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Western News

1HomePageMap small w 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, NevadaOregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming

Drivers who voluntarily drive fewer miles could get lower auto insurance rates under a “pay-as-you-drive” insurance program approved December 2 by the California Department of Insurance according to reports made by Insurance Journal.

The Automobile Club of Southern California and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance are the first approved to offer this kind of coverage.

“The voluntary pay-as-you-drive initiative … will allow insurers to offer plans based on more accurate mileage, so that people who choose to drive less will pay less for auto insurance,” says state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

With one week to go before California Collision Repairers present at least $20,000 worth of toys to the Marine families at Camp Pendleton, Toby is asking the collision community to dig a little deeper.

Says Toby:

  • Hey Everyone:  We are taking the toys to the Marines of the 11th Batallion stationed at Camp Pendleton on December 20th, 2010 and you are all invited to go.  To date, your generosity has purchased $18,450.00 of toys (over a 100 new bikes).  I was hoping for $20,000.00 and still a week to go.    Thanks to the 72 shops (to date) who participated in the toy drive.  A special thanks to Craig Olivera (Kent Automotive), Dick Valentine (Van Tuyl Automotive Group), Steve Morris (Holmes Body Shops) and Tom Williamson (Marina Autobody).

If you want to participate, just reply by e-mail to tcspeedster@yahoo.com

You guys were a great help.  Semper Fi

Herb Lieberman from LKQ SoCal and Keystone sent the following response and a check for $1500:

  • Good evening Toby,
    Thanks for your note on The Toys for the Marines.  I just talked with Todd Hanson and Bob Simcox of
    LKQ SoCal and Keystone. We would like to make up the shortfall to insure you meet your goal for the Toys for the children of the Marines.
    We appreciate the hard work you have done and that of the Collision Repairers for this fine effort and to put you over the top is our pleasure. Being able to join our Collision repair friends in showing our support for the Families of our Service men and women is an honor.
    Please advise where the $1500.00 check should go and to who it should be made out to.
    Herb Lieberman
    LKQ Corporation



More Californians crash their cars on December 15 than any other day of the year, according to an Allstate Insurance Company review of its California auto insurance claims over the past four years. The number of accident claims on December 15 jumps 23 percent compared to the daily average during the rest of the year.

"This spike in crashes could be related to weather, holiday shopping, travel or other distractions," says Robert Feldman, Allstate agency owner in metro Los Angeles. "What's important for drivers is that we stay focused while at the wheel whether on the highway or in the driveway—on December 15 and every day of the year."

The California Autobody Association’s East Bay chapter hosted its signature 13th annual Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition on Nov. 16 at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, CA.

More than 300 CAA members and friends attended the dinner, raffle, and truck competition, which raised money for Toys for Tots and Bridge Intervention Services. The latter is an organization that was established in 1999 to address the growing need for effective intervention with at-risk youth who are experiencing the negative cycle of current destructive youth culture.

“The purpose of the agency is to create ‘Bridges of Opportunity’ to youth, their families and the community,” Kathy Mello, owner of T.G.I.F. Body Shop in Fremont said. “Through collaboration with individuals, local businesses, professionals, and various agencies, the program seeks to provide a channel of innovative networks which will enhance the overall intervention process.”

On Monday, November 1, Deb Hughes, Sun Devil Auto Toys for Tots team leader, began rallying employees and vendors to donate money, gifts & toys for the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program again this year. On December 1, collection bins will be placed inside each of the 21 Sun Devil Auto valley locations. The team expects to collect much more for the charity and will promote this campaign through December 15th.

Last holiday season Sun Devil Auto, an Arizona auto-repair company, delivered a dozen bicycles and many more dozens of toys for needy valley children to the Arizona US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. This year they expect to deliver even more through additional in-store special events and cross-promotion focusing on their charity work.

It all started in Los Angeles with two hot rod enthusiasts still in high school; Mike Huniu and his cousin “Fast” Eddie Levy. Their shared auto shop class was about the only thing keeping them in school. It was very likely that the only reason they even graduated was that they worked on the Principal’s car.

They did their work in Mike’s father’s garage behind his house. When it began to spill out onto the lawn, they were told to take their hobby elsewhere. By this time they had graduated high school and had saved enough money to go into business together.

It was in the early 1950’s when they bought a service station on the corner of 51st Street and Hoover.  After a few more years of fixing and racing cars, they decided that they liked tearing cars apart better than putting them together.