Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. The best place to research the safety features before buying that car is:
Consumer’s Report, a nationally known, objective resource about everything from cars to coffee pots;
The manufacturer itself. By law, manufacturers are required to file safety, along with other statistics, o the government for the public’s review.
By heading down the street to your neighborhood car fix-it shop and get the lead mechanic’s take on the car you’re considering purchasing.
These are all good options, but there’s a better one – the people who put the cars back together after an accident – if they can be reassembled at all.
B&B Collision is an excellent place to start your research.
“People can write anything they want about cars and their safety standards,” says Wendy Tomassi, business manager of the family run shop. Randy Booden, Wendy’s brother and shop owner, practices what he preaches. As time allows, he builds cars, from the tread up, and then races them in events across the country.”
“We get to see what they’re really made of when they’re towed in here,” Wendy added.
To an individual, Wendy, Randy and Nick, the shop manager, all gave a thumbs-up to Saturns. “They’re well engineered, the parts are easy to get and they’re pretty much a perfect fit right out of the box,” Wendy said.
“Plus, they have a lot of kid safety features already installed, which tells you something about what the designers are thinking about,” she added, referring to the half-door that allows easier access to the back seats. “Those seats also make it easier for a child to get out of a car.”
Another car in the safety category is like hospital wallpaper. It’s always the same color, no matter where you go; after a while, it becomes synonymous with comfort and relaxation; and finally, it becomes invisible. Your eye doesn’t catch it any more. It’s become part of the landscape.
That’s because it’s a Ford Taurus. “We don’t see many of those in here, which means Taurus drivers are very good drivers, or the car is built to take quite a beating and keep on going,” Wendy added. “Here again, parts are easy to find and often we can get them overnight.
“We’re very aware of that sinking feeling customers get when we tell them we can have their car assembled and on the road inside of a few hours – but it’s going to take two weeks to get the parts,” she added.
Nick, the shop manager, said Kia’s may have some cute designs for the market they’re after, but there’s nothing exceptional under the hood and no reason for kids to have Kia or GMC pickups.
“What’s kid that age going to do with a pickup, anyway?” After everyone winked their way through the obvious, Nick continued. “They’re horrible to drive in the winter. Now you’re talking not only about a car that’s automatically difficult to drive in rain and snow, but it’s a car with no weight in the back.
“You’ll never convince me that was a bright idea when all of, say, Kia’s designers said, “OK, let’s make a car with all the weight in the front. Everyone will overlook it when we hit it with our new sparkle paint series, available in every color.”
Which takes us back to our last story, about B%B’s new paint shop, which can paint and make the paint dry inside of an afternoon (a job like that used to take a day). “I can write up an order that will give you the prettiest car on the road. It might have a hole underneath the paint and Bondo that you could send a cannon ball sailing through, but geez, will that car look good.”
“We don’t do thing that way around here,” Randy said. After more than 20 years in this business, you learn that a car must be reassembled right, or not at all. Some cars are built to take a small “bang” every now and then, but they’re easy to be fixed. Then there are others, like that Kia out there on the lot that looks like a pita roll-up, that was designed to be a one-hit wonder.”