Three Generations Keep Trains Running on Time at CARSTAR Jacobus

Three Generations Keep Trains Running on Time at CARSTAR Jacobus

CARSTAR Jacobus Founder Jerry Jacobus and son Dave share a passion for collision repair and also model railroading.

When Dave Jacobus’ father opened his automobile repair shop in Vancouver, Wash., in 1976, he never dreamed that his son and grandson would still be running it nearly 50 years later. But everything is on track for CARSTAR Jacobus as they plan for a new greenfield location and stoke the engines for Jacobus’ son, Justin, to keep the trains running on time into the next half-century.

Dave’s father, Jerry, led the business (then named Vancouver Frame and Auto Body), and Dave grew up working in the shop after school. He left the business for a bit but returned to help his father after his mother passed away, then became the owner. When a friend suggested he look at CARSTAR to help grow his company, he found his ideal partner and joined in 2004.

Today, CARSTAR Jacobus is thriving, with excellent KPIs, an I-CAR-trained staff and full schedule of vehicles to repair. In fact, they have announced a new greenfield location and broken ground on construction to continue their growth. The new facility will feature a little over 10,000 square feet of repair space, advanced tools and technology with a wireless platform, and 188 parking spots for vehicles in process. This will allow CARSTAR Jacobus to expand their dedicated service for Subaru owners, a popular vehicle in their area, and support their insurance partners including State Farm.

“We’ve worked closely with our distributor Wesco, our paint partner BASF and our paint booth supplier Garmat, along with the team at CARSTAR, to design this facility for process efficiency, work flow, environmental impact and technician performance,” said Dave Jacobus. “They have all been tremendous resources in helping us plan for the equipment we need for the future, our power and technology needs, and how we create a footprint for excellent repairs and throughput.”

Dave also partnered with his lead estimator, Vince Pellegrini, to plan the shop, and Pellegrini will move to the role of business partner with Jacobus when it opens in 2025. The new CARSTAR facility will feature an enhanced customer lobby to provide meeting space for reviewing estimates and vehicle repairs, comfortable waiting areas and on-site car rental.

Jerry still volunteers at CARSTAR Jacobus, greeting customers, visiting with team members and providing some occasional guidance to his son and grandson. But his real passion is model railroading, a hobby he and his son have shared for years. Jerry built an entire village based on Vancouver, Wash., including a tiny model of the family’s CARSTAR location. He also serves as the honorary conductor for the local Christmas train each year, entertaining guests on the holiday adventure.

Jerry’s passion for keeping things on track extended to his operations and was passed down to his son. He taught them to always apply themselves, take care of the customers, focus on the quality and always help people.

The mission statement at CARSTAR Jacobus says it all: “Our number-one priority is the relationship we develop with each one of our customers. CARSTAR Jacobus and its team of highly skilled employees strive to give you high-quality, cost-effective auto body repair and to take care of your needs with compassion and kindness. We are equipped with the modern technology required to repair today’s complex vehicles both foreign and domestic. We believe in conducting our business the same way we live our lives — with honesty, integrity and fairness.”

“My dad stressed that it always pays off to work hard, apply yourself and take care of your employees and your customers,” said Dave Jacobus. “He laid the tracks for us and created the foundation. It’s that attention to every detail, making the extra effort and going the extra mile that makes the difference. And that applies whether you are rebuilding a damaged vehicle or building a model railroad.”

For more information on CARSTAR, visit

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