Jimmy Danner grew up at Murdock’s Metal and Paint auto repair shop in downtown Ely working for his father. Little did he know that he would eventually follow in his footsteps to become the owner and manager of the auto body repair shop.
“I was in here when I was 12 years old working for my dad,” Danner said. “When the time came to buy the place out, it just felt like the natural next step. Now I’ve been here for 44 years.”
Danner said the key to his business has always been about taking care of his customers and his employees. He admits growing up in the shop, he never saw fixing cars as a hobby. He worked hard and became good at it because he needed the money. What he realized was his enjoyment didn’t come from tightening screws or replacing fan belts, it was working with a good group of people and helping others get back on the road.
“My favorite part about this job is knowing that we are providing meals for the families of my employees,” Danner said. “I was never in auto shop in high school. It was fun for me to work on cars all day. I enjoy working with people to make sure they are taken care of. That’s what I get the most out of.”
Not that he has always had the luxury of a hardworking staff surrounding him. In his many years running the repair shop, Danner recalls one time where he had to operate by himself.
“There have been good times and bad times and you just have to adjust your approach as a manager. I can recall on two-month stretch where it was just me and a part-time helper running things. But we got the work done,” Danner said, before adding, “What you learn is that running your own businesses is hard work. I don’t know if anyone thinks that it is easy, but that is not the case.”
Murdock’s Metal and Paint receives “around 95 percent” of its business on collision repair. Through his years working on cars, Danner said this time of year is when things usually start to pick up as the roads get slick with rain or snow.
“We have busy and slow winters. What people need to look out for is what I call slick and quick storms, where it snows and gets the roads slick, but then melts off before people get used to driving on it,” he said.
For more information on Murdock’s, or to set up a repair, call Danner at 775-289-4723.