Bodyworx Professional 4#2

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special edition of

SPECIAL FEATURE: Autobody students go head-to-head

Aluminium Demystified

Look Up! How Dave Carlaw went from the shop floor to the skies


Step-by-step guide for successful cosmetic repairs


Cheyenne Ruether of Vegas Rat Rods says you need to fight to show what you can do.


August 2017




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632

l  86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2



cover story 17 Yes She Can! Cheyenne Ruether is showing an entire generation of girls that yes, you can do this too.

regulars 4 Publisher’s Page School Profile

by James Kerr

Georgian College’s Automotive Business School trains students on automotive management and leadership.

6 News AkzoNobel hosts students at career day and much, much more!

12 Industry Insight by Mark Millson

14 Education by Bill Speed

50 Final Detail by Mike Davey



The Sky’s the Limit

Inside Out

Dave Carlaw inspires collision repairers to take on interesting projects.

TM Custom Auto on the art of crafting custom interiors.


features 35 Demystifying Aluminum

46 Viva Las SEMA!

It’s time to take the mystery out of aluminum repair.

What to expect at the SEMA 2017 Show. (Hint: It’s going to be bigger than ever!)

40 Notorious Restoration

31 Printing Power

The famous 1937 Cord that showed up in a Canadian repair shop.

Additive manufacturing may be the future of the auto repair industry.

26 Canada’s Champions

49 Young Gun

Students go for Gold at 2017 Skills Canada National Competition.

Nick Irwin found a new career by going beyond his boundaries.

New Products UAP’s Radical tool collection has the next generation of technicians in mind.

on the cover: Cheyenne Ruether of Vegas Rat Rods.

August 2017    bodyworx professional



changing faces A new industry for techs and painters


Publishing Director James Kerr 416.628.8344 EDITorial Director Mike Davey 905.549.0454 EDITorS Erin McLaughlin 905.370.0101 Alex Dugas 905.370.0101

By James Kerr

odyworx Professional is a special magazine in many ways, but one of my favourite things about it is that it breaks down barriers. This magazine bridges the gap between the young and the old. Every issue we feature a Young Gun, an up-and-coming talented tech who we’re sure looks forward to a bright future in the industry. You can read about our young gun Nick Irwin of Fix Auto St. Catharines on page 49. Also in every issue we feature a Career Profile—a look at one of the industry’s distinguished leaders, who started in collision repair, and whose work in the industry brought them to great things. Sometimes those great things are a little step outside our industry, and that’s okay. Dave Carlaw, on page 23, started in collision repair and landed

PUBLISHER Darryl Simmons 647.409.7070

One of the side-effects to this highpaced industry is that there are so many more exciting career opportunities today than have ever been offered before. The opportunity for lateral motion has never been stronger. Sure, you started off washing cars—but you could end up anywhere in the shop, or beyond. Every year a more diverse set of people are getting involved in the industry, because regardless of where you were born, what your first language was, or what traditional role is dictated for you, more and more people are figuring out the secret. The secret is…a career in collision repair gives you a bright future. The challenges and rewards are there before you. Bodyworx Professional is there to help you navigate these challenges, and

“There isn’t one kind of collision repair tech any more, if there ever was.”

Creative Department Michelle Miller 905.370.0101 Staff writer Jeff Sanford VP Industry Relations & Advertising Gloria Mann 647.998.5677 Managing Director iMM/Director Business Solutions & Marketing Ellen Smith 416.312.7446 SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Mike Cameron 905.370.0101 Contributors  Millie Davies, Rick Francouer, Mark Millson, John Poole, Bill Speed, Josh White 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

in prototype and development, and airplanes. That’s what a career in collision repair gets you—it opens doors. The role of women is advancing rapidly in this industry, and Bodyworx Professional is the first to support that change. You can read about our cover story on tech Cheyenne Ruether on page 17, and how she went from body tech to TV star on Discovery Channel’s Vegas Rat Rods. That’s what a career in collision repair gets you— an opportunity to pursue your dreams. There isn’t one kind of collision repair tech any more, if there ever was. The jobs themselves have become more diverse, and the people doing them have, too. For those of you who have been on the shop floor for a long time, you’ve seen the changing faces. 4  bodyworx professional

gain those rewards. With newly expanded staff, including editors Erin McLaughlin and Alex Dugas, and myself—Publishing Director, James Kerr—this magazine will be here to guide you into this wonderful industry that is abound with potential for your future. This is for you, the techs and the painters, the unsung heroes who represent the future of the collision repair industry. That’s what Bodyworx Professional gets you—your road to a successful career in collision repair.

Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 455 Gilmour St., Peterborugh ON K9H 2J8

“We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.”

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



Vyolaine Dujmovic receives industry support on the road to WorldSkills Fix Auto Canada has aneducational and informational nounced it will sponsor expositions showcasing the Canadian skills competitor next generation of collision Vyolaine Dujmovic when repair talent. she competes at the upDujmovic has also received coming WorldSkills comsponsorship from AIA Canpetition, taking place in ada, in the form of enough Abu Dhabi, UAR, in October I-CAR training to take her to 2017. The announcement Platinum status. Staff at AIA was made by Jean Charles Canada wanted to help her Dupuis, the company’s reach her goal by providing Chief Operations Officer. Vyolaine with I-CAR training Dujmovic was given free of charge. the opportunity to put her The I-CAR Platinum Recstudies to practice at Fix ognition is an especially Auto Henri-Bourassa, as thoughtful gift to Dujmovic, part of a corporate menas she wants to be a trainer torship program. Owner/ herself in the future. “I have operator Nuno Victorino chosen this trade because says he rapidly took noit is a passion that I would tice of her talent. “From like to develop into a career,” day one, Vyolaine was a she says. “Ever since I was great example of the next young, I’ve loved cars! FolCOO of Fix Auto Canada, Jean Charles Dupuis, and Vyolaine Dujmovic, Canada’s competitor at the next WorldSkills event. Fix Auto Canada will serve as a sponsor generation of bodyshop lowing professional training when Dujmovic represents Canada in Abu Dhabi. technicians” says Victowill help me to broaden my rino. “She was eager to knowledge in this field. In the embrace challenges and her exceptional the enthusiasm, energy and commitment future, I would like to teach autobody repair capabilities were quickly evident.” of the Fix Auto network,” he says. “As an to share my passion with others.” Dujmovic will spend this summer and fall organization, we are committed to leading the “In recognition of her tremendous talent practicing in preparation for the global comautomotive aftermarket industry by investing and her accomplishments at the Canadian petition in Abu Dhabi. “I am very proud and into new and innovative technologies, along level, we wanted to give Vyolaine an added honoured to represent Canada on the world with the skilled workforce required to work edge over the competition in Abu Dhabi,” says stage,” says Dujmovic. “I am also incredibly within this new reality.” Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director of I-CAR grateful to my Fix Auto family for their continued A statement from Fix Auto says the company Canada. “The training she will receive through support and generosity.” will support Dujmovic this year as she prepares the I-CAR program will not only help her during Dupuis says he was immediately impressed for upcoming competitions. She will also act the WorldSkills Competition in October but by the young talent. “Vyolaine embodies as youth ambassador for Fix Auto Canada at will help her moving forward in her career.”

CCIF launches new scholarship program The Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) has announced a new sponsorship program that the organization says will provide industry support and assistance to participating post-secondary autobody colleges across the country. According to a statement from CCIF, the new Collision Industry-Education sponsorship program offers many ways to support participating colleges. “Both financial and in-kind contributions are welcome. In the case of financial contri-


butions, there is a minimum amount of $250 and donations must be in $250 increments. In-kind contributions may include but are not limited to training, vehicles, equipment, software, materials and supplies,” says Brigitte Pesant of CCIF and AIA Canada. The list of participating colleges has not been revealed at the time of publication. The sponsorship program runs all year and contributions are welcomed at any time of year. For more information, please contact Brigitte Pesant at  bodyworx professional

Brigitte Pesant of CCIF.



Jury-rigged ‘repairs’ show up in Ontario, Quebec

Wood is useful in many different applications. Suspension repair isn’t one of them.

Creativity is always appreciated, but there are times when it simply shouldn’t be applied. Two separate incidents in Ontario and Quebec highlight why some people should avoid the do-it-yourself route and just let the professionals handle it. Wood is a very useful material with many applications. Historically, it’s even been used in car bodies and of course still sees some use as trim and accent pieces. It should not, however, be used to repair a vehicle’s suspension. A report from a Quebec police agency notes that a 28-year-old man in Val-des-Monts, Québec, was found driving a 1999 Toyota Tercel that was using a wooden log as part of the suspension. That’s bad enough, but that wasn’t even the car’s only trouble. Police recounted the problems with the car in an official press release: “[Three] bald tires, no windshield wipers, and a rear suspension rigged with wooden logs and chicken wire.” The driver was given a $481 ticket. The car, such as it was, was impounded. The man also had an open beer in the car, but was found to be sober. Not smart, necessarily, but sober. In a similar vein, a transport truck driver’s jury-rigged solution to a damaged trailer didn’t make it past an alert Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer patrolling Highway 401 near Mallorytown. The truck driver had struck a loading dock in Montreal, severely damaging the trailer, ripping part of the siding off the box and dislodging the I-beams that support the floor. According to an official press release from the OPP, “With the structural integrity of the trailer gone completely, the driver had used a nylon strap to tie up broken cross members ... The driver’s intention was to drive to Toronto where he would have it fixed.”

We definitely appreciate creative solutions, but “repairing” a transport trailer probably isn’t the best place to try them out. Ontario Provincial Police pulled this truck over when an alert officer noticed the nylon straps.

July 2017    bodyworx professional




AkzoNobel & CARSTAR team up to host students at Career Day CARSTAR recently hosted the students of the Tropicana Employment Services Autobody Training Program at a special all-day tour. The event, now in its eighth year, had a slightly different feel this time. “Usually we have it in Hamilton at the CARSTAR facility, but it can be a challenge to bus the kids there,” says Collin Welsh, Regional Development Manager, GTA and Eastern Ontario, CARSTAR Canada. Instead, Welsh had an idea. He had recently taken part in a training session at the AkzoNobel facility in Etobicoke. The company maintains a full-size autobody facility on the premises. A plan came together—the AkzoNobel facility, accessible by public transit, would be the site of this year’s event. “This year we wanted them to have the exposure to get in a spray booth. We had a series of fenders set up for them to paint,” says Welsh. “Not all want to be painters, but they should know how that works. It’s great to have that exposure so they know the environment they’re getting into.” The students also took in product demos from 3M and heard from senior industry people about how they moved through the industry and were able to find a niche that appealed to them.

