Meadow Vista VW aficionado has the bug

Repair or restoration, Smitty’s Auto Body’s success is no accident
By: Gloria Young, Reporter
-A +A

Smitty’s Auto Body
Where:  1088 Meadow Vista Road, Meadow Vista
Phone: (530) 878-1057
Hours:  Mon-Sat 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Facebook:  Smitty's Auto Body - Collision Repair & Restoration. Customers can view photos of repair work in progress

Smoothing out dents, straightening grilles and repainting auto bodies are second nature to Meadow Vista resident Corey Smith.
“My family comes from a long line of people who restored cars,” he said. “My father and grandfather bought totaled vehicles, fixed them up and sold them.”
Smith’s connection with cars started in childhood.
“By the time I was 10 years old, I had all my own tools and was helping with assembly and disassembly — handling just about any part of restoration and repair,” he said.
After gaining even more experience in a local shop and earning ASE certifications, Smith opened Smitty’s Auto Body in Meadow Vista in October. The shop handles accident repair as well as restoration of vintage vehicles. He’s also a DuPont-certified waterborne painter.
The shop has 2,000 square feet of space, with a car lift and top-of-the-line spray booth. His wife, Jamie Smith, runs the office
The body repair equipment includes metal fabrication tools.
“We can fabricate our own body components,” Smith said. “We hand-make those for restoration (vehicles).”
Meadow Vista resident David Dickson, who recently brought in his wife’s vehicle for repair, was impressed by the quick turnaround.
“… We had damage to our Subaru on the hood,” he said. “… So for the first time we went over there and had (Smith) look at the car. He said he’d be happy to do (the repair) and that he could have it ready in three days. That was a Friday. ... I left the car there and he had it done on Monday afternoon. I couldn’t believe it. He did a beautiful job with everything perfectly done.”
Smith also repainted a discolored area on the car.
 “A little more than we’d asked him to do,” Dickson said. “In addition, he’s very friendly.”
The shop handles all varieties of vehicles, but Volkswagens are Smith’s favorite.
“We specialize in early Volkswagens. … We’ve done work on anything from 1950 to 1967 (models),” he said. “If you come to our shop on any given day, there’ll probably be four or five sitting around.”
Smith attends car shows, including Auburn Cruise Nites, as an aficionado and vendor.
“You pull up to a show in an early microbus, it’s not something you see everywhere,” he said.
He’s currently restoring a Volkswagen notchback.
“It’s kind of rare,” he said. “(We’re making a) street strip car out of it – putting in a big engine that is fast enough to be on a race strip but legal to be on the street.”
The business is a dream come true.
“I just have a passion for vehicles – any part of it,” he said. “I like the restoration stuff but I also like working on cars. For me, (the joy is) owning my own facility and handling repair work the way I want it done. I just love every part of it.”