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Tuesday, 20 September 2016 17:01

Wilder Auto Body to Build New Shop


After almost 13 years at their current facility at 619 Lincoln Ave., Wilder Auto Body is building a new collision repair shop in the 100 block of Crawford Avenue, just east of the viaduct on US-24 on the south side.

“We’ve outgrown our current facility; we’ve grown every year,” owner Kyle Wilder said. “We’re mostly growing to help serve the community and make it better for our employees.”

The business has changed quite a bit since Wilder opened the shop in December. Then, Wilder was on his own. Now he employs six full-time people, and while they focus on collision repair and insurance work, they do a little bit of just about everything, from seat covers to a little bit of restoration.

Insurance work and collision repair remain the main parts of the business, and they will continue to focus on that in the new facility, Wilder said. The business is one that’s “insurance preferred,” meaning insurance companies refer collision repairs to them.

Much of their work covers head and tail jobs on vehicles that hit deer, but they can repair “any kind of car damage,” Wilder said.

The business offers a range of services, including paintless dent repair, framework, paint and aluminum repair, fiberglass and repairs on just about any type of vehicle, including trucks and cars. They also offer car rental for customers getting repairs done and a 24-hour towing service.

They’re able to work with all insurance companies, he said.

The new facility will be two and a half times larger than the current facility, with all new equipment, Wilder said. That includes a new paint system and aluminum repair, he said.

“The main thing is, we’ll make it better for our workers and our customers,” he said.

Wilder plans to move out of his current facility after the new shop near the viaduct is built.

He said he chose that location because “it just worked out.”

The site has a lot of traffic, high visibility and a lot of space to work with, and will have more as they clear out more trees on the property.

Wilder said he got into the business because he enjoys working with cars. He started his shop in Clay Center because he grew up here and has roots in Clay County that go back five generations, including a few who homesteaded in the county in the late 1800’s.

Wilder received a diploma in Automotive Collision Repair from Manhattan Area Technical College. He has worked in automotive collision repair for 16 years and received certification from I-Car Training Courses, EPA Training and PPG Certified-Envirobase HP.

The business staffs a team of four certified technicians, a service manager and an office secretary. Technicians are all certified and have received training in PPG-Envirobase HP.

Wilder said he’s worked hard to make the business what it is, including working a lot of late nights.

“I plan on being in Clay Center until I retire,” he said.

We would like to thank The Clay Center Dispatch for reprint permission.