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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Wednesday, 09 February 2022 10:03

Day Job/Night Job: The ‘California Godfather’ of Collision Repair Taps Into His Artistic Side

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When you visit Vigiani’s Auto Body & Paint in Yuba City, CA, you meet its permanent customer, depicted in a wire sculpture created by the shop owner Charlie Vigiani. When you visit Vigiani’s Auto Body & Paint in Yuba City, CA, you meet its permanent customer, depicted in a wire sculpture created by the shop owner Charlie Vigiani.

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Charlie Vigiani owns Vigiani’s Auto Body & Paint in Yuba City, CA, where people call him “The Godfather of Collision Repair.”

He’s well-known for performing quality work for all of his customers---an offer they can’t refuse. He has also received a lot of praise for his wire sculptures from his customers, employees and even other artists.

 

Viagini has 50 years of experience in collision repair from several different perspectives, as a former technician, manager, independent appraiser and finally as an auto body shop owner.

 

Vigiani believes fixing a car correctly is an art form, and techs and painters are truly artisans whose work should be in museums and art galleries. A pristine panel or a stellar paint job displayed alongside a Warhol or a Van Gogh? It could happen.

 

As an artist himself, Vigiani has been creating wire sculptures for the past 30-plus years, receiving accolades from people worldwide.

 

Viagini 3 web

When the time to retire finally arrives, Vigiani will be able to dedicate more time to his artistic endeavors.

 

Even when things get hectic at the shop, Vigiani finds the time to create something unique using simply wire and his creative zeal. It’s art therapy and a great way for him to unwind when things get stressful after a long day returning vehicles to their pre-accident condition, he said.

 

Vigiani's story begins in the Bronx, where his first job was shining shoes for local businessmen. After running out of local customers, Vigiani ventured outside of his neighborhood looking for more people and more shoes to shine.

 

One day, a beautiful red Corvette came backing out of an alley and nearly hit him. The man pushing the vehicle was a car painter who owned a small shop and he had a few pairs of shoes that needed shining. "Bonanza," Vigiani thought, but he was also intrigued about what was happening inside the shop.

 

Living a life that looked like something out of the movie "Goodfellas," Vigiani started hanging out at the body shop, and pretty soon he was a fixture there. The painter/owner of the shop was a guy named Cheo.

 

“He gave me three pairs of nice shoes to shine, so I was thinking I’m rich. He gave me $5 and I figured I can retire now," Vigiani said. "I started observing what was going on in the shop, and pretty soon, I started meeting the customers, mostly Italian, and saw...


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