top50stl business idea of the week – D.I.Y. Auto Body

I like to consider myself a car guy. By that, I don’t mean that I like to work on cars; I just really like cars. I have a long list of cars I’d love to own, drive or just see in person. I often find myself watching shows about car building, buying and bartering. There are just so many neat cars out there and I’d really like to see them all. Throughout middle school, my buddies and I rode around on dirt bikes in the woods behind their homes. Anytime something would break, we’d walk or hitch a ride to the local motorcycle store and get the parts, then we’d figure out how to fix the bike and off we’d go again. As a junior in high school, I took a small engines class which I’d hoped at the time would turn into a deeper understanding of larger engines, but my expertise never graduated past taking apart and mostly piecing back together my Dad’s chainsaw.

I maintain a dream of someday fixing up a car with one or both of my sons. I read a great story a few years back about a man and his eldest daughter. He told her he would buy her any car she wanted under a certain price point along with the parts necessary to fix it up, but he wouldn’t pay for labor; that was up to her. So, she took the time to learn how to both add onto and fix her vehicle and midway through her high school career, she not only had one of the coolest cars in school (a ’69 Camaro), but she also had learned how to maintain her and her family’s cars for the rest of her life.

I’d love to do this same thing with my sons. Not only that, I’d just like to know how to do the basics on my own car. I hate having to run to a Jiffy Lube – or wherever – just to get the oil changed. I’d be glad to change my own oil if I knew how, but cars seem to get more complex every year which makes me think I may never learn the skills necessary to take care of it on my own. I’d be glad to get an older vehicle. I’ve always had a hankering for a 1985-89 Toyota Landcruiser (if you know anyone that has one and is looking to offload it, please let me know.)

So, my idea is to build an Auto Body Garage with technicians that not only fix your car, but they also teach you how to fix your own car. I’d like to see one or more garage bays dedicated to the Do-It-Yourself’er that would simply like a place to work on their car. By offering the space to everyone, a group of guys could not only share the space, but also the mountain of tools it takes to get the job done.

This particular business is just one piece of an entire complex I’ve designed and would like to build. If you or someone you know may be interested in collaborating on this plan, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

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