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Mark’s Body Shop Owner Talks Car Collection & Helping Customers Get Back on the Road

Writer  /  Mary Lowry
Photographer  /  Jubilee Edgell

If you’re selling a 1967 Fairlane GT, make sure to let Mark Shell know. It’s one of his dream cars.

Shell, owner of Mark’s Body Shop in Knox, grew up admiring the cars of almost everyone around him. His father collected classic cars, as did his friends and his brothers, so from a young age, Shell knew that he, too, would want to collect cars one day. Twenty-one years ago, he was able to begin buying cars of his own, and it has been a huge passion of his ever since.

“What made me interested in collecting cars was that, growing up with my dad, he owned some older vehicles, and my older brothers and some friends of mine had several old cars. Being around classic cars like that always made me want to have some of them,” he says.

His interest in restoring older cars piqued when he was 18 — his friend had an old car that Shell restored, and he fell in love with the work then. From there, he opened up his own shop in January of 1998. There, he does less regarding restoring classic cars and he focuses instead on collision repair. Despite the differences, he still loves his job and what he does.

“Probably when I first got into the business, I was basically 18 years old, and I restored a car for a good friend of mine,” Shell says. “Even though I mostly do collision repair, I’ve always enjoyed doing the restoration part in older cars.”

Shell’s work restoring his own cars has been viewed far and wide, and he has attended plenty of car shows, from the Cavalcade of Wheels in South Bend, to shows in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Shell has even attended the Ford Nationals show in Pennsylvania. Of course, they still participate in local shows.

Currently, he owns about 20 cars. Most of them, he explains, are kept in a pole barn at his house. Some are restored, while others are not. Every once in a while, he brings one of his cars into the showroom at his shop, Shell’s Auto Body.

Since he opened the business in 1998, Shell recognizes how important good, hard and loyal workers are to keep a business open. He cites them as some of the reason for the great success of the shop and the other reason is his family.

“I’ve had good support from my family, too, because I work a lot of hours and it takes me away from a lot of things, but they’ve always been supportive,” he says.

If you have been in an accident and are looking for proper collision repair, you can visit Mark’s Body Shop at 12 S Prettyman Street. You can also give them a call at 574-772-7003 or visit them online at marksautobodycollisionrepair.com for more information.

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