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About Us

The Wood Family Story

Our Grandfather, Clyde Wood, born in 1909, grew up on a farm, but decided to try his hand in the auto repair business during the Great Depression of the early 1930’s. He worked at Ford Motor Co. building bodies on new cars. Later, he worked as a metal man in an auto body shop in Denver, Colorado. In 1939, Grandpa moved to California, where he first worked in body shops, but then transitioned to working in shipyards to assist in the war effort during World War II. After the war, he started his own body shop in San Francisco. He built his own bake oven to cure paint and set up an assembly line paint shop using knowledge gained from his experience on the production line at Ford Motor Company.

Our father, Bob Wood started working in our grandfather’s shop at age 10, painting tires, striping wheels, doing detail work, and cleaning the shop. However, grandpa decided to move back to Colorado with his family in 1952, with dreams of returning to his roots in farming, and to give his boys the experience of life on a farm. Ultimately, grandpa discovered that he wasn’t meant to be a farmer and decided to return to the auto repair business. He and dad worked together in Colorado at a family body shop until 1962, when they moved back to California.

Dad later moved to Willows, California, where he started his own body shop in 1964. In 1967, he decided to move the business to San Francisco, just as his father had done almost 30 years earlier. In 1977, he began working for Saltnes Volkswagen as their Body Shop Manager, Dad was blessed with a boss willing to show him how to run a profitable business and who taught him, by example, the importance of taking care of your employees.

Never wanting to give up his dream of owning his own body shop and working for himself, in 1979, dad took out a second mortgage on the family home and bought Cooks Auto Body in Redwood City from Ray Cook. Cooks Auto Body was known for quality work on luxury cars and specialized restorations throughout the San Francisco peninsula. Dad gave a great deal of consideration to changing the name of the business when he bought it; however, because of the excellent reputation Cooks had earned, he decided to keep it.

My brother, Rick and I, both started working for our father while we were in Junior High School. When dad finally bought Cooks in ‘79, Rick was a freshman in college and I was in the 8th grade.

In the Mid 80’s, we were given the opportunity to expand the business. We had developed many relationships with Mercedes and other luxury car dealers and decided to grow with them in Burlingame and, Walnut Creek, California, as well as Scottsdale, Arizona.

In the Mid 90’s, outside capital started making its way into the collision repair business, and we were faced with a choice: either be acquired or strengthen our footprint in Northern California. We chose the latter. Around this same time, dad started his transition into well-deserved retirement. This ultimately took him to his current home in Idaho, where he continues to ski in the winter and race stock cars in the warmer months.

In the late 90’s, Rick and I wrote our first business plan and decided to grow throughout Northern California. Along the way, we have been privileged to hire great employees who have helped us continue to grow and refine our business model.

Bob ans Kip WoodToday, we have 39 locations throughout California with over 800 devoted employees and many invaluable, long-term business relationships. We are the largest family-owned collision repair company in the country, and we are proud to welcome the 4th generation of Woods to the family business.

We are very fortunate to have supportive parents who worked hard, took chances and never gave up on Dad’s dream of owning his own business. In turn, this gave my brother and me the confidence to pursue our own dream of taking over the family business and growing it into one of the best collision repair businesses in the country.

~Don and Rick Wood