1961 CHEVY 2-DOOR SEDAN Greening’s Chevy made it into the Top 3, but didn’t take the Ultimate Builder trophy this year. It’s definitely received some interest on the custom car circuit, being named to the Ridler Great 8, the Gene Winfield Select Six, Street Rodder Magazine’s Top 100 and snagging a couple of Goodguys Builder Picks.






Jeremy and Phil Gerber are “Young Guns” and co-owners of the Roadster Shop, a custom car shop and chassis and suspension manufacturer. The Roadster Shop’s accolades include two cars in the Battle of the Builders Top 5 in 2015 and two Goodguys Street Machine of the Year awards. The 1967 Chevelle “Onyx” is an extremely refined version of the original, according to the Gerbers. A Roadster Shop chassis provides the low aggressive stance and performance handling. An 860-horsepower supercharged Wegner Motorsports LS3 sits under the hood. Advanced Plating handled the chrome and polish work on the custom tucked bumpers and refined original factory trim. A set of RS-designed Forgeline RS6 period inspired wheels and redline tires complete the exterior package. Jeremy Carlson of Extreme Performance handled the incredibly detailed interior.



Mike and Jim Ring, the Ringbrothers, are a known force in the custom car world and managed to snag two spots in the Top 10. Ringbrothers has won numerous design awards, including the GM Design Award for “Best Chevrolet of Show” at the 2014 SEMA Show, several Goodguys Gold Awards, back-toback Goodguys Street Machine of the Year awards, multiple Mothers Shine awards, countless magazine covers and several builds commissioned by OEMs. Ringbrothers made it to the Top 3 in the initial Battle of the Builders in 2014 and made it to the Top 10 in last year’s BOTB competition. The 1969 Camaro project has an incredible level of detail. Some of the custom machined pieces include front and rear bumpers, taillight panel, taillight bezels, gas door, front grill, air intake scoops, headlight bezels and impressive interior machining.




The 1948 Cadillac by Ringbrothers was built for Wes Rydell, CEO of auto dealership conglomerate Rydell Company. According to a statement from Ringbrothers, the custom ‘48 Caddy combines the classic look of the ‘48 Cadillac Fastback with the performance and technology of the 2016 ATS-V Cadillac. The car has ATS-V twin-turbo V6 with 464 hp engine and eight-speed automatic. All engine controls were maintained with the conversion. The interior gauge cluster has components from the ATS-V. Under the hood and engine bay consists of the OEM look of the ATS-V.


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Brad DeBerti is another “Young Gun” to earn himself a place in the Top 10, with his modified 2017 Ford Raptor. The truck was completely stripped down to the cab, with all of the factory frame removed and a new complete suspension built. DeBerti took the factory geometry on the stock fenders, stretched them out four inches per side and machined them out of foam to make new molds. The interior has a complete roll cage installed.

Big Mike may be a Young Gun, but he’s got the colourful sort of name that harkens back to the wild days of ‘60s hot-rod culture. He says this build was created to be the perfect balance between a street, track, and show car, incorporating functional, aesthetic styling combined with modern-day race car technology. “My Prelude build is a culmination of many years of studying and interpreting all forms of motorsport and automotive cultures,” he says. “Growing up as an avid automotive enthusiast, I became interested in the import tuner culture specifically, with a strong emphasis on Japanese street and Grand Touring vehicles. As I grew, so did my appreciation for all types of cars and the cultures surrounding their modification and restoration.”

This was Gordon Ting’s first time working on a Toyota build. His goal was to challenge the perception people have of the electric Prius. “There is something very unexpected about doing a performance build Prius,” he says. “The concept for this build is inspired by the Japanese Prius GT300 that is racing in the Okayama International Circuit. While Prius has a reputation for fuel efficiency and as a reliable mode of transportation, I wanted to challenge that perception and turn it on its head. So I designed a Prius that performs.”

Turner is the CEO of Daystar Products and a lifelong garage builder. He’s built off-road race vehicles, concept vehicles and motorcycles. Everything that I have learned has been hands-on with advice from industry experts,” he says. “They have always been willing to point me in the right direction; all I had to do was be open-minded.” Turner purchased the 1958 Jeep FC170 at auction and stripped it down. Turner says that it was in such bad shape he was going to part it out, but the employees at Daystar Products asked if they could build it with him after hours. How could any boss say no?








