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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.

Monday, 06 June 2022 09:01

Auto Body Shop Owner Richard ‘Pinkey’ Feest is 98 and Still Going Strong

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“Pinkey” Feest is 98 years old and still running Pinkey’s Capital, the shop he bought in 1956. “Pinkey” Feest is 98 years old and still running Pinkey’s Capital, the shop he bought in 1956. James Wiley

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If you want to live a long and healthy life, consult Richard “Pinkey” Feest, the enigmatic owner of Pinkey’s Capital Auto Body in Milwaukee, WI.

He’s 98 and still works 40 to 50 hours every week at the auto body shop he established in 1956.

 

When Feest entered the industry, there were no DRPs, self-driving cars were something out of sci-fi movies and the average body tech was earning $10 to $15 hourly.

 

Pinkey got his nickname at birth when his sister exclaimed, “What a cute little baby, he’s all pink."

 

“I don’t mind the nickname at all, and I never mind it when people call me Pinkey,” Feest said.

 

Pinkey fell in love with the body shop life at age 12 and never looked back, he said.

 

“One of my cousins was married to a guy who owned a body shop, and he allowed me to hang out there and watch the techs in action," Feest said. "I was enthralled with the process, and pretty soon, they let me work there on Saturdays and after school. Sometimes I would work late into the evenings, and I never tired of it.

 

"My buddies were going to dances and football games, and I missed them all," he said. "When I saw these body men doing amazing work with their hands, I knew this was the right career for me. This shop was my classroom, and these highly-skilled collision professionals were the best teachers in the world! If you love your job, you’ll never work again.”

 

Any business that has been around since 1956 has been through its own set of trials and tribulations. There was a fire, a little family drama sprinkled in, and the pandemic, which has made everyone’s lives tougher over the last few years.

 

After serving in World War II, Feest landed a job at a body shop that he would buy. When he saw there was an opportunity, he jumped on it.

 

“I was in the service overseas for three years, and the night I got back I partied and then the next morning I went to work at the body shop at 8 a.m.

 

"I approached the owner and told him nicely that I didn’t think he really wanted to own a body shop," Feest said. "He had a lot of other businesses, including...


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