Monday, 20 August 2018 11:14

50-Year-Old Emporia, KS, Body Shop Is In It for the Long Haul

Written by Lydia Kautz, The Emporia Gazette
John Wheeler, who owns Floyd's Inc., looks at the inside of a car. The business is celebrating 50 years of existence. John Wheeler, who owns Floyd's Inc., looks at the inside of a car. The business is celebrating 50 years of existence. Lydia Kautz/Gazette


An Emporia, KS, business is celebrating a half-century of service to drivers throughout the region.


Floyd’s Inc., an auto body and repair shop located at 1221 Industrial Rd., was opened by Floyd McCracken in 1968. Fifty years later, it’s still going strong under current owners John and Ruth Wheeler, who purchased the business in 2005.


“I didn’t want to have to break in a new boss,” John recalled. “I’ve been in and out of here since 1980. Floyd wanted out of it. He was ready to retire, and we’d decided years ago when he got ready to retire that I wanted to try to get it bought.”


A Lifetime of Repairs


John seems to have been destined to work in the auto industry.


His interest in cars started when he was in high school. Against his parents’ wishes, he chose to enter the auto industry, painting his first car with his little brother in their parents’ garage in the summer of 1975, the same year Wheeler graduated from high school. Together, they painted about six cars before they rented a shop to house their business.


He has been in the business for more than 40 years and at Floyd’s in some capacity for about 38.


“I spent most of my adult life in this facility,” he said. “It’s a good place to be.”


Before his purchase of the business, he worked as an auto technician for McCracken. According to Ruth, he has always had a special talent for painting and auto body repair.


“He takes a lot of pride in repairing cars,” she said. “That didn’t change when we purchased the business. It is always a priority to make sure that the repairs---whether auto body or mechanical---are done right. We have grown the business based on treating every customer as if they are family and providing quality repairs at a fair price.”


These days, John said, Floyd’s offers full mechanic and body shops, including body repair and painting. They don’t do many restorations anymore, he said, in part because of the amount of collision work he and his staff have on their plates and because of the time and expense of fixing up old cars.

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