Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:57

Oldest Body Shops in America: Bistagne Bros Body Shop

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Tom Bistagne (in truck) and George Bistagne circa 1950 Tom Bistagne (in truck) and George Bistagne circa 1950


Only a few years after its founding, Bistagne Bros. began to get recognized for its superior repair work and custom paint jobs. At that time, it used Acme refinish paint exclusively. As was the tradition in the mid-1950s, paint companies put out their own “newsletters” to promote their products and highlight those shops that used their product. In the mid-‘50s, Acme paint dedicated an entire issue to the Bistagne brothers’ work and their use of Acme paint.  The cover of the periodical featured the brothers and a freshly painted bright red Jaguar, with the lovely Miss Glendale at the wheel.

The Bistagnes’ head painter at that time was Dean Avery, a man with 16 years’ experience who used the “Acme Color Eye,” resulting in “excellent color matches.” Avery liked the ability of the shop to create and tint its own paint instead of ordering the “factory-packaged paint” from the local jobbers.

The 1970s saw the second generation of Bistagne brothers (Tom Bistagne’s sons) enter into the office and become part of the family business: Bob Bistagne in 1975 and Chuck Bistagne in 1977.

Over the years, the automotive repair business flourished under the family ownership and management, and expansion was sought yet again. In 1999, an adjacent gas station was purchased and construction was started on expanding the business to encompass the entire southeast corner of the intersection. The new office headquarters opened in 2000.

Over the years, the Bistagne family has been involved in various industry initiatives, including the California Autobody Association, and local civic groups like Rotary.

In 2003, Bistagne Brothers saw its third generation, Robert Bistagne (Bob’s son), enter into shop management. In 1946, one or both Bistagne brothers welcomed each and every customer that stepped on the lot. Today, almost 75 years and three generations later, a member of the Bistagne family continues that same tradition.

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