Seventy-three years is a long time for an auto body shop to be in business, but the post-World War II automobile boom couldn’t have been better timed for Easley’s Body and Paint Shop in West Plains, which first opened doors in 1945.
Over the next 10 years, the automobile industry would quadruple production, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, and between 1945 and 1980, motor vehicle production increased tenfold, researchers from the University of Gronigen in the Netherlands reported. Hindsight seems to suggest Truman Easley’s decision to open an automobile body and repair shop at the onset of the boom was perceptive, if not shrewd.
Today, the shop has continued to adapt to its customer base and performs repairs and bodywork on a multitude of vehicles made for land and water travel. Now under the leadership of owner/operator Roger Harper, the company aims to offer quality collision repair and partners with other area businesses to put customers’ needs first, said shop manager and Roger’s wife, Shealia Harper.
Roger took over ownership of the business in 2009 from Brock Moore, who had bought it about 15 years before from Easley, Shealia said. In all Roger has been with the company about 25 years, as has the shop’s only other employee, Jerry Wood.
For at least 25 years, Easley’s Body and Paint Shop has been located at 4719 U.S. 160, about 3 miles south of West Plains city limits. Services offered in addition to general auto bodywork and repair include windshield and window replacement, collision repair, spray-on bedliners and auto body paint. Shealia said the company stands out because of its dedication to quality work and customer service.
“We treat people like we want to be treated,” she explained. “We want people to feel they’re well taken care of.” Every step of the way, she added, customers are partners in their own projects, as the company makes an effort to give customers exactly what they want, affordably.
Easley’s Body and Paint Shop works with all insurance companies, increasing accessibility for many customers. In addition, the company guarantees its work for as long as the customer owns the vehicle on which work was carried out.
Shealia said the focus on customers is more than just good business — it’s just one of many ways the company tries to give back to its community.
She described the way the community came together for the Harpers in their own time of need: Shealia is a lung cancer survivor and during the most exhaustive portion of her treatment, she was driving to and from St. Louis almost daily. Family, friends and customers came together to see the couple through, taking shifts driving and helping out where they could, said Shealia, crediting the experience with building meaningful friendships.
As a result, she said, she and Roger are determined to give back to the community, offering support the way they were once supported.
To learn more about Easley’s Body and Paint Shop, call 256-3852, email email@example.com, follow “Easley’s Body and Paint Shop” on Facebook or drop in during business hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.