The team from Betag Innovations with their award for the company’s Aluminum T-Hotbox, named one of the best new products at the 2016 SEMA Show.


SEMA SHOW. By Mike Davey


he SEMA Show has a lot to offer in terms of education, networking and some of the coolest customs on Earth. But for some of us, the best part of the show is always the new equipment and tools. Every year, manufacturers enter their latest and greatest offerings in the New Product Showcase. From there, SEMA Show

Winners were selected based on a variety of factors, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology and consumer appeal. The 2017 New Product Awards winners in the Collision Repair & Refinish category are Remote Assisted Programming (RAP) from Drew Technologies, Like90 Quick Check Temporary Gloss Simulator from Bonding

for communications between a computer and a vehicle. J2534 programming is a specialized task, but Drew Technologies says the RAP kit allows any shop to offer this service. The kit includes a Windows PC, J2534 device, modem, OEM subscriptions and battery maintainer.

“Three collision repair products made the grade to be named to the 2017 New Products Showcase Awards.” management picks some of the best new products in each category. Three collision repair products made the grade to be named to the 2017 New Products Showcase Awards. According to show management, the awards are given to the most innovative and cutting-edge products hitting the market in 2017.


Solutions and the Aluminum T-Hotbox from Betag Innovation. Drew Technologies took the top spot in the category with its Remote Assisted Programming (RAP) kit. In essence, the kit allows any shop to reflash a vehicle’s J2534 controllers. Created by the Society of Automotive Engineers, J2534 is a standard


According to Drew Technologies, techs can simply plug in the kit, call the company’s tollfree number and they flash the car for you through remote access. Once the operation is complete, the tech simply packs the kit up until the next time it’s needed. The shop only pays for each time the service is used, and Drew Technologies guarantees success.



The Remote Assisted Programming (RAP) kit from Drew Technologies took the top spot during the awards. The kit allows any shop to reflash a vehicle’s J2534 controllers.

Like90 Quick Check Temporary Gloss Simulator took one of the Runner-Up spots. Quick Check is a sprayable product with several uses in the body shop.

Bonding Solutions took one of the Runner-Up spots with its Like90 Quick Check Temporary Gloss Simulator. This is a sprayable product with several uses in the body shop. According to Bonding Solutions, Like90 QuickCheck simulates the depth and clarity of fresh clear on base, eliminating the need to spray expensive clear coat on spray-out cards. Unlike the clearcoat from the spray gun, Quick Check can be sprayed anywhere that is convenient or wherever the lighting is best for matching colour. It also dissipates completely so another colour coat can be applied to the same spray-out card if the first try does not match.

Bonding Solutions says Quick Check requires no clean-up and contains no isocyanates. Quick Check can also be used as a fast, easy way to check repaired panels for defects, staying wet long enough to evaluate the straightness of repaired panels, and it’s safe to spray over cured plastic filler. The Aluminum T-Hotbox from Betag Innovations also took a Runner-Up award. We reported on this product in May, when the team from Betag Innovations was demonstrating it at various locations across Canada.





The Aluminum T-Hotbox from Betag Innovations.

The T-Hotbox is a handheld unit with several settings that can be adjusted depending on its application. The time of its use can be preset, which can be helpful to avoid burning paint during dent removal. The power level can also be set independently. Dave Flockhart of Betag Innovations was one of the team demonstrating the product in shops around the country. He noted at the time that there was a lot of interest in the product. He also draws a distinction between Betag’s program and traditional PDR work. “Our program encompasses PDR, but it’s really more about examining the options and choosing the best one for this particular repair,” he says. It’s really more about being able to utilize a wide range of small damage repair techniques - including pushing a panel from the backside, heat induction and glue pulling - to deliver a high quality repair quickly and efficiently.” Betag Innovation has developed small damage repair and medium panel repair programs for BMW, and the programs are all part of the current BMW North America Group University curriculum, held at BMW’s training centres in New Jersey, California and South Carolina. “Currently a lot of body shops are outsourcing their PDR work. I think a lot of people equate it with repairing hail damage. For us, it’s one of the fundamentals of metal repair,” said Flockhart. “If you can get access to the backside of the metal and push it, you’ve expanded your options and you can make the quality of the repair much better. I think there are opportunities for collision centres to develop their skill sets. The time to become a really proficient PDR tech is significant, but the centres that encourage their technicians to embrace small damage repair have an opportunity to establish a significant competitive advantage.”




