The large glass panes of Carl’s Body Shop were Carl Hounshell’s window to the world – and life’s little mishaps. In 1932, he and his bride moved to Dayton where he first worked at Frigidaire until opening the now famous Carl’s Body Shop location. The neighborhood and its residents were his friends and his shop became an enduring landmark.
Throughout the years Carl kept the business a family affair. His son – Jerry Hounshell – has worked 40 years with his father. Daughter, Virginia, began working there when she was just 10 years old. It was there that she eventually met her husband Tom, who worked in the body shop. Carl was still working 10-hour days when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He succumbed to the disease in 1988.
The family was looking for someone to take over the established business, and so enters the new and current owner – Matt Miller. In 1989, there were only six employees and profit of $400,000 a year. Fast forward – 30 employees and $2 million in sales per year later – Matt turned Carl’s into the Dayton body shop juggernaut that it is today.