Suiting up. The recent Tropicana Career Day saw students practice painting at AkzoNobel’s facility in Etobicoke.

“Not everyone is going to be a painter. They heard about all the other opportunities as well, be it as an estimator, manager or salesperson. It was a fantastic day,” says Welsh. “It was one of the best career days we’ve had.” Students also attended a class on estimating, presented by CARSTAR’s Chris Bullock. The class provided the students with some exposure to how estimates are written and pay calculated per job. This information will serve them in good stead when they start working in the industry. Marc Tremblay is the Program Coordinator for the Tropicana Employment Services Pre-Apprenticeship Autobody and Collision Damage Repairer Training Program. “It was absolutely phenomenal. They put together a great event,” says Tremblay. “They got to use the paint booth. Everything was hands on. The kids came away with a much better idea of what they wanted to go into once they graduate. 3M was a big part of the event. But all of the companies involved generously donated their time.” The pre-apprenticeship program is offered by the Tropicana Employment Centre. It allows youth to prepare for a career in autobody and collision damage repair. There is also a 12-week paid work placement with an employer, as well as connections with employers.

Collin Welsh of CARSTAR at the Career Day. Welsh notes that students had a chance to hear about many different opportunities during the event, including estimating, management and sales.

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SEMA’s Battle of the Builders to expand ‘Young Guns’ SEMA has opened up a casting call for custom builders to join in the Battle of the Builders competition during the 2017 SEMA exhibition. Builders with a car or truck on display at the 2017 SEMA Show, held October 31 to November 3 in Las Vegas, may now enter the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition by applying online at The program recognizes and brings increased media exposure to top vehicle builders, their vehicles and the products that make the vehicles unique. New for this year is the expanded Young The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, which will feature an expanded Young Guns Guns category, a program which was introduced program this year, pits custom builders head-to-head. in 2016 to provide heightened exposure for up-and-coming builders. As part of the Young Guns program, Winners from the partnering organizations will then compete in SEMA partnered with AutoCon, Bonnier and Goodguys to award the Battle of Builders competition at the SEMA Show, alongside builders age 27 and younger (as of November 3, 2017) who do the builders who entered with a feature or booth vehicle from not have a vehicle at the show an opportunity to participate in the annual trade-only event. All competitors, their vehicles and SEMA Battle of the Builders. Partnering organizations will award sponsoring exhibitors receive increased exposure at the SEMA six winners at select regional events a prize package that inShow, as well as the possibility of being featured in a one-hour, cludes an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2017 SEMA Show, nationwide television special that will air on the Velocity Network. transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot To enter or for more information on how you can showcase your at the Show, and automatic entry into the SEMA Battle of the car and parts through the SEMA Battle of the Builders competiBuilders competition. tion, log on to

august 2017    bodyworx professional




Extech’s CG104 ‘accelerates automotive inspections’ The new Coating Thickness Tester from Extech offers the full capabilities of a paint meter in a pocket-sized device. With many automatic features built into the meter, Extech says this product could not be easier to use. A statement from Extech says, “the new CG104 is designed to speed up paint inspections at high-volume automotive auctions to increase certainty in high-value appraisals, and to implement quality assurance best practiced at autobody shops.” Lighting in a shop can create a glare and result in a lack of accurate detail on autobody repairs. With the CG104, automotive buyers, inspectors, and technicians can get an accurate measurement to avoid guesswork. To make reading the display as easy as it can be, Extech uses a rotating, backlit display to view the reading in even the darkest shops. Turning on automatically when put to the test surface, the CG104 detects the material type and reads accordingly. This allows for the meter to switch instantly between ferrous or non-ferrous materials if the vehicle has both. Such versatility means that the meter

The CG104 has a rotating backlit display to read even in the most awkward positions.

has measurement ranges of 0 to 2000μm for ferrous materials and 0 to 1000μm for nonferrous materials. The CG104 was made for anyone in the shop to use. It offers configurable high and low limits, setting off an alarm when the paint thickness either does not meet or exceeds it. Being able to perform calculations, the meter can store up to 255 readings, so forgetting is

never an issue. Also provided is the Auto-Hold function, freezing the display so it can be passed around for others to see. The CG104 Coating Thickness Tester comes with an Extech one-year warranty, wrist strap, storage case, calibration plates, and one standard coating plate film. For more information on the CG104, please visit

UAP goes edgy with its Radical tool collection The new UltraPro “Radical” tool collection from UAP offers much more than simple tools. Included in the Radical series is a ratcheting wrench set, a combination wrench set, an impact wrench, gloves, a toolbox, and a four-drawer service cart all with a matte black finish. UAP says what sets this apart from other tool collections is its ability to add value to the space it takes up. The service cart not only holds the tools, but also doubles as a work station with its butcher-block top. Aiming to create an alternative to traditional tools and finishes, VP of Product Development at NAPA, Tom Hunt said, “we had a new generation of mechanics in mind.” There is notably a distinct look to the collection. “We believe the Radical series is perfect for anyone who wants professional quality tools with an attitude.” The collection is now available from NAPA Auto Parts and Traction stores. With an introductory offer, the Radical 11-drawer roller cabinet, lockable top chest, and heavy-duty mechanical creeper is available as a combo deal for $1,699.99. For more information, or to see the full selection of the Radical collection, please visit

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UAP’s Radical tool collection includes a wide variety of tools, gloves, a service cart, an 11-drawer cabinet, and a heavy-duty creeper.



Infinity’s XMS embraces aerospace technology Accuracy is crucial in the repair process, and Infinity promises high accuracy with its XMS system. Designed with shorter wavelength green lasers, micro-controlled intelligent targets, and self-calibration, Infinity ensures the utmost accuracy. Mounted under the vehicle, XMS gathers precise measurement data and sends it to a computer panel; even providing a cost estimate with its built-in software. As the company name suggests, the measurements provide 3-D schematics; including crucial information that may otherwise go overlooked. Constantly connected to the internet, Infinity uses Mitchell International for the most up-to-date data. This ensures not only are the measurements accurate, but the data is as well. The system does not stop inside the shop. The internet connectivity allows for the system to email the customer and insurer with updated information on the vehicle repair, saving time and energy in the shop. Although the technology may seem intimidating, there is no need to worry. Infinity provides a list of services to make sure the XMS system is easy to use and working properly. In addition to initial training and installation from certified dealers, there is a training centre and help services available through online and by phone. John Kennedy and Ray Lapite from the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy praise the XMS system. “The Infinity 3D Laser Measuring System utilizes state-of-the-art technology with the features you only find with Infinity. Easy set-up when

Infinity says the XMS measuring system uses aerospace technology for the most accurate measurements.

you want an accurate blueprint of the damaged vehicle you are working on; there simply is no other measuring system that provides a snapshot of the repair needed.” Infinity will be at the upcoming NACE and SEMA shows, demonstrating the XMS System. If you will not be attending the shows, you can request a demonstation in your shop. For more information on the system, or to request a demo, please visit

august 2017    bodyworx professional



Career Kickstart A great teacher helped pave the road to my success By Mark Millson


was first exposed to the world of autobody and collision repair in grade 10 while on shop rotation at General Brock High School in Burlington, Ontario. This was where I met my most influential teacher, Ron Postma. Many people in the industry have stories about Ron’s encouragement leading to careers in the industry. It was Ron who encouraged Bill Speed to become more involved with the skills competitions. For this alone, the entire collision repair industry owes Ron a debt of gratitude. For me, Ron brought out my passion for the automotive industry. When I was asked to write this column, a flood of memories

my skills and possibly medal in my grade 12 year. To both of our surprise, I received a Silver medal at the national competitionin that very first year. With the experience I gained, I was able to win a Gold medal the following year when I competed in Grade 12. Even more surprising to me was my score— it was higher than my fellow competitors competing at the PostSecondary level. That’s a rare feat for a high school kid. With this win, I was able to represent Canada in the 2005 World Skills Competition in Helsinki, Finland. That was almost 12 years ago, but it was an experience I will never forget.

quite like repairing a vehicle, and knowing you’ve restored essential safety features. The collision repair industry continues to move away from repairing vehicle structures to replacing vehicle components. This is out of necessity more than anything else. We are only going to see more aluminum and more carbon fibre in cars. This means we technicians must continue to train so we can continue to restore vehicles and protect the public. Many car manufacturers these days do not allow any structural pulling. This is a trend that will only continue to grow and that is why I believe it is so important for young technicians to learn how to work with the OEMs and learn from them. In 2010, I moved back to my family farm. Having to find a new place of work, I wanted to make sure I could align myself with an owner that shared my passion for the industry. I met Peter Woo and I was hired on as a Senior Technician for his Concord store, a new BMW certified facility. Over the years, I worked my way up to become what I am today, Director of Operations at Excellence Auto Collision. Since I started, the business has grown to two locations and over 43,000 sq. ft. We

“I never would have dreamed that, when Ron handed me that paint gun, I would end up running one of the premier shops in the Greater Toronto Area.” came back to me. It made me reflect about when my passion started, how I got to where I am today, and who I have become. In high school, Ron always pushed his students to achieve their maximum potential. To be honest, I probably never would have pursued autobody as a career if it weren’t for him. I still remember, during the second week of class, Ron handed me a paint gun and asked me to paint a bumper cover. I had no clue what I was doing. I went into the paint booth and laid down the base coat. When Ron came in to inspect the job I had done, he asked me where I had learned how to paint cars. I guess he was surprised with my natural ability. I simply said, “You asked me to paint it red. Did I do it right?” Ron gave a good chuckle and from that day forward, my passion only grew. The following year, Ron introduced me to the skills competitions. He thought it would be a great idea for me to compete in my grade 11 year, in hopes that I could hone

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I was truly inspired by the high skill level of the participants that many European and Asian countries brought to the competition. Their skill level inspired me to be a better technician myself. I believe that the success I had in high school, along with the apprenticeship I had under the late Sam Piercey at Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville, presented me with opportunities I never would have thought were possible. During my time at Budds’ I learned to appreciate the value that OEM training gives to each technician. The OEMs are the ones who manufacture these vehicles, and their engineers know them best. This OEM training gave me the opportunity to work on repairing severe structural damage at a very young age. This is something I believe every young technician should be encouraged to learn. Prepping and detailing have their place, certainly, but structural repair carries a greater sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing

are OEM approved for Audi, BMW, Porsche, Tesla and Volkswagen. I believe that one of the reasons for my success at Excellence is due to the values that Peter and I share: Continuous education, OEM certification and giving staff the tools and technology needed to repair the high-end cars we see come through our shops on a daily basis. I never would have dreamed that, when Ron handed me that paint gun, I would end up running one of the premier shops in the Greater Toronto area. If I could give advice to a young person getting into the industry today, it would be to find a shop that will support you in growing your skills and one that will continue to provide training even after you’re licenced.

