Body shop has seen industry change in past 60 years
NETTLETON – James Baulch was just 17 years old when he started B&H back in 1962. In 1980, Baulch’s nephew, Gary Flurry, graduated high school and started working for his uncle.
“I just started out learning the ropes and I’ve been here ever since,” said Flurry, who became co-owner in 2009.
B&H offers a range of services, including lower control arms repair, paint jobs and framework repair.
During the 50 years since B&H has been in business, both Baulch and Flurry have seen many new developments in the automobile industry.
“Paints have really changed. We used to use acrylic lacquer, but now it’s a base coat – clear coat system or a three-stage system,” Flurry said.
Lacquer-based paint is cheaper and goes on easier, but is rarely used now due to standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. The base coat – clear coat systems and three-stage systems require more finishing work, in addition to the drawbacks of being more expensive and a high toxicity when applied.
The materials used to manufacture vehicles have also evolved since Baulch first started B&H.
“There is a lot more aluminum in the body structures today, which makes it difficult to give an accurate estimate at the front end because the cars are so much more compact. It’s hard to see what all is wrong with them until we get in there,” said Baulch, who points out that aluminum often requires more replacing than repairing.
With the future of automobiles moving toward replacing all the steel in cars with materials like duraluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass, not to mention the need for more energy efficient vehicles like hybrids and electric cars, B&H is sure to see more changes – changes Baulch said they are ready for them.
“We haven’t fixed any hybrids yet, but we will. We can fix anything,” Baulch said.
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About Emily Tubb
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