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Wayne Loker has worn many hats in his years in the collision repair industry and greater auto claims economy.

Renaissance Man

By Mike Davey

Wayne Loker has worked on the floor, in management and in insurance. By Jeff Sanford


t wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Wayne Loker has done it all. He’s currently the Training and Operations Manager for CarrXpert, a network of dealership and dealerauthorized collision centres that has recently gone national. Prior to that, he’s worked on the shop floor, in management and with the insurance industry. Like many in the collision repair industry, Loker started on the shop floor. In fact, he started on just about the lowest rung on the ladder. “I got out of high school and began washing cars,” he says with a laugh. He found he was interested in repairing cars and he knew he wanted to get his license. And so he approached a shop and asked if he could apprentice there. “That shop focused on restoration. I wanted to learn about older cars and how to fix them properly,” he says. He began a three decade long journey in the industry that has seen him climb the ladder into the insurance industry and now on to an exciting new company that is one of the up-and-coming banner brands in the country.





Management Material After working at the restoration shop for a couple of years, Loker moved on to a Ford dealership in Waterloo, Ontario, where he rose to shop foreman. Eventually he moved on to another dealership and was asked to manage the autobody shop there. He held that position for almost 15 years. He had the knowledge of how to do repairs and over his time in management he developed a deep knowledge of how the industry works on a larger scale. Eventually the insurance giant Aviva recognized his experience and brought him on board. He gained a whole new level of experience. “Wayne Riley brought me on board as a quality control technician with General Accident at the time,” Loker remembers. At

the time, Riley was Aviva Canada’s Manager for Auto Physical Damage. Loker worked as an appraisal manager for the Ontario and Western regions. Before long, he moved up to become Manager of Vendor Relations, a position that saw him managing the company’s Direct Repair Partner (DRP) program. In this position he learned the ins-and-outs of that program as it applies to chains like Fix Auto and CARSTAR as well as independents. But after 17 years on the job he ended up on the wrong side of a restructuring. Aviva offered him a great package. Loker took it. “It was 17wonderful years, no bad feelings there,” he says. Loker found himself ready for a new challenge. It wasn’t long before one showed up. “I didn’t want to get back in the insurance gig. I wanted change. When you’re on the insurance side it’s always challenging.

Sometimes you have to deliver uncomfortable messages, and you don’t get the rewards for doing that,” says Loker. Instead, an offer arrived that would take him back out of the insurance sector and into a brand new company just being launched. In the early part of last decade, executives at the Quebec Dealers Association (CCAQ) had an idea. What if they launched a collision repair company that could help dealers control the entire repair process? When executives at CCAQ heard that Loker,a former Aviva employee was available, they requested his resume right away. The organization was just then beginning to put together a collision repair chain that would come to be known as CarrXpert. A couple weeks after the request for the resume Loker was recruited and named Training and Operations Manager for the company.

“Over his time in management he developed a deep knowledge of how the industry works on a larger scale.”

On the Grow CarrXpert is now one of the biggest collision brands in Quebec. While it only recently went national, the company’s numbers in Quebec are already extremely impressive. The Quebec part of the organization includes 200 collision repair centres representing 500 dealers and claims 36 percent of the market in Quebec. “In 2001 all the dealers and body shops were looking at banners, brands and DRPs, and they didn’t quite know how to figure it out. Some of the dealers just decided to get out of collision repair altogether, but


another group of dealers got together and formed the CarrXpert banner,” says Loker. “Dealers focus on selling cars and the customer service relationship. As a rule, they don’t understand collision repair every well. And they don’t understand insurance and DRP very well. That’s where we come in. We can help with marketing, efficiency training and certification. We’re selling value-added support and we have the experience to do it.” The company developed a set of tools as well as a network program that creates efficiencies between collision repair centres and the existing dealership network. They