Mark Millson is the Director of Operations at Excellence Auto Collision in Toronto, Ontario. He can be reached at

Education and Training

Enter the arena

Skills competition bring out the best in youth By BILL SPEED


any years ago while taking an I-CAR class, the instructor, John Poote, asked me whether I ever considered becoming a teacher. John has since passed but that simple question led me to where I am today. I enrolled in the Faculty of Education program at the University of Toronto. Upon completion of the program I accepted a teaching job in Etobicoke in 1989. My time in Etobicoke was short due to being bumped out of the position by a senior teacher, but

I had to watch all the excitement from the sidelines. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you know the students are capable of completing the tasks but they freeze under the pressure. After a couple of years of watching and coaching from the sidelines, I decided it was time to do something more. I had a student teacher, the late Ron Postma, around the time of the 1994 provincial competition. We both attended the competition with one of my students

at Legendary Motor Cars and is also a parttime instructor at Centennial College and co-chair of Car Painting at Skills Ontario. Mike Kennelly is a former competitor and is currently an instructor at Fanshawe College. I have heard it said by more than one person over the years, “Where are the stats?” or “How many competitors go on into the trade?” To these people I always say “It’s not about the stats, it’s about putting a strong face on our industry as a first choice career option.” All the trades are looking for the same students. We are fighting for survival in the skilled trades. Promotional avenues such as Skills Canada help to give exposure to students about what it is like in the skilled trades. The interaction with numerous industry representatives, whether it is through judging or because they are supplying tools, equipment or materials, has helped me stay current and has helped many students find jobs when they graduate. Many times, judges are surprised at the quality of work some of the competitors produce with, in most cases, limited experience.

“I have seen many of my students excel at both the provincial and national skills competitions over the years.” in 1991, I signed a new contract with the Toronto District School Board at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute. My desire was to teach students how wonderful the autobody trade could be and give them the pure, unvarnished truth. I quickly realized that, unlike me, they were not all interested in pursuing autobody as a career. But I strongly encouraged those who were interested. In 1992, during my second year at Danforth, my department head mentioned this new program called Skills Canada, run by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). It was like a club with a goal of promoting skilled trades and technology. I thought it was a great idea, so I asked how I could get involved. The first part sounded relatively easy. Just run a school board wide competition and prepare your students for that competition. The only problem was that I had no idea what to train my students on! There was no provincial scope document at the time and so I just winged it. My students won the Toronto Board competition and went on to the provincials with one placing second by winning a Silver medal.

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and were rather disappointed in how the competition was run. Ron told me, “I am taking this over and you are going to help me.” Anyone who knew Ron knew not to argue. In 1995 we took over the running of the Ontario Technological Skills competition. Twenty-two years later, I am still running the competition. I have been involved at the national skills competition since 2001 and I am currently serving as World Skills Expert for Canada. I have seen many of my students excel at both the provincial and national skills competitions over the years. I believe that what keeps me coming back year after year is seeing competitors apply what they have learned in school and take it to a higher level. A number of former competitors have gone on to lead lucrative careers in industry and education. To name a few, Daniel Chudy competed in Halifax in 2006. Daniel is now an instructor at Centennial College as well as the provincial and national Chair for Car Painting (Skills Canada.) Hartley Ellis competed in 2001-2003. Hartley worked as a technician for a number of years and is now with the College of Trades. Jessie Kennelly is a former competitor. He works

Volunteering with the Skills Canada competitions is addictive. Many of the judges and industry volunteers that we have are multi-year supporters. Many ask me to make sure to call them for next year at the end of the competition. Do all the competitors continue on into this industry? I wish I had the statistics to quell the naysayers that think this is a waste of time. I say to them that we, the collective we, are all drawing from the same pool of workers. Every trade in Canada is hurting for skilled people. If running these types of competitions every year helps to sway students to pursue a skilled trades career path, then all the free time I and others like me spend preparing projects, scoring sheets, sourcing tools/materials, setting up competition sites, judging, etc., is time well spent. I would encourage all members of the industry to volunteer with the skills competition. You won’t regret it. Bill Speed worked for the Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute until his retirement in 2017. He remains active in the Skills Competition to this day. Bill can be reached at

All About the Customer F

red Tajik from the Assured Automotive facility in Brampton, Ontario, runs a clean, lean and efficient facility. Holding over 30 years of experience in the industry as well as over 10 years with Assured Automotive, Fred recognizes the significance of a well-organized facility, a good staff as well as great customer relations in today’s fluctuating industry. “Our goal is not simply to fix vehicles, we want to fix people as well,” said Fred Tajik while discussing the values he’s held since his very beginnings in the industry. Fred’s values truly shine within his facility as all his staff can be seen working together in order to achieve optimal results. Among some of the staff stands Mario Rocha, who’s worked alongside Fred since 2007.

“Fred is the only person I know that can make me laugh when I’m having a really tough day,” said Mario while discussing his friendship with Fred as well as the entire facility, which clearly values each and every one of its employees as if they were family. The entire team can be seen working together across the entire facility, whether it is at the front desk or in the back in the production area, everyone works together. “Our mantra is to work with one another and not for one another,” mentioned Fred Tajik. Earlier this year, in what can only be called a Mega Deal, Boyd Group acquired Assured Automotive. Assured Automotive is the largest corporately owned collision repair organization in Canada. Assured operates 68 locations across Ontario. For more information on Assured Automotive, visit our website at


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Cover Story


Cheyenne Ruether on the set of Vegas Rat Rods, the shop at Welder Up in Las Vegas. Ruether built a reputation in collision and custom work before joining the cast in the show’s third season.

Yes, She Can! Canadian Cheyenne Ruether puts her skills under the spotlight on Vegas Rat Rods By Mike Davey


heyenne Ruether may have become a TV star when she joined the third season of Discovery Channel’s Vegas Rat Rods, but she’s still a body tech at heart. Ruether is a graduate of the autobody program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). She served her apprenticeship at a bodyshop in Fort Saskatchewan doing collision work before she began working in custom and restoration shops in the area. Her reputation in Alberta’s custom car scene grew and soon drew the attention of the producers of Vegas Rat Rods.

The show follows the crew at Welder Up, a custom shop owned and operated by Steve Darnell, as they turn ordinary cars into extraordinary rat rods. Rat rods are a particular type of hot rod that push the envelope on styling, frequently exaggerating the styles seen on classic hot rods of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Rat rods are peculiar beasts and Darnell has his own way of doing things. Ruether says working on the show involved some adjustment, as her body tech training insists on doing things by the book.

august 2017    bodyworx professional



Cover Story

Cheyenne Ruether and the other stars of Vegas Rat Rods, the crew from Welder Up. From left: Justin Kramer, Grant Schwartz, Cheyenne Ruether, Steve Darnell, Barber Dave, Dan Coggins and Travis Deeter. Photo provided by Proper Television.

“Steve’s very creative,” she says. “But with my background and training I just about died when he started torching holes and doing rust prevention with WD40 and motor oil. That was something that was challenging to deal with, because I learned from an early age how to do things to preserve the vehicle. There are a lot of things you just can’t do when it comes to bodywork on a customer’s vehicle.” Rat rods and other customs, of course, are a different story. The customers who buy and drive them usually aren’t looking to have crash protection features preser ved. For one thing, the base cars in these cases usually didn’t have any, so there’s nothing to preserve. Sensors? Advanced Driver Assistance Systems? There’s none of that to be found in these machines. It’s about getting a particular look and feel, not safety features. Darnell has been described as a visionary and his rat rod rep is well established. He may have been surprised to find the newest and youngest member of his TV crew questioning his decisions.


Ruether grinds down a piece on the set of Vegas Rat Rods. The show demands strict timelines to make sure work is finished for each episode.  bodyworx professional

Cover Story


A promo photo from Proper Television, the production company behind Vegas Rat Rods. Simply by appearing on the show and doing her work, Cheyenne Ruether is showing an entire generation of girls, that yes, you can do this too.

“He may have been a little shocked to find that I had my opinions and wasn’t afraid to butt heads,” says Ruether. It wouldn’t have shocked anyone who has worked with her in the collision field. Autobody is still very much a male-dominated field and Ruether wouldn’t have lasted as long as she has without a heaping helping of self-confidence. “My skin is thick and my work speaks for itself,” she says. “I’ve had to get used to being considered an oddity in my trade. I’ve spent more than 10 years proving that I need to be taken seriously. I hope I’m helping to pave a path so that more women aren’t scared to enter and succeed in a male-dominated field.” Representation matters, and so does visibility. There are many women employed in

“Ruether is showing an entire generation of girls, that yes, you can do this too.”

North America’s collision repair industry. Each and every one of them serves as a reminder that women can do the work when they’ve got skills, passion and a chance. Appearing on a widely viewed TV program, though, is another level. Simply by appearing on the show and doing her work, Ruether is showing an entire generation of girls, that yes, you can do this too. “I think it’s scary for a lot of women to go into a shop that’s dominated by men, but it’s something I’ve been doing my entire life,” she says. “The very first shop I apprenticed at when I was 16 was the same, all guys. Honestly, it was hard to do then. As the years have gone on, I’ve learned more and got more and more hands-on experience, and it’s just something I’ve gotten used to.”

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Cover Story

Ruether’s decision to enter the autobody field didn’t exactly receive much encouragement. That’s actually a bit of an understatement. “I did some job shadowing in high school, and after the first day of body work, I fell in love,” she says. “I had people saying ‘You’re crazy! Why body work?’ I had one good friend in high school that encouraged me. Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago, but he said to me ‘If you’re serious and you know what you want to do, then go for it!’” She did go for it, and now the same people who tried to discourage her are cheering her on. Ruether certainly has plenty of experience working in spaces dominated by men, but being in the spotlight was something new. “When I joined the show, I knew what I was getting into when it comes to the work and the environment,” she says. “They’re a tight-knit crew and I knew I’d have to prove myself. I was already fan of the show and I watch it with my daughter. There was definitely a learning curve to it, though. I know bodywork, but rat rods are an entirely new class of automobiles. A few months into working with the Welder Up crew, I basically had to throw my rule book out the window and do things the Welder Up way. Really, though, by the time I got to Welder Up, I didn’t find the male-dominated environment intimidating at all. Working under the cameras and with production crew hovering around brought a whole new aspect to the job.”

