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Amato’s Auto Body

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Photo by Gary Conaughton

SHOP: Amato’s Auto Body  LOCATION: San Diego  OWNER: Paul Amato

1) Amato says wall heaters were popular in the 1930s and 1940s. He installed a brass heater vent above the doorway just like people did years ago. He has four more to install throughout the office.

2) The  stone sculpture on the restroom door is a duplicate from the Art Deco period of the 1930s. The stone, which Amato picked up for $300, is two inches thick and weighs about 60 pounds. Amato bought a solid wood door so that he could hollow it out and glue the stone in place. He painted the door with automotive paint so it’s shiny and slick.

3) Amato says this sculpture is called “The Offering.” He purchased two of them for $2,500 off eBay, and had them shipped from Europe. One recent customer loved the sculpture so much that he asked to buy it from Amato. Amato sold the second sculpture to the customer for $2,000, nearly paying for the cost of the one on display in the office.

4) Amato purchased two vintage lounge chairs that used to sit outside movie theater restrooms. He picked them up in San Francisco for $6,000. Amato spent another $6,000 to restore the chairs with black leather and yellow automotive paint.

5) Amato bought this fiberglass statue for $8,000 from an old movie theater in New York City. “That is our customer relations person,” Amato jokes. “If you have a complaint, you go see him.”

6) Amato says morgues used to have saint cards when people died, which is what this was originally designed for. He bought it off eBay, and thought it would make a great  business card holder.

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