Unlike standard production shops, Egon’s Auto Repair of Carneys Point, NJ, specializes in custom auto body work. They are experts at restoring classics: Porsches, Corvettes, BMW, Rolls Royces and so forth. They also perform custom work on boats, planes and motorcycles. According to owner, Egon Necelis Jr., “we’re not high volume, but we’re high quality”.
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Egon Necelis Sr. opened Egon’s Auto Repair in Carney’s Point in 1977, and he ran it until his death in March, 1996, at which point his son took over the business. Extending the start given to him by his father, Egon Necelis Jr. is largely self-taught. He began restoring his first vehicle while still in middle school, following in his father’s occupational footsteps, but learning and experimenting a lot on his own.
The Necelis family has done their homework on long-ago projects, following many restorations long after they leave their shop. They recently located the very same 1941 Buick Roadmaster that Egon Sr. and Jr. restored many years ago. The car was sold in the late 1990s, but the family searched for and found the car for sale on EBay in Indiana in 2009. They bought and retrieved the car, and Egon Jr. and his son, Egon III, plan to restore the vehicle to its former competition condition.
Egon’s Auto Repair is comprised of two separate automotive businesses. Half of Egon’s shop is an auto body shop, while the other half is a mechanical shop. The shop consists of two 2400 square foot buildings connected by an office in which Egon displays articles, thank you letters and pictures of custom work he has completed. Two mechanics work at the shop, in addition to Egon, his wife and his son, Egon III. Egon’s used to have more employees in the auto body shop; however, due to the economy, Egon Jr. now does all of the auto body work.
Egon averages about two or three basic auto body jobs each week, but he is always working on custom work which has taken up to two years when he is completing a full restoration. The shop uses a Buske frame machine, a DeVilbiss spray booth, MIG welders, plasma cutters, lifts and portable lifts. Egon’s paints with Lesonal from AkzoNobel, but this may change next year if New Jersey passes laws mandating the use of waterborne paints. Egon Necelisa Jr. is also able to construct parts out of fiberglass and sheet metal when necessary.
Employees at Egon’s Auto Repair have taken various classes by ASE and other organizations, and the shop is appropriately licensed by the state of New Jersey. Egon’s does not participate in any direct repair programs; in fact, he does not process insurance whatsoever, although the customer is free to turn claims in to their insurance company if they qualify. Egon Necelis Jr. ended relationships with insurance companies after losing money three years in a row, which he attributes to working for them, and not the customer. He says, “you have to get paid fairly for your work, or don’t do it.”
The shop does a lot of mechanical work, and Egon has friendly relationships with other local businesses who help as necessary. One of his friends owns a local towing company, so Egon knows where turn when he needs a tow. He also works with local shops, sending standard auto body work to production-based shops that, in turn, send the more custom requests to Egon. He has molded his business around his idea that “I’m my own guy. I pick and choose my work.” Egon also serves on the advisory committee for the local vo-tech high school.
Egon’s Auto Repair
64 S. Pennsville Auburn Road
Carneys Point, NJ 08069