Ruether and Justin Kramer working on a rat rod while filming an episode. Bodywork is always a tough job. Cameras, lights and crew add an extra layer of difficulty.

It may be safe to say that TV work is the hardest job Ruether has ever done. “Don’t get me wrong, 10 previous years of restoration had me working my butt off. But nothing is harder than trying to build a rat rod in tight time frames with a big group of people working simultaneously on one car, and that’s without even considering the camera crew and the other show staff. You definitely have to be able to roll with the punches and give it your all, 10 to 18 hours a day.”

Ruether trained as a body tech and painter at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). It’s a robust program that covers the complete skill set, but like every tech, Ruether has had to take further training to keep her skills up-to-date.

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Ruether has advice for other women who may be considering a career in the field. It boils down to doing your job, and doing it well. “‘Can she do it? Can she hack it?’ You’re going to deal with those questions, even if no one says them out loud,” she says. “The best thing you can do is show what you can do and let your work speak for itself. If your work is good, they’ll change their tune pretty damn quick.” Letting your work speak for itself, though, means you’ve got to have a chance to do that work. Sweeping up, washing cars and detailing work is a common starting point, but it’s up to you to make sure you don’t stay there. “You’ve got to fight for what you want. You need to have the guts to stand up to these guys and say ‘I’m going for it. Give me something to do and I’ll get it done.” Ruether also advises developing a broad skill set if you want a career in autobody. This is good advice for anyone, man or woman. “If you want to be a painter, it’s a good idea to get into bodywork and welding too. Expand your horizons and get into everything you can. You never know when you’ll put those skills to use,” she says. No matter how good you get or how much you learn, Ruether says not to make the mistake of thinking you know everything. “I started as an apprentice and got my journeyman ticket, but I still have a ton to learn,” she says. “Whether you’re male or female, don’t think you know everything. You don’t.”

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career profile

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A Yale North American NA-64 mounted on the roof of the shop founded by Carlaw’s father. It’s another visual hint that this particular facility has broad interests in transportation.

From Repair to to

Up There By James Kerr


e started with a broom in his hand at 10 years old. Dave Carlaw of Campbellford Auto Body and Prototype Research & Development began his career the way many people do in the collision repair industry, helping out his dad after school. “My mum and dad were in the bodyshop business,” says Carlaw. The pride of several generations of bodymen sparkles in his eyes. “Started in 1951. And he never worked for anybody. He was always a self-employed person. And he was the bodyshop in the Campbellford area.” Carlaw took over the shop from his father full-time in 1981, and the rich tradition and history is apparent on the walls of his shop. In Carlaw’s office pictures hang on the wall that look like photographs of old cars, but anyone in the collision repair industry knows that’s not the only thing they are—these are trophies. The pictures list a score of achievements, each one a window into all the work that went into each project.

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career profile

Dave Carlaw shows off some of his collection of classic cars. The owner of Campbellford Auto Body and Prototype Research & Development, Carlaw started his career sweeping floors and has since built customs and classics for numerous celebrities, as well as prototyping and modelmaking for film and TV.

“I stopped putting new ones up after a while,” says Carlaw, smiling. Throughout Carlaw’s career there have been more accomplishments than can be contained on a wall, but the photographs make a spirited attempt. They tell a story of making and repairing cars in the quiet Ontario town of Campbellford. The population of Campbellford is only about 3,000 people, but the reach of Carlaw and his businesses extends much farther. It may have started as a collision repair shop, but Carlaw’s automotive (and aeronautic) empire has grown to affect people and places around the world. “The bodyshop was the start,” Carlaw explains. “But then I got into manufacturing, these specialty cars that we build, that’s what keeps me going in it. We manufacture here in our hometown of Campbellford. We manufacture these eight specialty cars, and we export to 18 countries around the world.” Those countries include Russia, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. The step from repair to manufacturing was a natural extension of what Carlaw has been doing at Campbellford Auto Body for years. “Father always wanted to be in manufacturing. Never really was, he was into the bodyshop business, which is a retail repair business. I guess it just kind of rubbed off on me, and I wanted to go the next step, because I was always keenly interested in manufacturing. And that’s why I started the 24

company Prototype Research and spun it into other companies.” Over the years, Carlaw has made cars for Wendel Clark the hockey player, Bob Homme the Friendly Giant, and Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s hamburger empire. In the 1980s Carlaw partnered with Thomas in a promotional giveaway, pairing the Classic hamburger and a chance to win one of Carlaw’s MGs. Over the years Carlaw’s company has also built a Speedster for the Barkley Bank of England, a Phaeton for the Maharajah of India, and more. The appeal of his cars is not hard for Carlaw to understand. He has a love of his craft. “I think people buy these types of cars because it’s an element of art, as well as something that you can actually use,” says Carlaw. “You can get it in it, you can drive it, you can have fun with it. You can show it. Take people out for dinner in it, etc. In the end, it’s sculpted like a piece of art.” Touring his shop floor, art is exactly what it looks like. The cars made here include the 1955 Belair Convertible, 1957 Belair Convert-  bodyworx professional

ible, 1952 MGTD, 1935 Auburn Speedster, 1935 Auburn 4 passenger Phaeton and a 1934 Mercedes 500K Roadster. “We restore it back to better than new,” Carlaw says. “That’s where we come into it. This body is far better than it ever was new. We also make it so it’s much more user-friendly than new, because it needs to last.” This shop has built just under 5,000 cars since 1981, the majority of them MGs, and during that time his companies have weathered much change. Carlaw has put 27 apprentices through to their full licenses, all while shepherding the shop through three recessions. The business thrives in large part because what he does attracts an upscale market. “We’ve been so for tunate to be able to have interesting ideas, interesting concepts, interesting builds, interesting assets that we purchase, that it attracts the serious players in the world who say, ‘Wow, I can get that!’ And they’re prepared to pay,” says Carlaw.

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Carlaw and his father in the early days, circa 1971. Even then they shared an interest in vintage aircraft.

Campbellford may be an unassuming place to find worldclass innovation, but the pictures on Carlaw’s wall tell the whole story. Cars are not the only projects in his gallery. From its beginnings as a collision repair shop, Carlaw’s innovative approach has helped his businesses grow in other interesting directions. Some of his manufacturing efforts reach loftier heights. “Through my dad’s interest of course spun me into the interest of airplanes,” Carlaw says. You might think it would be neat to have an airplane of your own, but according to Carlaw, you have to jump—or fly—through quite a few hoops first. “I’m the only civilian that owns Canadian Tudor jets,” says Carlaw. “There’s myself, and the Canadian Air Force and a private airline pilot in Seattle, Washington that owns one. And John Travolta owns the other one. I bought 10 of them from National Defense, when they decided they were going to liquidate and sell some.” Airplanes are not the only bizarre project Carlaw’s companies undertake, either. “We do a reasonable amount of work for mostly Canadian movies and some television sets,” Carlaw teases, pointing out pictures of Electronic Train systems, models of the Avro Arrow for use in the Dan Aykroyd film The Arrow, airplanes built for West Edmonton Mall, a few giant electronic gorillas for Sony and what was at the time the biggest video game system ever made. “This is the sort of work my bodyshop gets involved in doing,” grins Carlaw. “Where do you have a job like that? Where do you have a job with that kind of diversity?” Today he orchestrates this multi-faceted autobody approach, balancing the collision repair work of Campbellford Auto Body, the creative developments at Prototype Research and Development and running a Military Memorial Museum. Carlaw also run flying operations through The Canadian Flying Machine Museum at his Aerodrome in Norwood—just 30 minutes from Campbellford—with his wife, Arlene Whidden. “My bodyshop business—my dad’s bodyshop business, is still going today and always will be,” says Carlaw. From collision repair to custom cars to airplanes and film props, Carlaw insists that ultimately it doesn’t matter

where you are if you have the right ideas. “What we have learned is it doesn’t matter where you are. You don’t have to be in downtown Toronto to do what we do. Location is totally unimportant,” Carlaw says. “It’s international word of mouth, spearheaded by the almighty computer.” Carlaw is an inspiration to the next generation of collision repair techs who dream of creative and varied projects. “If you’ve got the combination of the smarts and the hands-on skills, you can do just about whatever you want to do in this world,” advises Carlaw. “Even though it appears like the world is moving at a million miles an hour based on computers, I think you can still do what you want to do when you want to do it and how you want to do it, but you need a lot of facets—information, technology, and to be able to do hands-on work.” For more information on Dave Carlaw and Prototype Research & Development, please visit

“It may have started as a collision repair shop, but Carlaw’s automotive (and aeronautic) empire has grown to affect people and places around the world.”

Dave Carlaw with a model that is an exact replica of the original Brickland car, called a “desktop model,” for serious Brickland collectors. Brickland only made six different colours, and those are the only colours Dave Carlaw paints his models. august 2017    bodyworx professional




Canada’s Champions

The Car Painting competitors at Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg. They won at the Provincial level for a chance to strut their stuff at Nationals.

Students go for Gold at 2017 Skills Canada National Competition


t’s all led up to this. All of the hard work and the time spent building their skills and honing their craft paid off when they stepped onto the competition floor at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC).

Paul Stella of Toyota working with a group of students at Trya-Trade during the National Competition in Winnipeg. The event helps students learn about various skilled trades, in addition to the thrill of the competition.


Competing in the SCNC or at the provincial level events leading up to it is no walk in the park. In fact, it is one of the most demanding, difficult and fulfilling journeys a young tradesperson can pursue. SCNC, which has been compared to the Olympics,  bodyworx professional

By Erin McLaughlin

expects a high degree of dedication, skill and work from its competitors. It is a multi-trade technology competition for students and apprentices across Canada, with competitions in over forty different trades and skills. The first sets of competitions are provincial, with winners in those competitions earning the opportunity to compete nationally. The collision repair industry is represented in two events: Autobody Repair and Car Painting. SCNC’s primar y goal is to promote skilled trades and technologies to Canadian youth and make Canada a world leader in skill development. To do this, competitions are structured to best emulate what is actually going on in their respective industries, focusing on skills that are most necessary for students and the needs of the industry. Competitors in the SCNC and provincial competitions are judged on the quality of their work, use of time, safety precautions, clean up, workmanship and professionalism. In short, the standards very much resemble the ones they’ll encounter once they enter the workforce.