offer sales, marketing and operations support for dealerships and associated collision shops. The company is sometimes described as a banner brand like Fix Auto or CARSTAR. But it represents a network of new car dealerships and dealer-authorized collision centres, rather than a network focused on the retail market. Loker calls the sector the last unconsolidated area of the collision sector. His experience in the insurance industry is key to the organization. “As Dan Pye, General Manager of CarrXpert, puts it, ‘We’re fortunate to have him on our side. He’s seen under the insurance industry’s skirt’,” says Loker.


New Challenges The job with CarrXpert has provided a great new challenge for Loker, who is gaining experience in yet another side of the industry. “Dealers are interesting. They are business people. The autobody guy goes out and buys all the toys. The dealer is going to look it at as a business proposition. He doesn’t always want the biggest, fanciest toy if he doesn’t need it. If he does get it he thinks, ‘How can I utilize this through all my dealerships?’,” according to Loker. “This organization helps them understand the value of collision. They’re putting cars in the market. That’s generating collisions ... is that work coming back to them, or is it coming back to someone else? This is about making the dealers understand the value of collision services and turning the

dealership into a one-stop shopping kind of place.” Working in this space, Loker has noticed differences between a dealership body shop and the standard collision repair facility. “The collision centre in a dealership has to be very focused on customer service and quality of work. There has to be customer retention. An independent shop is lucky to see a client once every seven years. Dealers are constantly advertising and bringing in new people. That person won’t be back for an oil change if they had a bad experience on a collision,” he says. Loker also thinks the time is ripe for this kind of company. “The last untapped market in this industry is among the dealers themselves ... and they are becoming consolidators at the group level,” says Loker. “With all the talk about OEM certification everyone is paying attention to the collision

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industry. It’s interesting. It’s a good time for this. Everyone is looking at this industry right now. Whether it’s an independent or a retail collision repair shop, they may not be able to clear all the codes that have to be reset on a car after a repair. Often the vehicle has to go back to the dealership now anyway. So why didn’t we take it to a dealership shop in the first place?” As the OEMs set up their own certification programs, CarrXpert seems well positioned for where the industry is headed. “This is about taking a deeper dive on OEM certification. The OEMs are concerned about the complexity of cars, the highstrength steel, the panel bonding and all the sensors. How do you do it? Well, it’s all got to be coded at the dealers. The OEMs are at a point they have to offer their own certification. We’re helping that to happen,” says Loker.

“CarrXpert has provided a great new challenge for Loker, who is gaining experience in yet another side of the industry.”

Complete Range For the dealers the value chain is of obvious interest. The ability to offer a complete range of services, including collision repair, is an obvious benefit for a dealer who wants to retain customers. “The dealers want clients to be loyal to the brand. But only by providing all the essential services can clients be loyal to the brand. But having this group is also important. If one dealer talks to an insurance company, the insurance company isn’t going to know who they are. But when you are a group representing 500 dealer with 36 percent of the work in the province, the insurance industry is going to listen to your voice,” says Loker.

That “big voice” is going to be good for the industry as a whole. “The labour rate is so low in this industry. That’s because of the race to the bottom driven by the insurance industry. At some point we have to have a real conversation with the insurance companies about the complexity of vehicles. We want to do that in a positive manner. It’s a growing issue for the industry.” This year the company decided to expand into the rest of Canada and put an ambitious plan—doubling in size over the next five years—into play. At the time Loker spoke with Bodyworx Professional, he was starting out on a road trip from Moncton to Fredericton as part of the company’s expansion efforts in the Atlantic region. He

said he expects to talk to, “... about eight or nine dealers who have 20 dealerships between them. We’re also breaking ground in Ontario. We’ve been there a year and a half now.” The current success comes after years of effort spent in various areas of the industry. Loker’s deep experience, from the floor, through a dealership, to the insurance side, and back, has prepared him well for the latest chapter in a long and successful career. “You’ve got to have a challenge in life,” says Loker. A national expansion strategy provides that. “We’ve had some great success now in Atlantic Canada. We think we are the best kept secret outside of Quebec.” It looks like the secret is out!





