April 27, 2020—Al Porcelli, a past owner of Central Avenue Collision Works and longtime auto industry worker, passed away April 7.
Porcelli and Henry Keller opened the body shop in 1949. At the time it was a two-car garage. Porcelli continued to grow the business until his retirement in 1990.
After just a few years in business, Porcelli realized the collision industry suffered from many deficiencies and did not really operate in a “free enterprise” environment. To address that, Porcelli and 11 other local shop owners, known as the “dirty-dozen” because they did hard work, formed one of the earliest collision trade associations; the Auto- Body-Craftsmen’s-Guild of New York City, which promoted the interests of shop owners, workers, and consumers.
Porcelli also became state chairman of I-CAR for several years and was an early promoter of ASE-testing.
Since his retirement and until the end of last year, he was actively working as editor of the Guild’s magazine, the “Bulletin,” for which he wrote hundreds of articles on vehicle-safety, repair-procedures, consumer-protection, business-practices, and trade-education.