Dave Zamora decided to step away from the Bay Area and its fast-paced environment by opening Zamora Auto Body in Valley Springs, CA, almost two decades ago.
Zamora fixes 20-30 vehicles every month, with his team of seven people, in a small town of roughly 5,000 people.
Zamora, 61, has been in and around collision shops since he was in the third grade when he started detailing cars, masking them for paint, and in some cases, driving them into the booth. When he was a junior in high school, he began doing fleet work and learned how to become a combo tech.
Zamora appreciates a quiet and simple lifestyle—one without traffic jams and crazy home prices. However, you will find that a small town has its own set of obstacles once you move there. "When I moved here in 1999, there was nothing except a small grocery store here and a post office," he said. "Eight years ago we got a Taco Bell and when we finally got a Starbucks a few years back, we thought we had it made."
There are only two other small body shops in town, so Zamora is familiar who those who live in this community of Valley Springs. "I know that I better do a good job for all of my customers," he said. "If I see one of my customers at a restaurant, I want them to pick up the tab instead of picking up a ketchup bottle and throwing it at me. If I ever did a poor repair, everyone in this town would know a few days later. As one of the few shops in town, I have a responsibility to do excellent work and that's one reason why I don't have any DRPs. I don't have to compromise my quality and that's the only way I can operate."