Car painting competitors at the Ontario Provincial competition. Each province hosts its own competition in the months leading up to the National event.

Liann Potts of Enterprise RentA-Car, volunteering at the virtual painting booth at the National Competition in Winnipeg. This booth lets students try car painting, without wasting material or exposing themselves to coatings.

Newfoundland’s Provincial Autobody Repair Gold medalist Robert Hulan (centre) with Silver medalist Patrick Noseworthy (left) and Bronze medalist Jonathan Payne (right). All three are students at College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s.

Competitions couldn’t take place without the selfless dedication of industry volunteers. At the Ontario competition, from left: Bill Speed of Skills Canada, Caleb Fitchett (secondarylevel Autobody Gold medalist), and Sean Slaven and Mark Campoli of Absolute Solutions.

The competition floor at Saskatchewan’s Provincial Autobody Repair competition. The competition was held at the CNH Training Centre in Saskatoon.

“Immense opportunities lie ahead, as students will be a part of cutting edge training and work in the years to come.” – Maria Pacella, Executive Director of Skills Canada Manitoba.

According to Maria Pacella, Executive Director of Skills Canada Manitoba, this is one of the most exciting times for a young technician to join the automotive repair industry. “Given the revolutionary changes in the automotive industry, there is no better time than now to be involved in this exciting industry. Immense opportunities lie ahead, as students will be a part of cutting edge training and work in the years to come,” said Pacella. Speaking directly to students considering careers in the field, she added, “The autobody repair industry will experience many changes in techniques in the coming years; you will have opportunities to become specialists in your field. Your timing could not be better.” Pacella also noted that the newly flourishing skilled trades sector is important for all Canadians. “When young Canadians set a course down a path in skilled trades and technologies, our country’s future flourishes,” she said. “Diverse occupations, ideas and skill sets are what drive innovation and economic prosperity. People with the right skills are what allow Canada to continue to be a global economic leader.” The rich opportunities that Skills Canada can offer students do not end at receiving a medal.

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Medalists at the Nova Scotia Provincial Car Painting competition. From left: Alyse Nauss (Bronze), Nicole Hamilton (Silver) and Steve Bellefontaine (Gold).

Okanagan College students on the podium at the BC Skills competiton. From left: Caleb Loewen (Silver), Andreas Roth (Gold) and Marcel Kaemmerzell (Bronze).

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“The competitions help students get their foot in the door, as the judges and attendees are often people in the industry,” said Bill Speed, an industry advisor for Skills Canada. He spoke of one competitor who had yet to even complete his apprenticeship, but regardless received a job offer after an industry member watched him compete. Shops could certainly benefit from this too, as it provides a perfect opportunity to assess current young talent, open doors for recruitment opportunities and prepare to replace members of the aging industry. Speed added that lifelong friendships often arise out of the competitions, which will continue to help pave the way for a healthy community and tight-knit industry. Further enriching this community, the competitors often return as Skills Canada volunteers to give back and help the next generation. These competitions also give young people a general “heads-up” on what’s going on in the industry, introducing insight they may not receive in a classroom. Of course, this competition could not have happened without dedicated volunteers and supporters. “I would like to acknowledge the hundreds of volunteers and companies that donate funds, parts, materials and equipment



National Medalists

Autobody (Secondary)

Car Painting (Secondary)

• Gold: Gabriel Richer-Guinard • Silver: Martin Krutsch • Bronze: Dan Danley

Gold: Matthew Norris Silver: Myriam Bisson Bronze: Christopher Pittman

Autobody (Post-Secondary)

Car Painting (Post-Secondary)

• Gold: Colin Bailey • Silver: Marc-Andre Benoit • Bronze: Andreas Roth

Gold: Jacob Hooper Silver: Jarred Upshaw Bronze: Catherine Mathewson

to Skills Canada events across the country,” said Leanne Jefferies, who works with Skills Canada on behalf of the collision repair industry. “Together we are making a huge difference in the lives of our young competitors, and showcasing the great career opportunities to tens of thousands of students.” Companies that supported this year’s national competition by supplying the much needed equipment and supplies were AMH Canada, Arslan Automotive, Praxair, Lincoln Electric, 3M Canada, LKQ, Uniram, PPG and SATA Canada. This was also complemented by the financial sponsors of the CCIF Skills Program and many onsite volunteers, including a team from Manitoba Public Insurance. This year, 31 post-secondary Gold winners of the 2016 SCNC will train to qualify as members of WorldSkills Team Canada. The 2017 WorldSkills competition takes place in Abu Dhabi. The collision repair industry is being represented for the first time by two female Team Canada competitors, Vyolaine Dujmovic (Autobody Repair) and Ashely Weber (Car Painting).

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Power! Additive manufacturing may be the future of the auto repair industry By Josh White


ABOVE: Local Motors’ 3-D printed car, Strati. It is electric and composed of just 50 parts. The complete body was printed out as a single part.

magine this scenario: a car rolls into the shop with a seemingly simple problem, such as a single broken bracket on a wiring harness. Laying hands on this bracket, however, proves to be very difficult. It turns out it is only available as a part of an entire assembly, turning a simple fix into a costly problem. But what if you could just print out a new one? It’s not a science fiction story. Nor is it hypothetical. This is a completely real account of a shop that faced this particular challenge, and solved it with 3-D printing. Aeromotive, a company specializing in electrical connectors and wiring harnesses, helped the shop by 3-D printing the bracket and sending it their way. In a video describing the innovative solution, Aeromotive CEO Carl Dumele said, “We 3-D printed a bracket, sent it back to the collision centre and had it turned around in eight hours.

One day. Cost? $150.” This is just one of the potential benefits for 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing as it’s formally known. Christopher Tomko is the Chief Operating Officer for Freshmade 3D, a company specializing in additive manufacturing. He notes that a lot of time can be saved by using services like those offered by his company, especially when it comes to rare and hard-to-find parts. “People are used to spending months or years going through warehouses trying to find a part,” he said. “Here we’re using digital manufacturing to make that part in just a couple of weeks.” These timelines are becoming even shorter as the technology develops. The automotive industry is always moving forward with new technology, and a growing number of companies are getting involved with additive manufacturing.

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Plastic is usually seen as the primary material for 3-D printing, but advancements are allowing for other materials to be used, including metals. Additive manufacturing is not at the stage where it can compete with traditional manufacturing methods when it comes to mass production. However, it’s rapidly becoming the preferred solution for one-offs and small production runs. Local Motors is possibly the most prominent company involved with 3-D printing in the automotive industry. The company is not just producing parts, but building entire 3-D printed cars. Strati, the world’s first 3-D printed car, was built over six days in front of a live audience. This feat caught the attention of many in the auto industry. According to Local Motors, Strati is made of 75 percent 3-D printed materials. Unlike traditional vehicles, which have up to 6,000 parts, Strati used only used 50 for its vehicle, with the body being printed as one solid piece. Classic car aficionado and comedian Jay Leno has been singing the praises of 3-D printing for years. Parts for antique automobiles are often difficult or impossible to find. Machinists can make new ones, if you pay their fees, but there’s still the chance they won’t get it quite right. According to Leno, 3-D printing does away with the guesswork. “The scanner can measure about 50,000 points per second at a density of 160,000 dots per inch (dpi) to create a highly detailed digital model,” he wrote in an article on the topic. “The 3-D printer makes an exact copy of a part in plastic, which we then send out to create a mold. Some machines can even make a replacement part in cobalt-chrome with the direct laser sintering process. Just feed a plastic wire—for a steel part you use metal wire—into the appropriate laser cutter.” While the technology is still developing, we may soon see the day when 3-D printers solve many challenges for repairers. Taylor Moss of Estify looks at it this way: “Typically, repairs get held up most by the smallest and seemingly most insignificant parts, and the ability to 3-D print those parts on site would work wonders for using actual OEM specification rivets, screws, clips and retainers.” Whether it is through the production of small parts, such as brackets and screws, or the ability to print custom parts on-demand, 3-D printing is sure to have an impact on the future of the repair industry.


Jay Leno is well-known as a classic car collector. His personal garage includes both a 3-D scanner and a 3-D printer. This combination makes it possible in some cases to create exact duplicates of hard-to-find parts.  bodyworx professional

Freshmade 3D turns out numerous parts through additive manufacturing, including this metalized V8 engine block.

Carl Dumele, CEO of Aeromotive, holds up two parts for visual inspection. The part on the left is the original, damaged bracket. The other is a new part Aeromotive turned out with its 3-D printer.

From left: Wayne Faria, Victoria Blakeley, Andy Johnson and John Yamaguchi. These are just some of the individuals who make up Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre’s inspiring team.

Lifelong Careers Andy Johnson to retire after 35 years with Don Valley North Toyota


on Valley North Collision Repair Centre does not simply offer their employees a job. Hard-working individuals employed with this company will find themselves stepping into a fulfilling, lucrative, and long-lasting career. In fact, Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre is recognized for fostering individuals who build lifelong careers with pride, passion, and skill. Andy Johnson is just one of the passionate individuals that works at this first rate collision centre. First a technician, and later a manager, Johnson will be retiring in December after a long and successful career of 35 years. Johnson has shown time and time again that with a little work and the right company, your aspirations, large and small, to nurture a successful career can be achieved. “Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre gives its employees the opportunity to stay with the Collision Centre or offers many exciting opportunities to advance with in its Weins Canada group of dealerships,” says Johnson. But what truly made his career meaningful were the talented individuals he worked with every day and the relationships he built. “The people I work with make my job fulfilling,” said Johnson. “I’ve worked with some of these people for many years, and it has been incredibly satisfying.”

Throughout his time at Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre, Johnson has made himself a valued and vital part of the team, both through hard work and the various opportunities presented by Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre. “Andy has helped fine tune the shop and training processes,” says Wayne Faria, Body Shop Operations Manager, speaking to just one of Johnson’s accomplishments.

“The people I work with make my job fulfilling.” – Andy Johnson. Johnson isn’t the only Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre employee who has been with the company for a long time. Victoria Blakeley has worked in the trade for 29 years. She joined Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre two years ago, and was quickly recognized for her leadership skills and promoted to management. Despite the perceived male-dominated nature of the industry, she is a key team leader in the shop. “At Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre there is no gender at all,” said Blakely. “I’m treated with the same respect as male technicians.”


