Dodson-Williams Automotive relocated its new venture a year after selling its body shops to Chicago-area chain Crash Champions.
Business partners Keith Neal and Allen Holman opened Dodson-Williams Automotive at a new location at 2936 W. Republic Road on Aug. 1, said Holman. Shortly after the Crash Champions deal last year, Holman joined as a business partner to plan the relaunch of Dodson-Williams Automotive as a shop that performs mechanical repair work. The plans for the new store on Republic came after Dodson-Williams outgrew its former location at the intersection of Scenic Avenue and Bennett Street.
Holman emphasized that Dodson-Williams Automotive is a separate entity from Crash Champions and no longer does body work. The mechanic shop employs eight people in the 9,300-square-foot space.
“We don’t do body repair or paint repair,” Holman said. “We just do mechanical repair. That’s why I tried to change the design of the logo to a wrench and a gear to help people understand that we’re not body anymore. We’re mechanical.”
Dodson-Williams Collision Center was founded by John Dodson and Harold Williams in 1961 with the original location at 507 W. Walnut St. Neal joined the company as a high school senior and worked his way to becoming a co-owner of the business in 1991; he became the sole owner of the shop in late 2007.
After becoming sole owner, Neal expanded the business to a second location and opened a mechanical shop to allow the company to provide a full range of vehicle repair services.
Crash Champions purchased both body shops in September 2020, which marked the company’s first locations in Missouri.
SBJ interviews the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District judge.