Photographer / Ron Wise
As a native and lifelong resident of Noblesville, Brian Story had much more in mind than just starting a business when he officially opened Story’s Collision Center, Inc. in 1999. He knew he could create an independent establishment that would offer a level of individualized customer service he felt was often lacking in bigger dealerships and franchises.
“I’ve never been a corporate type guy,” he says. “We’ve always tried to have a relationship with each person that we do a repair for, and give them that one-on-one that they deserve.”
Story got his start in the auto business doing bodywork at the age of 15 with his uncle and eventually got a job with Don Hinds Ford on the northside of Indy while also doing restoration jobs out of his mom and dad’s garage. As his reputation began to grow for both collision and restoration jobs, the notion of hanging out his own shingle started to take shape in Story’s mind.
“The bodywork stuff was always what I remained interested in once I started out working with my uncle,” he recalls. “I had so many people calling me to do work on their cars when I was working in my spare time out of my parents’ house, I decided to give it a try all on my own and have my own shop. I figured if it didn’t work out I could go back to a shop and be a collision tech, but it was good timing.”
Story opened to the public as a mere two-man operation with his father, who volunteered to help out after he’d retired from a management position at General Motors, and he began offering various services including collision repair, custom painting, hail damage repair, dent repair and more. Through the years as his clientele grew, he began adding employees, and he currently has a staff of five whose talent he’s quick to praise.
While specializing in collision work, Story’s has always been a go-to shop for classic car restoration as well, which remains a passion for Story himself after 20 years in business in Noblesville. Recently he and his staff finished restoring a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, and underwent a complete overhaul of a 1967 Pontiac GTO.
“The classic restoration stuff tends to be more tedious and time-consuming — you’re totally disassembling a complete car and rebuilding everything up to the paint,” Story explains. “So it can be a lot different than the work we do on contemporary automobiles, but both have been a lot of fun.”
Story adds that finding a niche in classic car restoration has allowed him to build relationships locally and regionally with a wide customer base he considers friends, in addition to the individuals, couples and families he’s gotten to know through his collision services.
“When you do restorations for people you build a relationship with the owner, and suddenly you’re friends with them and they’re calling on your cell,” he says. “That’s how the business has grown, with that word-of-mouth out in the community and at car shows. It’s a good network and it has helped open up the door for the collision side of things.”
Throughout his two decades in business, Story has been able to serve long-time Noblesville residents, those new to the area, industry colleagues and friends – even several individuals with whom he went to elementary school.
“More than anything, I like dealing with people — both my customers and the talented staff I have,” he says, adding that Story’s has been a sponsor for the Lucky Teter Rebel Run Car Show, which benefits the Noblesville Masonic Angel Fund, for several years now.
“Being independent, you can build such good relationships with people that have maybe been to a big dealership and didn’t feel they got very good customer service,” Story says. “I think that’s what makes our business strong — serving the people who want to have a real relationship while they’re having their repair done.”
Story’s Collision Center is located at 2008 Cherry Street in Noblesville. For additional info including hours of operation, details on services, testimonials and more, call 317-774-5588 or visit storyscollisioncenterin.com.