Allison Crawford with the owners of CARSTAR Ancaster, Paul (left) and Joe Saputo.




Allison Crawford at work at CARSTAR Ancaster.



few years ago, Allison Crawford was looking for a career. She was already targeting the skilled trades but wasn’t quite sure which one was for her. In looking for a career in the skilled trades, Crawford was sort of following in the family’s footsteps. Her mother is a professional woodworker. “I had her as an example of a woman working in a ‘man’s world,’” says Crawford. While considering various skilled trades, Crawford came across the Tropicana Pre-apprenticeship program. There was no charge to participate, something that can be very attractive to someone looking to embark on a new career. She was soon on the phone with Marc Trembaly, the program’s coordinator, to discuss applying for the program. After a few shop visits to see the collision repair industry in action, she was on her way. Today she’s a Level II apprentice working at CARSTAR Ancaster, owned by Joe and Paul Saputo. There’s a lot of history at the facility. A body shop of many years standing in the community, the store is officially tied with CARSTAR Stoney Creek for the title of Canada’s first CARSTAR. “Her work ethic is very good,” says Joe Saputo. “We’re a high-volume, high-production facility, and Allison fit right in with the rest of the team.” That Crawford has a good work ethic likely wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows her. She’s the mother of three young children and believes very strongly in working hard to support them.



Crawford started at the facility in September 2014. She’s part of the changing face of collision repair. As owner Joe Saputo notes, the facility has had women working there in the past, but never on the tools. The collision repair industry is changing, and the people who make it up are changing right along with it. “I have to say the guys were very respectful ... until she basically became one of the guys,” says Joe. “It wasn’t that they crossed any lines, but once they got used to her and saw what she could do, they started giving her the same sort of constructive criticism they give each other.” Techs at CARSTAR Ancaster tend to specialize. While they have all the skills required to do any part of the job, the high volumes mean an “assembly line” practice leads to greater efficiency. Crawford is currently working on disassembly, which happens to line up with her preferences. “My favourite part of the job is tear down,” she says. “It makes it a lot easier to see what needs to be repaired, and it makes the repair easier as well. It’s a lot harder once the car is back together.” Autobody repair is usually seen as a craft or a trade. Crawford sees it as an art. “I’ve got a lot of art background,” she says. “For me, once we get the repair done and the car is back together, it’s like we’ve created an art piece.”



The Saskatoon campus of Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The school also offers the Auto Body Technician program at the Regina campus.


askatchewan Polytechnic is Saskatchewan's primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training. It formerly operated as the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST). The school operates campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and provides a number of courses and programs through distance education. Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers the Auto Body Technician certificate program through its campuses in Regina and Saskatoon.


Saskatchewan Polytechnic prepares students for apprenticeship. By Mike Davey

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS In order to qualify for this program, applicants must already be registered apprentices in the autobody and collision repair industry. Mohawk College recently launched its Auto Body and Collision Damage Repair pre-apprenticeship training program for those looking for a starter course to work their way into the trade. The 20-week in school training program has a capacity of 17 students and exposes students to the basic, entry-level practices of the industry. The program concludes with an 8-week placement at a local body shop.


PROGRAM OVERVIEW In general, the program prepares students to work in collision repair facilities, auto dealerships and private garages. A one-year certificate program, Auto Body Technician focuses on providing students with a solid foundation in the knowledge and skills the student will need to work in the body repair and refinishing industries. Practical training includes: • • • • • • •

Basic and advanced metal work Basic and advanced painting Benchwork and safe working procedures Door servicing, glass installation and electrical systems Front sheet metal and plastic material repair Industry communications and math Welding

During the course work, students hammer out dings, paint vehicles, install windshields, align bumpers and more. Students also spend two weeks in an auto body repair shop getting a first-hand taste of the job.

Students applying to the Auto Body Technician Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic must possess at least a Grade 10 education and be able to satisfy the school's English Language Requirement. In some cases, applicants who do not possess these qualifications may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.

