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Humble Beginnings to Full-Fledged Auto Repair
Gerald Condon started Collision & Classics amid tough economic conditions in September 1987.  During the early years of the business Gerald kept his day job as a supervisor of office planning at Gulf States Utilities, Edison Plaza, and worked evenings and weekends in his repair shop.  Below is a Beaumont Enterprise article about the humble beginnings of what is today a full-fledged collision repair shop with state-of-the-art equipment.
History
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“As kids, we all paid our dues and worked at the station after school,” Condon said. “That was where I learned to deal with automotive-related problems and customers.” It   was   also   during   these   years   that   Condon   learned   to   work   on   cars,   especially   body   work,   since   he   took   accident vehicles and rebuilt them for his own transportation. After   earning   an   associate   degree   from   Lamar   University,   Condon   went   to   work   for   Gulf   States   Utilities   Co. where he is supervisor of office planning and Edison Square Garage. In   the   mid-1980s,   he   was   disappointed   with   the   return   on   his savings.   “It   looked   like   what   I   needed   to   do   was   find   another way to invest my money,” Condon said. That   decision   led   to   Collision   and   Classics,   an   auto   body   repair and    rebuilding    shop    at    745    Lindbergh.    Condon    opened    the shop    in    September    1987.    The    business    is    incorporated    and Condon is the sole owner. Despite   depressed   economic   conditions,   Condon   went   ahead and opened the shop. “It   was   a   consideration,”   Condon   said   of   the   local   economy,   “but   automobiles   are   a   necessity.   I   thought   if   I   got into a service business that was a necessity, it might succeed.” “We   had   them   waiting   to   come   in,”   Condon   said   of   the   opening   day.   “A   man   was   waiting   when   we   pushed   the doors open and brought his truck in.” Condon   covered   his   gamble   initially   by   operating   the   shop   only   during   evenings   and   weekends.   “I   wasn’t confident I could find someone to run the business the way I wanted,” he said. A   year   and   a   half   passed   before   a   combination   of   improving   business   and   finding   the   right   person   to   run   the shop   led   to   it   opening   full   time.   Joe   Newman   took   charge   of   the   operation   in   September   of   1989   and   the business continued to grow. Condon   said   he   plans   to   triple   the   capacity   of   the   three-bay   shop   sometime   during   1990,   but   he   won’t   be   leaving GSU to work full time at Collision and Classics. “I’m   afraid   if   I   came   here   and   worked   with   Joe,   I   would   crowd him   too   much,”   Condon   said.   “I   would   have   to   go   into   outside sales or something.” Accident   repairs,   about   50   percent   of   the   business,   may   be   the bread   and   butter,   but   classic   car   restoration   is   the   part   that Condon prefers. “Collision    repair    is    less    of    a    challenge    than    restoration,” Condon   said.   “When   you   don’t   have   to   deal   with   20   years   of dust,    corrosion    and    previous    paint,    the    work    becomes    a    lot easier.” Keeping   the   business   growing   is   Condon’s   biggest   concern   for the   future   of   the   shop.   “Right   now   my   goal   is   to   run   this   as   a   successful   business,   something   like   a   franchise   or   a division of a corporation,” he said. The   shop   presently   repairs   five   or   six   cars   a   week   –   a   small   number   compared   to   other   businesses   of   its   type, Condon said. But the emphasis on restoration is starting to pay off. One   of   the   vehicles   awaiting   restoration   is   a   Plymouth   Roadrunner,   a   muscle   car   of   the   1970s   which   belongs   to   a man in Georgia, a model that is currently making a comeback, Condon said.
Beaumont Enterprise February 5, 1990
Written by John Gerdel Jr. Gerald Condon grew up with automobiles. As a youngster growing up in Beaumont, the 1974 graduate of Forest Park High School worked in his father’s service station on College Street.
EMAIL TOWING F.A.Q.
Gerald Condon started Collision & Classics amid tough economic conditions in September 1987.  During the early years of the business Gerald kept his day job as a supervisor of office planning at Gulf States Utilities, Edison Plaza, and worked evenings and weekends in his repair shop.  Below is a Beaumont Enterprise article about the humble beginnings of what is today a full-fledged collision repair shop with state-of-the-art equipment.
