Giving your vehicle to a body shop can be stressful. Whether you’ve been in an accident or just dinged your door, you want your car back quickly and as good as new.
Frank and Julie Loane, owners of Frank & Bill’s Auto Collision Center on Mountain Road, strive to make the experience of repairing a damaged vehicle as easy as possible, taking care of every aspect of the process with excellence in workmanship and customer service.
It takes a team of compassionate and knowledgeable staff in the front of the shop, and highly-skilled, trained and passionate technicians behind the scenes, to provide the level of quality that Frank & Bill’s is known for.
“I think it’s hard for people to understand what it really takes to get their car through the entire process, but there are so many factors that play a role in getting it done right,” explained Frank.
Knowing that it’s being done right is worth significant peace of mind, and when your car comes to Frank & Bill’s, you can be confident that the work being done is precise and to standard. Maintaining such a high standard requires regular training, education and certification for everyone on the team.
One of those team members is Hank McClenny, a structural body technician who has been with Frank & Bill’s for more than a decade. An Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) platinum level structural technician, McClenny is also Ford aluminum certified, aluminum certified, and has earned welding certifications in steel and aluminum structural repair.
“As long as I’ve been in the industry, they’ve always wanted people to do training and it’s gotten more and more as the technology in cars has continued to grow,” McClenny explained, before working on a rear panel of an SUV.
In high school, he was interested in working on cars and spent a couple of years in vocational-tech, which set him on a path for his career.
“I actually started learning how to paint, and then got hired in a body shop and learned how to do bodywork,” he said. “Every car comes in different - no two accidents are the same - so that keeps you on your toes and keeps things interesting.”
The evolution of technology and materials continues to keep him on his toes as well. Repairing steel is significantly different than working with aluminum, for example.
“It’s lighter and the molecules in the metal are totally different, so the repair process is different,” McClenny explained. “You use different tools - totally different - a whole separate set of tools. That way you don’t cross-contaminate and mix the two together, because you can cause corrosion issues.”
This type of attention to detail ensures that any structural work is sound and provides a perfect foundation for refinisher Tom Novotny and his team to prep and paint. An I-Car platinum-certified refinish technician, Novotny also began his training in vo-tech, has been with Frank & Bill’s for 16 years
“As a kid, I was getting hot-rod magazines; I was just fascinated by cars,” Novotny said. “I went to vo-tech, and I went out to work in my second year. I was only 17, and by the time I was 19, I was a painter.”
A PPG, AkzoNobel Sikkens, and Nexa certified technician, Novotny started out doing everything from wet sanding, buffing, taping, painting - everything but washing the car. These days, he said he sees cars and colors everywhere and can’t help but think about the color-match calculations.
“You see colors driving down the road, and we’ve got to try and duplicate them. Some of the colors are crazy,” remarked Novotny. “There are four- and five-stage paint jobs out there, where it takes four or five different base coats to duplicate that color.”
But like everything at Frank & Bill’s, precision is the emphasis in every aspect of the process. Every member of the team is focused on getting things done right the first time, getting you back on the road with a car that is as good as it was the day it came off the lot.
Frank & Bill’s Auto Collision Center is located at 3306 Mountain Road in Pasadena. For more information, call 410-255-DENT or visit www.frankandbills.com.