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Tuesday, 31 August 2021 22:58

Minnesota Auto Body Shop to Get New Owner, Name

Written by Wanda Hanson, Fillmore County Journal
Jon VanMinsel finishes replacing a battery in a customer’s truck. Jon VanMinsel finishes replacing a battery in a customer’s truck. Wanda Hanson

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As of Sept. 1, the No. 1 auto body shop in Whalan, MN, Doc’s Auto Body and Repair, will have a new name: Whalan Auto Body, LLC.

New owner Jon VanMinsel will officially take over the shop from former owner Dale Peterson. Peterson owned the shop for almost 19 years; VanMinsel worked for Peterson for more than 11 of those years.

 

The transition has been in the works for several years. When COVID hit last year, they were just about to make the deal, but Peterson was hesitant to sell to VanMinsel during the uncertain economic times.

 

Peterson, who lives near Preston, looks forward to doing some biking, working in his shop and just walking his dog. He shared his full confidence in VanMinsel’s ability.

 

“He’s as good as anybody I’ve ever seen at what he does," Peterson said. "He’s a good painter and has good body skills; he’s an excellent mechanic!”

 

VanMinsel currently lives in Harmony. When he first graduated high school, he and his brothers did masonry work; his brothers stayed with masonry while VanMinsel chose a different route. He had his own body shop in Spring Valley, then he worked in Rochester and then in Spring Grove, doing body work.

 

Since VanMinsel came to Doc’s, he has done most of the air conditioning and windshield work, which Peterson used to hire out. VanMinsel has done body work on cars from “start to finish” all of his life.

 

When asked what he likes about Whalan and specifically the auto body shop, VanMinsel answered it was quiet with friendly people who weren’t rude. He went on, “I like the atmosphere; it’s nonconfrontational here and I like that.”

 

He added the shop was a comfortable place to work. Air conditioning was added five years ago so, according to VanMinsel, “It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer.”

 

In VanMinsel’s spare time, he enjoys dirt track racing; he raced cars for 25 years and still enjoys going to the races in Fountain City, WI. Although he sold all his cars three years ago, he still...


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