Diamond Collision Puts People First, Cars Second & Horses a Close Third
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
A Hoosier by birth, Debbie Moore attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she majored in business.
“While there I spent most of my time out at the horse barn,” says Debbie, who won a national championship on the school’s equestrian team before talking her parents into letting her transfer to Texas A&M to earn a degree in animal science with an emphasis in horse production.
She became a breeding manager and spent several years living on a 160-acre ranch in Logandale, a little town an hour outside of Vegas where she worked for the legendary Wayne Newton.
“I oversaw the health of all of the horses and managed everything not in the training bar,” Moore says. “While I was there, we had two national champions.”
Moore has adored horses ever since she was a little girl and, in fact, holds an impressive collection of 3,000 model horses and other animals, which she began collecting at five years old.
“One of my favorite horse memories was during Jr-Sr High.We met afamily that had a daughter close in age to me and my sister so mom would drop us off at their place in the morning and pick us up in the afternoon,” Moore says. “We’d ride, jump in the pool, then ride some more. It was great.”
When Moore lived in Logandale, she met a man named Allen at church and the two of them hit it off. They wed in 1991 and moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where Moore became a stay-at-home mom to their daughter Amber and worked part-time in thoroughbred sales while Allen worked as an auto body technician. Though the pair considered relocating to either New Mexico or Colorado, after much prayer they ended up in Avon in 1994. In September 1998, the couple opened Diamond Frame & Unibody, doing primarily framework.
“We came up with the name because when a truck or anything with a frame gets hit and pushed a certain way, it creates a diamond to the frame,” Moore says.
“Now we do anything from little dings and dents to full train wrecks,” Moore says.
They started off renting just the back building.
“The office was so small that if Allen and I were both sitting at our desks and one of us wanted to get up, the other had to scoot all the way forward so the first could back their chair out,” Moore says.
They later purchased the property and in 2003 added on to the original building, doubling the shop size. In 2014, the Moores completely remodeled the office portion of their business, stripping it down to the walls, filling in the sub-basement to bring it up to ground level and making it aesthetically pleasing. Though they have enjoyed improving their operation, they love to hear stories about the history of the property.
“One of our customers told us that in 1946 he’d get off the school bus, hop on his tractor and ride it over here because this used to be the elevator for the farmers,” Moore says. “After they’d husk the corn off the cobs, his job was to push the cobs over into the field to be burned.”
Debbie, now the treasurer of the Indiana Auto Body Association Inc, does all she can to attract technicians to the auto body field as she and Allen have noticed, in recent years, a shortage of people going into the trades. They have partnered with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to help raise funds for tech school at both the high school and collegiate levels.
The Moores like immersing themselves in the Hendricks County community. That’s why they are active members of the Avon Chamber and have also been involved with the Kiwanis Club of Avon. They’ve sponsored a number of different teams such as Pee Wee baseball and Saint Susanna’s Basketball Camp. In the past, Debbie and Allen also participated sponsored in motorcycle rides for the fire department.
“There are a lot of organizations around here that care about giving back to the community,” Moore says. “I think that’s really great.”
Diamond Collision just celebrated their 20-year anniversary. From the beginning, their philosophy has always been “people first, cars second.” That’s because in this business, emotions can run high. For instance, several weeks ago a young woman came into the shop with her boyfriend after their vehicle had been hit and totaled. Though they were physically okay, the woman was shaken up.
“I said, ‘You look like you need a hug,’” Moore says. “She got a rental car, came back to get stuff out of her car, and I gave her another hug.”
The most important thing is the health and wellbeing of the passenger. And often that’s what Debbie and her colleagues remind their clients. For instance, when a teenager comes in, an emotional wreck, the team points out that they walked away in one piece.
“A vehicle can be fixed or replaced,” Moore says. “It did its job.”
She’s referring not only to seat belts but also the various safety features that are built into vehicles to keep passengers protected.
“If you rear-end someone these days, your hood buckles up due to the ‘crush zones,’” Moore says. “Grandpa’s car, on the other hand, was built so solid that if he had rear-ended someone, it would break the hood hinges and the hood would have gone through the windshield, which is not so good for the occupants.”
Though the Moores hear a lot of complaints from the public about roundabouts, Debbie says that they see less damage from roundabouts than they do from intersections.
“When this first one went in at Dan Jones and 100 South, we saw more ‘bump and rubs,’” Moore says. “With the 4-way stop, we used to see rear-end hits and T-bones because somebody didn’t stop.”
Though the pair stays plenty busy with their business, once a year Debbie still feeds her horse addiction by traveling to Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park where she attends BreyerFest, a convention dedicated to horses and the model horse community.
As for Allen, his hobby has evolved into a second business. A gunsmith who specializes in 1911s, Allen owns Moore Gunworks. It started when several friends saw the modifications he had made to his guns and asked if he could do the same to theirs.
“He can do minor alterations like changing sights or threading barrels, to refinishing (painting) to custom builds. And the guys who compete want to take weight off their guns, so Allen can cut designs into the slide, which both cuts weight and looks cool.” Moore says.
The Moores have two Australian Shepherds, Kira and Auggie, who are lucky enough to come to the office with their owners some days. At some point in the future, Debbie would love to have a house with some property so she can own a horse and Allen can have a gun range. But they are thrilled with their lives as is and are eager to continue serving Hendricks County residents.
Diamond Collision Services, Inc. is located at 292 S CR 800 E. in Avon. For more information, visit diamond-collision.com or call 317-272-6820.