When Stars Collide - BodyShop Business

When Stars Collide

This repairer was excited when former NFL running back Harlan Huckleby walked into his Michigan shop. But repairing Huckleby's car turned out to be more of a headache than a hoot.

Celebrities often are like French fries. They come in large and small packages. Some “big fries” are recognizable by just about anybody and typically have an entourage of bodyguards and go-fors surrounding them. Then there are the small fries, who are known in certain circles – the local-boy-done-good types who, at times, forget their packaging altogether.

Regardless of stature, often enough, it’s the ego of the celebrity that comes in one super-sized package.

In one such case, a Michigan shop owner was more than a little excited to have the chance to fix the car of a former University of Michigan rushing star and former Green Bay Packer running back.

As is the law for anyone born and raised in Michigan, Doug Young – then owner of A.M.T. Autobody, in Plymouth, Mich. – was a University of Michigan fan. So, right away, Young knew who Harlan Huckleby was when he strolled into the shop in 1997. He’d played for Michigan in the late ’70s and for Green Bay from 1980 to 1985.

As the proud coach of a little league football team (with all the wall decorations and plaques to prove it), Young thought he hit it off well with Huckleby.

“He wasn’t a jerk the whole time but maybe a little arrogant,” says Young. “We talked at length about what football had done for him and how important it was to keep kids involved in sports at an early age.”

Huckleby needed work done on his wife’s ’97 Dodge Intrepid, which had suffered an average front-end hit, and he decided he wanted Young’s shop to do the job.

The repairs turned out to be about $1,800 plus a supplement for an A/C condenser. When Huckleby picked up his car, he was happy with the repairs, paid his deductible and left.
Young was happy, too, until …

“His deductible check bounced and when we called him about it, he acted like he was mad at us over having to come back by to pay us,” says Young, who ended up sending his wife out to pick up the deductible payment.

Then came the next problem. When the insurance company sent Huckleby the check for a supplement by mistake, he cashed it – and told Young to sue him for the $400.

“I said, ‘See you in court,’ ” says Young.

Not long after, Young got a call from the local car dealer that had referred Huckleby to his shop.

“[The dealer] said if I ever wanted another job from them, I wouldn’t embarrass his friend,” Young says. “We were a new shop, so having a local Dodge dealer sending us work wasn’t anything I wanted to blow for $400. So, I just let it go.”

Young has since sold his shop and now manages a shop in the same town.

“We’d certainly do another celebrity’s car,” he says. “One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole barrel.”

But it sure does stink!

Click here to read Harlan Huckleby’s response

Writer Cheryl McMullen is the former managing editor for BodyShop Business.

You May Also Like

Cruise Postpones Release of Driverless Taxi Service

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019.

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the company plans to dramatically increase the number of its autonomous test vehicles on the road in San Francisco, but will not be offering rides to regular people this year, according to an article from The Verge.

Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions Partners with Andretti Rallycross

Andretti Rallycross announced that Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions will serve as technical partner on Cabot Bigham’s No. 02 OINK Clothing Beetle for the remainder of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season, showcasing their SP Tools USA brand.

Ford, Volkswagen Expand Collaboration to Include Autonomous, Electric Vehicles

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.

CCAR Updates Website with More OSHA Alliance Resources

CCAR (Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair) has announced the addition of new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance content on its main website, www.ccar-greenlink.org.

CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine Open in California

Owned by husband-and-wife team James and Mary Davis, CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine are a family business.

Other Posts

CIECA to Offer Webinar on What Businesses Need to Know to Implement CIECA Standards

CIECA will hold its next CIECAst webinar, “Implementing CIECA Standards: Implementation Guide and Appendix C – BMS, Code Lists and Shema Components,” on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at 11 a.m. CST.

CARSTAR Urges Customers to Stay Winter Ready

Cold weather can create some of the harshest driving conditions of the year. The months between October and February top the list for accidents, vehicle damage and injuries.

CIECA Adds Broadly as Corporate Member

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced that Broadly has joined CIECA as a corporate member.

NABR Launches BillableGenie Online Searchable Database of Insurer-Paid Not-Included Procedures

National AutoBody Research (NABR) has announced the launch of its BillableGenie online service, an independent, centralized source of actual data on insurer paid not-included procedures and operations, labor rates, labor rate concessions and other manually entered estimate line items.