Rear View Mirror

The History of the Automobile in America,

it’s mechanical and auto body technology and development, the people who drive them, the laws they are subject to, the evolution of the roads they drive on, and almost inevitably, the technology required to recover a collision-damaged vehicle and return it to drivable condition, are all intertwined. The history of the collision repair industry, most specifically, the many companies that support the industry, have a long and interestingly varied past.

These items are offered as informational only, and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of American Honda.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Up until the late 1930’s, all cars were built the same with a body (made first of wood, then of sheet metal) bolted onto a steel frame.  Then in 1940, the Budd Company of Detroit was the first to create, what is known today, as a unibody-construction vehicle.  A unibody car is built without a frame where the sheet metal is strong enough and stiff enough to support the weight of the car.  Nash Motors was the first automaker to contract with Budd for the new body format – but few others did.  The idea took about 40 years to catch on, but when it did, it revolutionized the way cars were built, and the way collision damaged cars were repaired.  It was a major shift in collision repair technology.  Today, about the only vehicle-type that does not use unibody construction are trucks including pickup trucks.


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