Holmstadt Collision & Restoration
📍 Plum City, Wisconsin
Tim Holmstadt opened his dream body shop and classic car restoration business, and added a GFS Performer ES Paint Booth — all on his family farm.
Please introduce your business and tell us your story: I graduated from tech school in ‘95 to become an auto collision repair and refinish technician. Since then I’ve worked in many different body shop and collision center settings — from bigger operations to small-town shops. When I entered my forties, I started thinking more seriously about opening my own shop and thought, “If not now, when?” That’s how this venture all started in the fall of 2016. We finally opened in August 2017, giving me the opportunity to own my own shop and be back on our farm to help out when needed, which is the ideal situation that anyone who grew up on a farm can relate to.
What services do you offer and what kinds of vehicles go through your shop? Our primary focus is on collision repair and car restoration. We live out in the country and my brother works next door doing agriculture repair work, so sometimes I paint tractor parts, too.
Right now, we’re working on a ‘51 Ford and ‘31 Model A. Between sandblasting, pounding out dents, cutting out rust, welding in new panels and body filler work, there are sometimes more than 100 hours put into a vehicle before it’s even painted. But in the end, it’s all of the work that goes into it that people don’t see that makes all the difference!
What equipment did you purchase and how did you decide on GFS? I knew the first and biggest purchase when opening up the shop would be a paint booth. I’ve used average spray booths in previous positions, but I always knew I wanted something better. My paint rep told me that he knew of a used GFS booth for sale out of Cumberland, Wisconsin, but the cost to move it was too high and I knew the size wouldn’t be big enough for what I needed. I liked the design though, so I went on the GFS website and filled out a form to request more information.
I ended up purchasing one of GFS’ most affordable automotive paint booths, a non-heated Performer ES Paint Booth. It was GFS Territory Manager Troy Volbrecht who sold me on it. It was a genuine conversation when I was talking with him, and I truly appreciated that. I felt like the other suppliers I had talked to were just talking at me.
I also like that you are headquartered in Wisconsin in case something were to happen. Anytime I have a question or if there is anything I need done, the GFS team is always on top of it. The people are really what made me believe I made the right choice. I am super impressed with GFS, and they make everything super convenient for me.
The Performer paint booth has been working out great so far — I’ve used a lot of spray booths over the years, and they definitely weren’t like this. There’s plenty of room too, and the windows and doors make it seem even bigger.
What is your plan for the future of your business? Currently, the paint booth model I have is a non-heated crossdraft, and Troy said it’s an easy conversion to add-on a baking cycle, so that would be the next step. This would offer even faster drying times and throughput, and allow me to add more employees. I’m the only one here right now, but I would like to add to the team eventually. I’m not a “big shop” guy; I enjoy the small shop environment, so I’d like to keep the team small.