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Artistic Collision Center Inc.

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Artistic Collision Center Inc.

Photos Courtesy Artistic Collision Center INC.

The word “artistic” fits perfectly with the colorful and eccentric lobby at Artistic Collision Center’s Rancho Cordova, Calif., facility. But owner Steve Welsh says that’s simply a coincidence. The shop first opened in 1980, and was originally called Artistic Auto Works—a name that arose from the intricate restoration work the shop performed.

Welsh’s son and current shop manager, Bryan, came to work for his father 21 years ago and since then, the focus of the shop has shifted from restoration to collision. When it came to changing the name of the shop, the Welshes wanted to make it clear it was a collision repair business, but didn’t want to lose its previous identity.

The name of the shop has changed throughout the years, but the family-owned and -operated business continues to have pride and takes ownership of everything it does, which can be seen throughout the shop.

1   BASF worked with Artistic Collision to create a layout that would best suit its needs. The team wanted an open floor plan because they felt it would allow cars to flow through the shop easier. With the body repair stalls aligned all along one side of the shop, the staff is able to move cars directly out of the stalls and into the prep area. The paint booth has doors on either end which allows cars to come in one side and out the other for easy flow right back into the body stalls for reassembly.

2   The shop floor has two open-front Spraybake prep stations and a Zhongda downdraft spray booth.

3   The lobby was designed to have the ability to display some of the shop’s more impressive work. Most of the cars displayed belong to Steve, including the 1940 Ford and 1932 Ford five-window coupe.

4   Everything in the office is something that someone on the team has had a part in creating or picked up at a swap meet. The wall hanging of the front end of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was a father-son project for the Welshes.

5   Steve used the rear of a ’57 Bel Air to create a one-of-a-kind sofa.

6   Customers can drop a dime and treat themselves to a cold soda from the shop’s retro Coke machine. The candy and popcorn machines are also functional.

7   The shop even has a bumper car, which uses a car battery to drive a DC motor.

8   “We blew up photos of old body shops—it’s not us, it’s just fun,” Bryan says of the black and white photos hanging in the lobby. “It shows our passion for nostalgia.”

9   When cars are finished, they go to the delivery area. The delivery area is right outside of the office and was set up so when people walk out, they get a chance to see even more memorabilia, including an old oak refrigerator that works as a display case.

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