History
Humble Beginnings to Full-Fledged Auto Repair
Despite   depressed   economic   conditions,   Condon   went   ahead and opened the shop. “It   was   a   consideration,”   Condon   said   of   the   local   economy, “but   automobiles   are   a   necessity.   I   thought   if   I   got   into   a service business that was a necessity, it might succeed.” “We    had    them    waiting    to    come    in,”    Condon    said    of    the opening   day.   “A   man   was   waiting   when   we   pushed   the   doors open and brought his truck in.” Condon   covered   his   gamble   initially   by   operating   the   shop only   during   evenings   and   weekends.   “I   wasn’t   confident   I could   find   someone   to   run   the   business   the   way   I   wanted,” he said. A   year   and   a   half   passed   before   a   combination   of   improving business   and   finding   the   right   person   to   run   the   shop   led   to it    opening    full    time.    Joe    Newman    took    charge    of    the operation   in   September   of   1989   and   the   business   continued to grow. Condon   said   he   plans   to   triple   the   capacity   of   the   three-bay shop   sometime   during   1990,   but   he   won’t   be   leaving   GSU   to work full time at Collision and Classics. “I’m   afraid   if   I   came   here   and   worked   with   Joe,   I   would crowd   him   too   much,”   Condon   said.   “I   would   have   to   go   into outside sales or something.” Accident   repairs,   about   50   percent   of   the   business,   may   be the   bread   and   butter,   but   classic   car   restoration   is   the   part that Condon prefers. “Collision    repair    is    less    of    a    challenge    than    restoration,” Condon   said.   “When   you   don’t   have   to   deal   with   20   years   of dust,   corrosion   and   previous   paint,   the   work   becomes   a   lot easier.” Keeping   the   business   growing   is   Condon’s   biggest   concern for   the   future   of   the   shop.   “Right   now   my   goal   is   to   run   this as    a    successful    business,    something    like    a    franchise    or    a division of a corporation,” he said. The   shop   presently   repairs   five   or   six   cars   a   week   –   a   small number   compared   to   other   businesses   of   its   type,   Condon said. But the emphasis on restoration is starting to pay off. One    of    the    vehicles    awaiting    restoration    is    a    Plymouth Roadrunner,   a   muscle   car   of   the   1970s   which   belongs   to   a man     in     Georgia,     a     model     that     is     currently     making     a comeback, Condon said.
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“As kids, we all paid our dues and worked at the station after school,” Condon said. “That was where I learned to deal with automotive-related problems and customers.” It   was   also   during   these   years   that   Condon   learned   to   work on    cars,    especially    body    work,    since    he    took    accident vehicles and rebuilt them for his own transportation. After   earning   an   associate   degree   from   Lamar   University, Condon   went   to   work   for   Gulf   States   Utilities   Co.   where   he   is supervisor of office planning and Edison Square Garage. In   the   mid-1980s,   he   was   disappointed   with   the   return   on his   savings.   “It   looked   like   what   I   needed   to   do   was   find another way to invest my money,” Condon said. That   decision   led   to   Collision   and   Classics,   an   auto   body repair    and    rebuilding    shop    at    745    Lindbergh.    Condon opened    the    shop    in    September    1987.    The    business    is incorporated and Condon is the sole owner.       conditions, Condon went ahead and opened the shop. “It   was   a   consideration,”   Condon   said   of   the   local   economy, “but   automobiles   are   a   necessity.   I   thought   if   I   got   into   a service business that was a necessity, it might succeed.” “We    had    them    waiting    to    come    in,”    Condon    said    of    the opening   day.   “A   man   was   waiting   when   we   pushed   the   doors open and brought his truck in.” Condon   covered   his   gamble   initially   by   operating   the   shop only   during   evenings   and   weekends.   “I   wasn’t   confident   I could   find   someone   to   run   the   business   the   way   I   wanted,” he said. A   year   and   a   half   passed   before   a   combination   of   improving business   and   finding   the   right   person   to   run   the   shop   led   to it    opening    full    time.    Joe    Newman    took    charge    of    the operation   in   September   of   1989   and   the   business   continued to grow. Condon   said   he   plans   to   triple   the   capacity   of   the   three-bay shop   sometime   during   1990,   but   he   won’t   be   leaving   GSU   to work full time at Collision and Classics. “I’m   afraid   if   I   came   here   and   worked   with   Joe,   I   would crowd   him   too   much,”   Condon   said.   “I   would   have   to   go   into outside sales or something.” Accident   repairs,   about   50   percent   of   the   business,   may   be the   bread   and   butter,   but   classic   car   restoration   is   the   part that Condon prefers. “Collision    repair    is    less    of    a    challenge    than    restoration,” Condon   said.   “When   you   don’t   have   to   deal   with   20   years   of dust,   corrosion   and   previous   paint,   the   work   becomes   a   lot easier.” Keeping   the   business   growing   is   Condon’s   biggest   concern for   the   future   of   the   shop.   “Right   now   my   goal   is   to   run   this as    a    successful    business,    something    like    a    franchise    or    a division of a corporation,” he said. The   shop   presently   repairs   five   or   six   cars   a   week   –   a   small number   compared   to   other   businesses   of   its   type,   Condon said. But the emphasis on restoration is starting to pay off. One    of    the    vehicles    awaiting    restoration    is    a    Plymouth Roadrunner,   a   muscle   car   of   the   1970s   which   belongs   to   a man    in    Georgia,    a    model    that    is    currently    making    a comeback, Condon said.
Beaumont Enterprise February 5, 1990
Written by John Gerdel Jr. Gerald Condon grew up with automobiles. As a youngster growing up in Beaumont, the 1974 graduate of Forest Park High School worked in his father’s service station on College Street.