My name is Charlie Johnson. My son, Chuck Johnson and I have owned Quality Collision for over 40 years. A typical day here, for myself, is basically writing estimates and enjoying the customers that do come in the shop.
I started this business when I was 23 years old. Right now, at my age, my favorite part of the job is estimating and taking care of the office part of it, because I can’t really do the job as proficient as they should be done. That’s why I have my son and I have a very good crew. Four other men work here. They’re highly trained technicians.
When I was a youngster, my parents sent me upstate to my grandparents house during summer vacations, and I learned to body trade from him. I started out up there at 10, and I just kept on doing it every year. I learned the hard way, I learned the correct way to repair cars.
A lot of shops, a lot of insurance companies, they want to use aftermarket parts … we basically use original equipment manufacturer factory parts. And we’re probably one of the only shops that put the car back to pre-accident condition.
I brought my son in the business when he was about 10 or 11 years old. I did the same thing with him as my grandfather did with me — I taught him, and my son is probably one of the best techs on the east end of the island. He’s 43 now.
This business is important to me because it’s my life. I live locally here in South Jamesport. I’ve been in Riverhead for over 40 years, satisfying the community, and I’ve probably fixed half of Riverhead’s cars in this facility, because when I started this business, there was no other body shop around. So, I was pretty much the pioneer in Riverhead back in the day.
Then I built this 6,000-square-foot facility, we have state-of-the-art equipment. That was back in 1980 was when I moved into this building. We’re still here, and we do the right thing for everybody.
Quality Collision & Automotive Repair Inc. is located at 423 Riverleigh Ave. in Riverhead.