The family-owned tag attached to any business speaks of tradition, loyalty and hard work. Family-owned for Thru-It-All Body Shop in Mount Joy reaches a new level, maybe the highest level. When you step into the body shop’s office at 1230 West Main Street, that appointment you are scheduling takes place in what was the Wilson’s childhood home for brothers, Joe Jr., Keith and Luther.
In 1974, after learning the trade and perfecting his skills, Joe Wilson Sr. started Thru-It-All and later moved the body shop business into the home, keeping the values of integrity, quality repair, and superior customer service in the forefront.
Now the three Wilson brothers, all Donegal High School graduates, maintain the tradition their father put his heart and soul into, while navigating the business through technological and customer-service advancements.
“Dad has a kind spirit, people take to him,” Keith, 47, says. “In 2000, he retired. Occasionally, we call him up and he lends a helping hand, but when he was 57, we said, ‘We got it Pop, you go and enjoy life.’”
The company is in good hands and growing as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Thru-It-All is Mount Joy’s premier auto collision shop and serves all of Central Pennsylvania. for collision repair. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., they work with insurance companies and offer free estimates, and they can handle any damage/repair you throw at them.
Four years ago, the brothers added a second facility in Mount Joy that features a state-of-the-art SprayTech paint booth and prep deck. It’s a stark contrast to the shop their dad opened 40 years ago, but a sign of how the body shop business to keeps advancing to meet the demanding needs of the industry.
“The cars keep changing so you need to adapt with that,” Luther says. “It means new equipment and new training.”
“You wreck your car, we fix it,” Keith adds.
The new booth uses eco-friendly waterborne paint, and the facility is built to match California emissions standards, which are some of the toughest in the country.
The booth also provides a clean and more efficient paint job with less drying time involved, which means customers can get their car back in perfect condition in a shorter amount of time. “We can spray a car in the morning and send it down the road that afternoon,” Luther says. “The whole business keeps evolving. We wanted to be ahead of the curve on this, and we have room to grow.” Thru-It-All’s shop is equipped with resistance welders and frame-straightening machines. They can handle any mechanical service related to the collision damage.
All of this high tech equipment and advanced technology would be useless without the hard-work and dedication of the skilled Thru-It-All employees.
“We have some of the best employees and highest tech equipment in the area,” says Joe Jr., 50, who started working with his dad in the body shop during high school. “Painting is a big part of the repair process because that is what everyone notices when repairs are finished.”
Joe is hands-on, spending a lot of time in the shop working on cars. Keith and Luther, 43, work in the front office where they focus on the “customer service side of things”..., something their dad stressed to them at a young age. “That means starting the experience with friendly service when you walk in the door, answering every question, and keeping the customer updated throughout the whole repair process,” Keith explains.
“Number One, they expect us to fix their car and do it right,” Luther says. “But how they are treated when they get here is important, too. We want to make this stress-free for them. A lot of times they don’t know how to handle the process with repairs and insurance.”
“We do everything we can to make the experience go smoothly not difficult,” Keith adds.
That empathetic spirit got its spark when Joe Sr., while growing up in Virginia, saw a wrecked 1954 Chevy pickup on a mountain road. After seeing that same truck drive by weeks later, with body re-done and the paint shining again, Joe Sr. found his calling in a profession built around helping people.
The body shop’s name comes from a Christian song, “Through it All,” by Andrae Crouch. The song came out in 1972, the same year the shop opened. Faith is something the Wilson brothers say their dad lives on. “Our dad started this business on $500 and Faith” Keith explains.
Thru-It-All maintains that spirit of faith and giving within the local community as well, working with Car Care Ministry in Mount Joy and providing support to multiple athletics teams. The shop is also the primary sponsor for a 50-member competitive cycling team that has earned multiple state championship titles.
That community involvement is a key part of the overall message Joe Sr. passed on to the boys, a message for life and for the body shop business tradition. With ten employees, they also carry on the sense of family and commitment.
“We have good employees, guys who work hard,” Keith says.
“We appreciate and take care of them,” Luther says. “At the end of the day, they are our extended family.”
As are the customers they serve.
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