John Yamaguchi has worked with the company for 40 years, and was one of the primary drivers in getting a Toyota collision repair facility opened in Canada. Yamaguchi grew up in Japan, and that’s where he started his collision repair career. “To me, quality is the most important aspect. At Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre, we do good, very efficient work. The quality is the best here,” he says. Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre is where people work together. Yamaguchi noted that Johnson has been incredibly helpful over the years. “Andy has supported me with so many things, like learning how to read estimates,” he says. Johnson’s attitude and willingness to work with the team will be missed at Don Valley North Toyota-it’s no secret that Johnson was a strong employee, leader and friend throughout the course of his career. Johnson plans to keep busy regardless; with hopes of using his newly found extra time to get into real estate. Andy Johnson, John Yamaguchi and Victoria Blakeley are inspiring examples that demonstrate with hard work, dedication, and the right training, anyone can build a long-lasting and lucrative career with Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre. They also enjoy working for Don Valley North Collision Repair Centre a trusted company that values safety, quality and efficiency just as much as they do.

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The process isn’t difficult, just different

S ABOVE: Annealing the aluminum is a critical first stage in cosmetic aluminum repair. This process softens the metal and makes it easier to work with. However, annealing should not be used on structural parts, for exactly that reason.

ince the 1900s, aluminum has been used off and on at least three times for domestic vehicles. A 1910 Model T Ford had an aluminum hood, so aluminum is nothing new to our trade. Now we’re in 2017 and aluminum is being used again. It’s time to learn some new skills and take the mystery out of aluminum repair. We must realize that aluminum, high-strength steel (HSS) and mild steel are very different materials. This makes the procedure for each repair different. Not difficult, just different. The first difference is that aluminum must be annealed before it can be worked or welded. If you don’t do this, the repair will crack. Period. This applies to all types of aluminum, from the 1000 to the 9000 series. Not all of those alloys are used in automotive applications. For more on this, please see “Aluminum Designations” on page 33.

The first step in annealing aluminum is to heat the damaged area up to 400 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (204 to 315 Celsius). That maximum temperature is important, as the alloying element may fume out. Zinc, for example, is used in the 7000 series and will fume out at 788 degrees Fahrenheit (about 420 Celsius). Less heat is better than more in this case, but you must heat it. The next step in annealing is to rapidly cool the area using a wet cloth or compressed air. A digital thermometer is a great tool to check the temperature. Just point the hand held gun at the surface, pull the trigger and it will read the surface temperature of the aluminum. Annealing essentially softens the area to be repaired. The interesting thing with aluminum is that you can go back as many times as you need to soften the area.

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A training session at Clearview Collision in Stayner. Ontario. John Poole says MIG welding is the best way to start out when it comes to cosmetic repairs to aluminum.

During a training session conducted by John Poole at Majestic Collision in Guelph, Ontario. Aluminum becomes very malleable after annealing, making it much easier to work.

Grind all the welds smooth after welding and hammer and dolly the weld to get it ready for metal finishing or filling.

Once the panel’s welds are smooth and filled, it’s ready for the paint department to complete the repair.

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Now you will find that the aluminum is very soft and malleable. You can move it around very easily at this point. You’ll need to get the feel of the aluminum. This will take a lighter touch than working with HSS or mild steel. Once you get used to working with aluminum, you won’t look forward to working with other metals. You can use all of the same techniques you use when working steel. MIG welding is the best way to start out when it comes to aluminum. This works the same way as welding steel, where you balance the wire speed to the voltage. Also the aluminum has to be clean, clean, clean. Use a stainless steel wire brush to get the area clean. It has to be white with no grey shadow in the repair area. Not cleaning enough is usually the biggest mistake people make when trying to weld aluminum. If you think it’s clean, clean it some more. If the area isn’t clean, you’ll see that the MIG wire will just ball up on the surface of the aluminum or the weld will be very dirty. The aluminum oxide burns off around 6,200 degrees Fahrenheit (3,246 Celsius), and the aluminum melts between 1050 and 1150 degrees Fahrenheit (565 to 620 Celsius), which is what causes this problem. You may also have to make a few changes to your machine. The first change is to use 100 percent argon instead of a mixed gas. Then you will need to install a Teflon liner into the whip and change the contact tips to .030 or whatever size wire you’re going to use. Now you can make a seam, stitch or plug weld like you would with steel. Make sure that your MIG welder is at least 200 amps. Remember, you must do a destruction test on the welds on a sample piece to make sure that your welds have good penetration. Aluminum requires a lot of heat to make the weld. The nature of aluminum means the heat will travel throughout the panel so don’t be alarmed if you put your hand on the panel away from the weld and it’s burning hot! This is one thing to keep in mind when you’re welding. Your weld area will get progressively hotter the more you weld. Make sure to give the aluminum time to cool down or you will get too much heat into the panel and it will melt away. With the welding complete, you can grind the weld smooth. I like to use a 50 grit disc with a touch of WD-40 on it to keep the disc from loading up. Aluminum is very soft, so it will clog the discs very rapidly. The WD-40 will extend the disc life by about four times. Since you’re using a lubricant, you must wash off the ground area with wax and grease remover before you go proceed.



The crew at Mitek Autobody in Kitchener show off their certificates after an aluminum welding training session conducted by John Poole. Poole says experienced techs rarely have any trouble adapting to the material.

The next step is to hammer and dolly the weld and get it into shape for metal finishing or for the filling steps. Since the aluminum is soft, it is very easy to metal finish the repair. If you are going to apply filler you can go directly to the clean surface. If you want to make a better repair, apply epoxy primer to the aluminum and then apply your filler over the epoxy primer. This extra step will triple the life of your repair. As with every repair, you must keep structural integrity in mind. What I’ve discussed in this article only applies to cosmetic repairs. In other words, repairs to the outer skins of the vehicle. When you’re into structural repairs on aluminum, you’ll be replacing parts instead of repairing them. Remember, annealing makes the aluminum soft. It wouldn’t be a good idea to anneal a door post and straighten it, as it would collapse if it was in another collision. For a door post repair, for example, you would replace the pillar that was damaged or any reinforcement panel in the structure.

Aluminum alloys are categorized based on their characteristics, such as the alloy’s response to thermal and mechanical treatment and the primary alloying element added to the aluminum, with various characteristics indicated by different numbers. The chart at right provides a broad overview of these materials. Some alloys are not used in automotive applications.

Aluminum Designations Alloy Series

Principal Alloying Element


99.000% minimum Aluminum




Silicon Plus Copper and/or Magnesium






Unused Series






Other Elements

John Poole is the President of Tinbasher, a training organization dedicated to helping autobody technicians perform the highest-quality and safest repairs. He is also the author of AutoBody Sheet Metal Repair Concepts, a complete and concise manual covering the basic elements of autobody sheet metal. For more information, please visit august 2017    bodyworx professional




Inside Out

Custom interiors can add class, cool or comfort By Millie Davies


odyworx Professional recently caught up with the Toronto-based aftermarket experts at TM Custom Auto Trim and Glass, to learn about life in the custom interiors business. TM Custom is highly experienced in the custom interiors world. Owner Tony Macri–the name behind the company’s initials–first set up shop in 1958. His company is the same age as his cherished ’58 Corvette that sits in the shop today. Macri’s son, Anthony, is also part of the inner workings of the shop; the duo and their team specialize in restoring, customizing and modernizing the interiors of new, antique, vintage and muscle cars. TM Custom has managed to remain a staple in the Greater Toronto Area in the 40plus years they’ve been in business. Macri

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acknowledges that trends in the auto market have affected their business since they began operating. When the shop first opened its doors, electric cars were still basically a pipe dream, Detroit was the undisputed capital of the automobile world and Jimmy Bryan was first past the post at the Indianapolis 500. “A big change we noticed in the 1970s was in the vinyl top business,” reminisces Macri. “Back then, we were pumping out 12 cars a day with vinyl roofs–a factory production line, if you like!” As auto trends changed, the desire for padded, moulded vinyl roofs waned and a fascination with sunroofs grew. “More and more people were looking for sunroof installation,” Macri recalls. “It became a large part of our business.”

There’s more to custom interiors than quality materials. A careful consideration of hues, both of the material and the existing paint, is essential to an eyecatching job.

INTERIORS Today, the shop is an authorized Webasto sunroofs dealer and after 37 years in the sunroof business, TM Custom is dubbed “the sunroof specialists.” While power sunroof installation and convertible tops are enduringly popular, operating in the Toronto climate makes this a seasonal fixture. From November to March, temperatures drop to the negatives and clients become more interested in heated seats and plush fabrication jobs. TM Custom’s work often comes from local dealership referrals or insurance claim repairs, and right now, it’s leatherwork that consumes most of the day-to-day. This can make for detailed workmanship. “We make leather in-house for hot rods, used cars and all sorts of automobiles,” says Macri. The team likes to chat with customers about their expectations before work begins, making sure to match leathers to suit the paint job hues. “The Scottish and the Italian hides give a stunning end result,” says Macri. “It’s a great finish.” As a family run business, TM Custom has passed interior fabrication skills from one generation to the next. When it comes to revealing a “favourite” custom job to date, the younger Macri won’t be swayed. “We’re proud of every car we do–from a $75 motorcycle seat to a $15,000 restoration job on a hot rod!” he grins. Tellingly though, he does let slip his favorite aspect of the job: “To be quite honest? Seeing my dad at 79 years old with such a lasting passion for the business–that makes me proud.” For more information, please visit


A custom interior can be made to suit any car, from modern hot rods to vintage classics.

Customer interiors can appeal to some customers who would never get a custom exterior. A customized interior provides a touch of elegance and increased comfort.

The colour of the interior doesn’t always need to match the exterior. Sometimes the goal can be to complement it, rather than match it.

Some tools of the trade you won’t see at most bodyshops: a wide range of leather stock, and the right thread to go along with it.

august 2017    bodyworx professional





Restoration By Rick Francoeur

Gary Morgan, the vehicle’s owner, with the restored 1937 Huey Long Cord. The vehicle possesses distinctive styling and boasts technological advancements that wouldn’t be seen in many vehicles until the 1960s.

