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Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:34

Sunfire PRO Refinish System Wows Veteran Auto Body Shop Owner

Written by Autobody News Staff
Jim Cavalleri owns Top Shop Collision, which now has two locations in North Tonowanda and Tonawanda, NY. Jim Cavalleri owns Top Shop Collision, which now has two locations in North Tonowanda and Tonawanda, NY.

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Jim Cavalleri has seen it all in his decades in the collision repair industry, first as a technician and now as the owner of Top Shop Collision in Tonowanda, NY, which lends some weight to his assessment of Sherwin-Williams® new Sunfire PRO™ complete refinish system.

Top Shop Collision
Location: Tonawanda, NY
(716) 743-1761

Facebook: @topshopcollision

 

Company at a Glance…
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Nine
In Business Since: 1990
Number of Locations: Two
Combined Production Space: 9,000

 

“Overall, it’s unbelievable how well it works,” Cavalleri said. “I have used a lot of different paint systems at dealerships, and I’m telling you, it’s just tremendous.”

 

Cavalleri said he first took an interest in the collision repair industry at 16, working out of a back yard.

 

“I always thought it was very gratifying when you saw a car that was totally demolished and then when you finished it, it’s pre-accident condition,” he said. “It always just intrigued me.”

 

SW2 Top Shop car being painted 2

Cavalleri said Sherwin-Williams' Sunfire PRO refinish system is simply a great product: “The paint color matches are superior and the coverage too."

 

He was having trouble getting his foot in the door at any local auto body shops, so he attended and graduated from Nashville Auto Diesel College, now a Lincoln College of Technology.

 

He then landed a job and became a combination technician.

 

“I did the car from start to finish---collision work, painted it, reassembled it, buffed it and got it ready,” Cavalleri said. “No one else touched a car but me. Nowadays, they don’t want you doing that,” he said. “It’s faster production to have a collision tech, someone else is a painter and the two don’t mix.”

 

Cavalleri worked in dealership collision repair centers for 30 years. In the early 1990s, he started working split shifts, which gave him four days off a week---time he used to start and run his own shop on the side.

 

“More and more guys started working for me, and I had a business partner,” Cavalleri said.

 

In 2012, he bought out his partner and became the sole owner of Top Shop Collision, which he runs with the help of his wife, Patty, and son, James, 24, who is poised to one day take it over.

 

“This has always been a family business,” Cavalleri said. “That’s more important to me than anything.”

 

Since then, the business has grown to the point Cavalleri invested in a second location. His company started doing work at the new building about a year ago. An expansion there is nearly complete.

 

Cavalleri said his shops have nearly 100 five-star Google reviews, which have netted them even more work.

 

“The reviews have been very kind,” he said. “That might be an understatement.”

 

Top Shop repairs all makes and models, averaging about 150 to 200 vehicles per month.

 

“We do everything from Teslas to Rolls Royces to the...


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