If youíve been driving for long, itís almost certain youíve had some kind of body damage to your vehicle, be it large or small. Campbellís Auto Body is a well-know area icon and just the spot for all things related to auto body repair. Carey Crofutt is the owner-manager. We spoke to him recently at his shop on Highway 377 just outside Stephenville on the way to Dublin.

Q: This shop is a familiar sight to people in our area. Did you start this business or take it over from someone else?

A: I took it over after several other people failed at this location. This place had never been a successful auto body business and it had steadily gone downhill for years until I took it over. Then it started to spiral upward instead of the other direction. Thereíve been some rough times, but once we got through those, itís been a whirlwind ever since. Itís really wonderful.

Q: What kinds of repairs and other work do you do, and to what do you attribute your success when so many others had failed in the same location in the same field?

A: We do collision, hail repair, off-road impact, complete paint jobs; that includes about anything from cars and trucks to motorcycles and golf carts. You name it.

To answer the second part of your question, I attribute our success to staying focused on doing nothing but the best quality work we can possibly do and standing behind that work one hundred percent. Weíve been the winner of the Peopleís Choice Award for Best Body Shop for the past three years and I think that speaks to what our customers think of us.

We take great pride in seeing a smile on someoneís face when theyíre pulling out of here after we do the repair work. Itís just a great feeling and everybody in here does the best they can to make sure thatís what every customerís experience is like. We wonít settle for anything less than complete customer satisfaction.

The way we do that is by having excellent people doing what they do best. We have great people working here and all of them are the best you can get.

Iím the painter and do all the paint work. Iíve got a specialized frame technician, a specialized body-repair technician, two helpers, and my wife, Tracy runs the office. My son Kody is the front counter man. Heís my estimator and deals with most of the insurance people. Heís my main, number-one man in charge; if Iím gone, what he says goes. My younger son, Jacey does all of our bookkeeping, so itís good team.

Q: How did you get started in body work and what led you to become the owner of Campbellís Auto Body?

A: I started in body repair in high school working at a shop in Texarkana where Iím from. I would go to school in the morning and then work in the afternoon in the Industrial Cooperative Training program. It was wonderful because it helped me get through school; otherwise I would not have been into school at all.

It was a big truck shop and I started at the very bottom, sweeping floors, and then worked my way up. When I came to Stephenville I went to work at a shop here in town and was there for 23 years until I decided I wanted to go out on my own.

At that time I started doing work at my house but it was just such a hassle. Then when I started working here, another person had the lease on the place and it wasnít working. So another group came in that couldnít make it either, and then still another one Ė same thing.

Once I did take over, there were some things outside of my control that happened and it came to the point of deciding just to throw my hands up and quit, or putting my head down and plowing on through. I put my head down and I went forward and here we are today, doing great.

Campbellís Auto Body is located at 3125 W. Washington. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. And as Carey says,ďClosed on the Lordís Day.Ē Call them at 254-965-9785.