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Wednesday, 19 September 2018 16:56

Guy & Sons Auto Rebuilders Closes Shop After 56 Years in Chicago

Written by Eva Hofmann, Gazette Chicago
Dan Pascale and Tom Pascale, who took over the family business from their father, were known for making sure Guy & Sons personnel did superior work on cars. Dan Pascale and Tom Pascale, who took over the family business from their father, were known for making sure Guy & Sons personnel did superior work on cars. Christopher Valentino

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“In my opinion, they were the very best body and paint shop in the city and suburbs by far. They were also a great source of information and were always available to help if I ever had any questions.”

 

Guy & Sons has fixed cars for the likes of Jerry Reinsdorf, Ernie Banks and Keith Magnuson, to name a few luminaries. There were plenty of other longtime customers from the neighborhood as well.

 

‘Best Body Shop’

 

According to George Lemperis, owner of Palace Grill, Guy & Sons is “unequivocally the best body shop in the city of Chicago,” he said. “I’ve known them for 40 years---I knew their father. They’re two of the best guys you’d ever want to meet. It’s Chicago’s loss that they’re leaving. In fact, I’m taking my car there tomorrow, and it’s one of the last jobs they’re doing. They’re staying open for me.”

 

Lemperis isn’t sure who will repair his cars in the future.

 

“I don’t want anyone else touching my car,” he said.

 

Of course, this might be a good time for Guy & Sons to call it quits after all those long hours in the shop.

 

“The work ethic was 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., then go to dinner and paint a car after dinner,” said Tom. “It was constant 12-hour days, and you didn’t get two weeks in a row if you went on vacation. We used to call Saturdays eight-hour half days.”

 

Now that vehicles are becoming more high tech, the shop would need some serious upgrading, according to Tom.

 

“We’re the last of a ‘70s-era shop,” he said. “The repair side of it has changed for us because we don’t have an electronic technician. We’ve worked on some fancy cars, but it was always about mainstream collision. These days, you have to scan a car before you work on it.”

 

Another challenge in the industry, according to Dan, is dealing with insurance companies.

 

“We have to take a shot at the insurance companies who are trying to squeeze the independent auto repair shop,” said Dan. “They’re raising rates on policies and premiums and cutting back on fair prices to fix the cars. So this is a good time to exit because I’ve had enough. State Farm was just there today and told us more things are just going to get worse.”