A famous one-of-a-kind 1937 Cord reappears in Canada


ome vehicles gain notoriety for engine innovation or revolutionary design. Others become famous because of their owners. In those cases the cars can become almost as legendary as the owners themselves. This is the situation with a one-of-a-kind car that played a part in the political history of the American Deep South, seemed to vanish into thin air, and then reappeared 80 years later in Canada.

because of its moneymaking possibilities. In 1924, when he was just 30 years of age, Cord took over the day-to-day operations of the Auburn Auto brand. Rather than focus on the conservative designs of the day, Cord focused on cosmetics. Almost overnight, Auburns were transformed into some of the best-looking cars on the road. They were technical and styling masterpieces. By 1929 Cord was looking to expand the

“This particular Cord had been commissioned to be bulletproof.” Understanding the importance of this mystery car means first understanding the history of the man, and the manufacturer, that created it. In the roaring ‘20s in Auburn, Indiana, a man named Errett Lobban Cord was drawing notoriety as part-promoter, part-visionary. He was a flamboyant salesman and business tycoon who was drawn to the car-making business

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company to include his own name on the roster. Thus the brand regarded by many auto experts as the coolest and most revolutionary brand nobody’s ever heard of, the Cord Automobile Corporation, was born. At the same time as Cord’s star was rising in the automotive world, 800 miles to the south in Louisiana one of the most outspoken and

CUSTOM CORNER colourful politicians in US history was also climbing through the ranks. Huey Long, nicknamed “The Kingfish,” was elected as a US Senator in 1932 after serving five years as Governor of Louisiana. A vocal Democrat and supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Long’s agenda was received with well-publicized outrage by the Ku Klux Klan, who publicly denounced him as having “un-American views on authority.” By early 1935, the two men’s lives were about to intersect. Under the shadow of growing threats by his enemies towards Long, the State of Louisiana commissioned a custom-made vehicle. It was a one-of-a-kind Cord, featuring an astounding 18 automotive firsts. This particular Cord had been commissioned to be bulletproof. Construction began on the hand-built vehicle, but fate intervened. On September 8, 1935, a single assailant shot Senator Long in the stomach. He died two days later. Meanwhile, construction on his vehicle continued, and, upon its completion two years later in April 1937, the Cord Automotive Company delivered the vehicle to the State of Louisiana. With no clear mandate for its use, the Cord was turned over to the US Coast Guard. The vehicle was used to transport dignitaries until it was sold in 1944 to a senior officer. The officer was killed in World War II, having barely had a chance to drive the luxurious automobile. The officer’s widow placed the Cord in storage, where it remained until 1963 when she opted to trade the car in on a brand-new Oldsmobile. The owner of the New Brunswick dealership recognized the significance of the Cord, and kept the vehicle in private storage, never driven, until 1984 when he decided to downsize his collection. Enter Canadian businessman Gary Morgan, of the small farming community of Chilliwack, British Columbia. Morgan had heard of the collection and in particular the rumours of the historic, and possibly cursed, 1937 Huey Long Cord. With little patience for superstition, Morgan purchased the Cord as a restoration project, and returned to Chilliwack where the Cord spent 30-plus years being slowly restored to its original grandeur. “I bought the car as a project in ’84 and I’ve been working on it ever since,” says Morgan. Aside from its illustrious pedigree, the 1937 Cord is one of the most important automotive accomplishments in history. The car boasts a total of 18 automotive firsts, including hidden antennae, a unibody design, hidden headlights, a concealed gas cap, electric shift, no running boards, front-opening hood (which led to the nickname “coffin nosed Cord”),

first North American production front wheel drive, first detachable powertrain and the first vehicle with no visible hinges on the outside but instead built into the doors of the car. All of these significant milestones make the Cord a “rocket ship of the 1930s” with a number of groundbreaking design and technological elements that weren’t achieved by its competitors until the 1960s. Morgan suffered a series of strokes, and in late 2016 he had the car shipped to 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The job of recreating the Cord fell to expert fabricator and one-half of the 360 ownership team, Daryl Francoeur. “We looked everywhere to find pictures of this car to use as templates in the restoration but there simply aren’t any. It’s been in storage essentially since 1941, and although there are other 1937 Cords, this one is 100 percent unique. It truly is a one-of-a-kind car and the restoration has involved hand rebuilding the car. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without a picture reference,” says Francoeur. The Huey Long Cord made its very first public appearance in its 80th birthday year on March 28, 2017 at the Vancouver International Auto Show as one of the featured specialty vehicles. Morgan is upbeat about the finished vehicle. “The car is an important and significant part of history, and it’s fantastic it’s finally done. The team at 360 has performed wonderfully and the workmanship is remarkable.”


The 1937 Cord featured, among other automotive firsts, no visible hinges. This is a common feature on today’s automobiles.

“Morgan had heard the rumours of the historic, and possibly cursed, 1937 Huey Long Cord.”

Rick Francoeur is the owner of 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford, British Columbia. 360 Fabrication is Canada’s largest custom car shop. For more information, please visit 360Fabrication com.

august 2017    bodyworx professional


School Profile

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Business Class Georgian College’s Automotive Business School focuses on leadership and management By Josh White


echnical skills are the mainstay of the collision repair industry, but the business needs leaders and managers as well. An individual with both technical aptitude and an understanding of management principles is sure to go far. Georgian College is home to the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC), offering programs focused on the business side of the automotive aftermarket. ABSC began in 1985, offering a two-year Automotive Business Diploma program designed for entry-level to mid-level management positions. In 2003, the school took it a step further and began offering a four-year Honours Bachelor of Business Administrations Degree for automotive management. The four-year degree expands beyond the two-year program, diving into toplevel management and strategy. Between the two programs, the school receives roughly 250 new students every

year. Lecture-based courses generally have between 20 and 60 students per class. In the labs and more hands-on classes, there are fewer students per class, allowing for more one-on-one interaction with the instructor. Joe Lauzon is the Marketing Specialist at Georgian College. In recent interview with Bodyworx Professional, Joe detailed the school’s objectives. “Students gain a business education, but specialized in the automotive industry, focusing primarily on three main sectors: dealerships/ retail, aftermarket and manufacturer,” said Lauzon. “They gain business skills as well as very specialized skills around sales, fixed operations and dealer management systems. Students have an opportunity to meet and connect with the industry to gain employment prior to graduation through networking events, industry conferences and up to twelve months of paid co-op work.”

ABOVE: ABSC students at the 2017 Georgian Auto Show. It is the largest outdoor student-run automotive show in North America.

august 2017    bodyworx professional



School Profile

An aerial view of the 2017 Georgian Auto Show. The event attracts many industry leaders, providing numerous networking opportunities for students.

Representatives of iA-SAL Group, a provider of aftermarket insurance and vehicle protection programs. Also shown are students from the Automotive Business School of Canada. The school’s programs place the emphasis on business and draws on numerous members of industry to serve as guest speakers and lecturers.

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Technical skills are definitely important, but skills in communication, customer service and basic business operations will help technicians stand out. This distinction from other strictly technical programs is what sets Georgian College apart. Students learn the skills needed to climb their way through the ranks in a shop or a large multi-store operation, and even potentially to run a facility or start their own business. At Georgian College, students gain an understanding of the vehicles they are working on as well as the broader automotive industry. Along with the courses offered in the set programs, there is immense support from the industry. ABSC has formed many relationships that benefit the students. These relationships provide students with co-op opportunities in a variety of areas. Georgian works to meet its students’ needs, providing them with experience in areas including retail, manufacturing, aftermarket and finance. These industry relationships help bring in guest speakers from a variety of areas to offer their own first-hand experience. Leaders in the industry have a lot to teach from their years of work and are frequently willing to share it with the young industry leaders of tomorrow. Students also attend industry conferences, providing the opportunity to both network and keep up with the latest developments.

School Profile

The focus of the Automotive Business School of Canada is to produce the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, through both lecture-format courses and hands-on technical skill development.

ABSC annually presents the largest outdoor student-run automotive show in North America, providing students with a chance to show off what they have learned. The Georgian Auto Show also allows the students to put their networking skills to use. With guest speakers, awards, and live demonstrations, the annual event equips students with experience that will go towards furthering their careers. ABSC alum Neil Dunn has had great success since graduating in 2010, having purchased his own franchised facility, which he now runs. He highly recommends the programs. “It is one of the best automotive marketing programs in North America,” said Dunn. “I worked with people from British Columbia and even on exchange from Japan that came to attend the school.” Regarding what makes the ABSC course of study unique, Dunn said the faculty and the co-op program set it apart. “The professors would be in the industry for 20 to 30 years and then start teaching. Instead of just reading a textbook, you would have them talking about their own experiences,” said Dunn. On the co-op program, he said “It’s unreal. You come out of school thinking ‘this is what I want to do.’” According to Dunn, the most valuable thing they teach you is the ability to learn. “In this industry, everything develops so quickly and you have to learn to adapt with it. At Georgian, they show you how to learn,” he said. For more information on the courses offered, please visit

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“It’s unreal. You come out of school thinking ‘this is what I want to do.” — Neil Dunn, Automotive Business School of Canada graduate.

Scholarships and Awards Through industry relationships that have developed with the Automotive Business School of Canada, over $130,000 of scholarships are offered every year. The requirements differ depending on which organization is offering the scholarship. They are frequently dependent on the student’s location, academic record, history of giving back to the community through volunteer work and interest in the automotive industry. For more information, please visit

august 2017    bodyworx professional



SEMA PREVIEW SEMA Ignited in 2016. The official after-party for the SEMA Show, SEMA Ignited is the only part of the show open to the public.

Viva Las

SEMA Show 2017 set to heat up the desert with cool customs and new products


By Josh White


he 2017 SEMA Show has a lot to offer for collision repair professionals. This year’s show runs from October 31 to November 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many events are offered, including educational presentations, the New Products Showcase, and over 2,400 exhibitors. There are a vast number of educational presentations coming to this year’s SEMA Show. Of high interest to repair professionals is the Repairer Driven Education series, presented by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). A statement from SCRS says the content specifically focuses on issues and information

that are relevant to collision repair professionals operating in today’s marketplace, and appeals to the diverse perspectives that exist within the collision repair industry. There will be both paid classes and

“The New Products Showcase is always one of the biggest draws at the SEMA Show.”

Darryl Simmons, Publisher of Bodyworx Professional magazine, and Willy Gallo, Body Shop Manager of Pinewood Collision Centre in Thunder Bay at the 2016 SEMA Show. The SEMA Show offers numerous networking opportunities.

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free seminars being held that offer content based on feedback from previous SEMA attendees. SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg notes that the courses focus on practical application that can be put to use immediately.


The SEMA Show excels at displays of classics, custom-builds and exotics, like this classic during the official SEMA Cruise in 2016 (above) and this tricked-out version of the famous Batmobile (left).

