Life

Chico's Collision celebrates 35 years

By Miriam King, Bradford Times

It takes more than just hard work to thrive in the competitive automotive repair industry for 35 years. It also takes innovation, vision and dedication to customer service and quality.

Just ask any of the customers of Chico’s Collision Centre, located in the Bradford Auto Mall at 435 Dissette St. Or ask Chico Pinto himself.

As a kid, he worked for a shop located in an auto plaza, and was inspired. “I thought to myself, if I ever have my own shop, I want an auto mall, for one-stop shopping,” he said.

It took a while to achieve that dream. He first opened a body shop on Dissette Street, in partnership with dad Gabe Pinto, back on Sept. 4, 1982. It wasn’t until 1991 that the Pintos built the Bradford Auto Mall at its present location, home to Chico’s Collision, Autoremedy, Drive True Automotive and AutoGlass Plus, a collection of businesses that offer everything from body shop repairs and color-matching, to windshield replacement and custom detailing.

“It’s a tough business,” Chico admitted, but Chico’s Collision Centre has maintained its reputation by working with top quality mechanics and shops in the area, and focusing on quality and integrity. It’s worked so well that they have never had to advertise. Word of mouth has been enough to keep business booming.

“We like to think we’re leaders in the industry,” said brother Joe Pinto, a partner in the business. Chico’s Collision offers innovative color-matching, and a life-time guarantee. “Let us put the car back together, the way it was done at the factory.”

Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer, Councillors Gary Baynes, Peter Dykie Jr., Gary Lamb, Peter Ferragine and Mark Contois were joined by representatives of the Bradford Board of Trade last week, congratulating Chico’s Collision on its years of success.

“Thirty-five years in business, a competitive business like an automotive business, it’s amazing,” said Keffer.

“You’re well-known, well-liked, well-respected as a business man,” added Baynes.

Bradford has come a long way, in the last three-and-a-half decades, and so has Dissette Street. When the Pintos came to Bradford in 1966, Chico said,  “I remember as a kid it was a dirt road and farmer’s fields.”  Now, it’s an important hub for transportation and business, and the Pintos have played a role, not only with the Bradford Auto Mall, but also their plaza at 100 Dissette St., housing Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, a veterinarian, vehicle licensing office, town administration offices and other local businesses.

And Chico’s Collision has always been engaged in the community. Chico himself said,  “It’s a great town. We love this town. I could never imagine myself living anywhere else.”

Chico’s Collision Centre, 435 Dissette St.; for information, call 905-775-3663.