APPRENTICESHIP HEAD START The apprenticeship program runs for a total of 24-weeks and is separated into three semesters. The first semester introduces five courses to those enrolled, while semesters two and three each carry a six-course load. The program kicks off again in the fall. For more information on Mohawk College, please visit

PROGRAM LENGTH The Auto Body Technician certificate program runs for a total of 30 weeks. The program starts in August. For more information on Saskatchewan Polytechnic, please visit DECEMBER 2016    BODYWORX PROFESSIONAL



PRINTED PARTS Missing a piece? No worries, just print a new one! BY MIKE DAVEY


arl Dumele has a problem—and solution—that he would like to share with you. Dumele is the CEO of Aeromotive, a company specializing in electrical connectors and wiring harnesses. In addition, the company provides additive manufacturing services, otherwise known as 3D printing, and that’s where the solution to this particular problem lay. In a video recently released by the company, Dumele outlines a challenge recently experienced by one of Aeromotive’s collision centre customers. The body shop had a damaged bracket that attaches to a wire harness assembly. The assembly itself was fine, but a piece of sheet metal had lacerated the bracket, meaning it had to be replaced. Dumele says the collision centre soon found that they couldn’t purchase just the bracket. It was only available as part of the whole assembly. The cost for the entire assembly was $1,725. This is the sort of cost increase that could potentially push a profitable repair into write-off territory. According to Dumele, Aeromotive asked the shop to send them the bracket and see how they could help. The solution turned out to be using additive manufacturing to create a new bracket. “We 3D printed a bracket, sent it back to the collision centre and had it turned around in eight hours. One day. Cost? $150,” says Dumele in the video. You can see the video for yoursefl at Aeromotive isn’t the only company offering these services, or even the first. We recently reported on Freshmade 3D, a company that is targeting consumers of



hard-to-find parts and offering 3D printing services to make those much easier to lay hands on. Freshmade 3D is a bit different. They refer to the process as “additive manufacturing“ rather than 3D printing. Their Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Tomko, believes there’s good reason to draw the distinction. “Simply put, a lot of people don’t know about this,” says Tomko. “People know 3D printing with plastic. But they often don’t know additive manufacturing with metal. This is a whole new thing.” Freshmade 3D has targeted the auto restoration market, which now represents the bread and butter of the company’s business. “People are used to spending months or years going through warehouses trying to find a part. Here we’re using digital manufacturing to make that part in just a couple of weeks,” says Tomko. What the company offers is a link between the restoration market and this new technological sector. “Being able to make custom short run parts is not one of the largest markets in the world. But it takes a special kind of company that can connect those in the custom car market and translate that back to the additive manufacturing sector. I can talk to the car guys in their language. And I can connect them to the world of additive manufacturing,” says Tomko. The company can produce a new part even if an original is not available. “It depends on how much information you have to work with,” says Tomko. “Sometimes it’s simply a matter of taking a left side part and flipping that to make

a missing right hand side part. That can be almost easy. We’re just flipping and reproducing. At the other end of the spectrum is a case where you might not have a part, but just a photo. But we can work from there.” By mixing some artistry with the magic of computer-aided design, a new blueprint for that missing part can be drawn up. That design is then fed into the additive manufacturing machine to print the part. Getting the design right can take some time, but going through the process can pay off. Tomko relays a story of one client who had for years been working on the restoration of a Mercedes Gull Wing. “He had everything on that car but he didn’t have an original key,” says Tomko. “But when you’re talking about the highest level of restoration and competition you’re going to want that. We digitally recreated it in CAD and then produced it. It had a jewelry-like quality level. Now when he’s at a show, he has an original key that works like it came with the car 60 years ago.” No wonder then the company is attracting the attention of high-end car restorers. The processes used by Aeromotive and Freshmade 3D are very different, but both have their place. Your workplace may not need an impossible to locate part for a classic Mustang, but haven’t you ever needed to buy an entire assembly just for one small piece? Next time, try talking to your manager about 3D printing. You just might save the day ... and the shop’s bottom line. Mike Davey is the editor of Bodyworx Professional. He can be reached at 905-5490454 or via email at editor@

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Bodyworx Professional 3#4