A small slice of the enormous show floor at the 2016 SEMA Show. The 2017 event promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

No matter which style of car you favour, SEMA has got you covered. This cool ‘Vette was on display at the 2016 show.


“The classes include discussions on the challenges faced in the industry with speakers giving tangible solutions and advice that the attendees can use as soon as they get back to their shops,” said Schulenberg in an interview with Bodyworx Professional. The free seminars offered this year include “The creation of car colours of the next 3 to 5 model years,” discussing how trending colours in other industry end up impacting the automotive colour palette, and “Choosing a Clearcoat is not so Clear: Helping You Understand Your Choices” which promises to provide attendees with an understanding of the differences between various clearcoats. The seminar covers the substrates to which the coat is being applied, how the vehicle’s purpose can be a deciding factor in what to use and factors that impact the longevity of the coat. The Repairer Driven Education series also includes “Keep It Simple – focus on doing the basic things well.” This is an interactive session highlighting the importance of going back to basics and linking quality of repair to productivity and efficiency. SCRS will also host a number of other events during SEMA that promise to be great networking opportunities for repairers, including the Industry Conference and the Red Carpet Industry Awards Breakfast. On November 2, SCRS will serve as host for the Sky Villa After Party, a networking opportunity for those in the industry to get together in the gorgeous Sky Villa suites at the Westgate Hotel. The New Products Showcase is always one of the biggest draws at the SEMA Show. In fact, there’s so many that it can be difficult to sort them out. The SEMA Show has a solution for that problem. Attendees will be provided with scanners that they will use to scan products of interest. At the end of the show, attendees can receive a print-out of the items scanned, and key information such as how to locate and contact the exhibitors. In other words, if it catches your eye at least once, you won’t forget about it the next day! Closing the day on October 31 and November 1 will be a special event titled “Brew Talks.” Jeff Allen of the popular podcast SkidMarks will interview various industry personalities during the sessions. Attendees are invited to buy a drink, pull up a chair and listen to what are sure to be informative and entertaining discussions. For more information on the 2017 SEMA Show, please visit august 2017    bodyworx professional



CONTINUING EDUCATION Many of today’s vehicles are equipped with cameras and sensors to ensure a safer drive. I-CAR’s scanning course outlines the care that must be taken to properly calibrate all of these systems. Photo courtesy of I-CAR.

Module One Evolving Industry Technology • Identify OEMs that require scans • Identify the advanced safety systems on modern vehicles • Explain why diagnostic scans are becoming a requirement



By Erin McLaughlin


-CAR’s Introduction to Diagnostics and Scan Tools is an online onehour course that examines the importance of scanning and calibration. Cars are more complex than ever before, thanks to increased safety features and advanced electronics. Scanning and calibration tools have become increasingly vital parts of a technician’s toolkit. The first module in the course develops a case for the importance of pre- and post-repair scanning. For example, a total of 20 OEMs have committed to making automatic emergency braking standard by 2020. Repairers must be prepared for technological advances of this nature. That means having the tools and skills needed to detect problems with these systems and to properly calibrate them. There is a lot more to the health of a car than its exterior. According to Mark Hodgins, a course instructor for I-CAR, many things can go wrong when a car is involved in an accident. Not all of these are visible to the naked eye.


“A million things happen to the brain of a car when it’s in a collision,” says Hodgins. “You need to know if the brain is broken, as well as the body. When you fall down the stairs, and you’re sore, you’re not going to know what’s wrong internally until you get an x-ray. Similarly, if it turns out you have a fractured ankle; you’re not going to know whether it’s healed until you get a follow up x-ray. It’s the same with pre- and post-repair scans.” The second module provides an overview of standing operating procedures for scanning and calibration. Included in the module is a PDF of instructions shops can use for standardizing their diagnostic process. The third module looks into scan tool capabilities and discusses the differences between OEM and aftermarket scanners. Module four outlines possible limitations, and other steps technicians must take to ensure the scanning and calibration process is as reliable as possible, such as practicing cleanliness and avoiding contamination. For more information on I-CAR, please visit their website at  bodyworx professional

• Define pre- and post-repair scans and calibrations • Recognize the benefits of pre- and post-repair scans Module Two Diagnostic Overview • Explain how standard operating procedures can benefit everyone in the shop • Explain steps for a facility to develop these procedures Module Three Scan Tool Capabilities and Scans • Explain the different capabilities of aftermarket scan tools • Determine what OEM scan tools are required • Recognize that a technician must use multiple scan tools Module Four Options for a Repair Facility • Resources required to perform in-house diagnostics • How multi-store operations can have diagnostic technicians who travel between facilities • Independent diagnostic special ists who perform diagnostics for a repair facility • The importance of compliance with OEM diagnostic requirements


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PursUing Passion Nick Irwin found a new career by going outside his comfort zone. By Erin McLaughlin

I Nick Irwin at Fix Auto St. Catharines. Always looking to move forward in his career, one of his current goals includes learning how to prepare estimates.

“Nick has a great attitude, an open mind, and a willingness to learn and adapt.” — Johnny D’Ambrosio, co-owner of Fix Auto St. Catharines.

t’s not often that people have the opportunity to make a fruitful career out of their most loved hobby. Nick Irwin spent a lot of time repairing cars in his backyard while working at a restaurant for income, but eventually grew curious about career alternatives. “I wanted change,” says Irwin. “My heart was always set on cars, and I realized that I wanted to get outside my comfort zone. Then there was an opportunity, and I just took it.” The opportunity was with Fix Auto St. Catharines, who absorbed Irwin into the shop’s self-described “young, talented squad of technicians.” Irwin has worked for this third generation family-owned business for about 18 months and is already an asset to the team, with a wide variety of responsibilities, from production management to bodywork. Irwin has always loved working on cars, so finally making the leap to professional status must have been like a dream come true. His new career has enabled him to leave his comfortable niche at the restaurant and follow his true passions. “I was too comfortable at my old job, which is so different from the shop,” he says. “I love just being at work. I never think, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to go to work.’ Every day is a new challenge.” New challenges seem to suit Irwin very well. Johnny D’Ambrosio co-owns Fix Auto St. Catharines with his father. He lists the qualities that have helped Irwin

find success in the shop environment. “Nick has a great attitude, an open mind and a willingness to learn and adapt,” says D’Ambrosio. Irwin has several future goals, speaking to his dedication to personal and professional growth. “In the future, I would like to take on a management role,” says Irwin. “For now, I’m learning about the business side of things with Johnny’s help, and I’m also learning how to write estimates.” As with many in the industry, Irwin has found that his experiences as a technician working in a shop has improved his life, and not just in terms of his career. “I think I’ve become more of an adult,” said Irwin. “I’ve learned to be more responsible. You have to learn to take care of things because if one person isn’t doing their job, it all falls apart. It’s helped me to become a leader.” Irwin firmly believes that there are always ways to improve, whether it’s as an individual or as a team. The collision repair industry places a lot of importance on creativity and critical thinking, something that may surprise people who have an old-fashioned idea of the business. The chance to find creative solutions to problems is part of what makes every day so exciting for Irwin. “Once we know better, we do better,” he says. “Every day is an adventure and a challenge. Working at the restaurant was comfortable, but there’s no way I’d ever go back.”

August 2017    bodyworx professional



Pay it Forward Find a mentor, then be a mentor and watch your stock rise By Mike Davey


ccording to Eddie Lennox, “the greatest reward in life is helping others and paying it forward.” Lennox was the founder of Service King, one of the largest collision operators in the US. Service King’s President, Jeff McFadden, quoted his words during his presentation at the second day of IBIS 2017. IBIS is an international gathering held annually that brings together some of the collision industry’s best and brightest from around the world. In his session, McFadden discussed the 52-week Service King Apprentice Development Program, the company’s approach to growing its own technicians. Service King

You may already be in the industry, or you might be considering it for a future career. In either case you can benefit from finding a mentor. This is true even if you’ve been working at your trade for the last 20 years … unless you think you already know everything. If that’s you, then I have two things to tell you. One, you’re wrong. Two, there’s no way on Earth you’ll benefit from mentoring until you knock that idea out of your head. The first step in finding a mentor is to talk to other people in the industry. They don’t have to be older than you. They don’t even have to be “more” experienced. In fact, they only need two qualities to serve as a

at all. Not every lesson you learn will be a good one. That’s a big part of why you should have more than one mentor. Two mentors can act as a check against each other. Listen to both of them (and everyone you meet), but always make up your own mind. Once you’ve had at least one mentor, it’s time to pay it forward. There at least two benefits for you when you mentor someone else. I’ve served as a mentor to a number of people over the years, and it’s very satisfying to watch someone improve, knowing you played at least a small part. That’s the first benefit. The second is that it will help you advance in your

Conversation is the key, not a formal arrangement. Talk to as many people as you can. currently has 300 employees, now either on the program or already graduated. McFadden described it as “very inspiring to be able to change lives.” Discussing the elements of success, McFadden described how the program was built around localising the approach and developing an in-depth curriculum. “We believe that this alone adds some concrete,” said McFadden. It’s an interesting idea. Instead of relying on finding fully-trained and experienced technicians, Service King seeks out people with enthusiasm for the business, and then trains them with the skills they’ll need to succeed in the company’s many busy shops. While most of us don’t have the same level of resources as Service King, we can still realize the value of mentoring. This applies both to those able to mentor the next generation and to those who can benefit from having a mentor.

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mentor. First, their experiences must be different from your own. It doesn’t need to be “more,” but it does need to be “different.” The second quality, of course, is that they must be willing to mentor you. The relationship doesn’t have to be formal. There’s an old saying that the first school was a log with a teacher at one end and a student at the other. Conversation is the key, not a formal arrangement. Talk to as many people as you can. I guarantee you will find at least one person who has something to teach you about the industry, how to advance your career and how to do your job better than before. Find as many mentors as you can. Remember earlier when I said you don’t know everything? Neither will your mentors. If they’re worthwhile mentors, there will be gaps in their knowledge that they’re still filling in. Just as important, they may have opinions that simply won’t do you any good

career. You’re building contacts. Maybe that green kid that you helped will open a shop one day and bring you onboard as management. I know several shops where this exact scenario has played out. It will help you in your current job too. When it’s time to hand out bonuses or promote someone, who do you think management will choose? I’d bet it’s going to be the one who took time to mentor the less experienced staff and thereby elevated the entire shop, rather than the one who only concentrated on their own work.

Mike Davey is the editor of Bodyworx Professional. He can be reached at 905-5490454 or via email at editor@

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