Wheeler’s Collision and Paint Inc., a second generation business, dates back to 1969, when Joe Wheeler Senior opened the first edition of Wheeler’s on Commerce Avenue in Longview. It began as “Joe Wheeler’s Body Shop”, tailored only to car repairs.
Only existing in this area for a short period, Joe Senior relocated his business to a larger location in order to extend the criteria of the company to include the repair on trucks and equipment as well as cars.
In 1976 he finally purchased the Talley Way Property where the current business resides today. He and his son Joe Wheeler Jr. spent two years building the auto shop and opened their new location in 1978. However, if truth be told, it wasn’t Joe Juniors first time helping his father out in the shop, it all started out at a young age.
Like Dennis the Menace in many ways, Joe Junior would parade around the shop, hovering over the workers while closely examining their work. When Joe turned six and no longer was a menace, Joe senior, considering it fit, granted him the permission to sweep and clean up small messes within the shop. Each stroke of the broom Joe Junior grew a keen eye for the mechanics and labor put behind auto repair. Every day he learned more about the industry through observation of his father and the other employees. In fact, he was only ten years old when he put his second hand knowledge to action and painted his first machine, a D8 Cat Tractor. He was so enthused by his achievement it gave him a never ending hunger to succeed and excel in the car repair industry.
His passion bled through his work ethic and not only did the other workers begin to notice it, his father also recognized it. At the age of sixteen, Joe was presented with the duty of running the shop while Joe Senior took a vacation out of the country. This was one of Joe Juniors most profound moments in his career because his father, not only someone he was related to and had learned from, but also the man he looked up to the most, had finally given him the respect and approval of a fellow colleague. From this day on Joe dedicated his time and effort toward the family business. Whenever he wasn’t at school, he was lending a hand in the shop and working side by side with his father.
In 1990 Joe Senior turned the shop over to Joe Junior with all his confidence and blessings. Since 1990 the business has continued to thrive branching out from a small auto repair business to a truck and auto collision and paint incorporation. Unlike any other shop, Wheeler’s is very unique. They not only provide full body collision repair on the standard car and trucks, but now they also provide full mechanical repair on boats, trailers and RV’s. Currently the business is entitled as Wheeler’s Collision and Paint, Inc. and extends its services to a variety of customers spanning across Washington and Oregon.
To this day, Joe spends many hours working relentlessly in the shop from dusk till dawn. Not only does Joe enjoy the fulfillment of exemplary customer service to his patrons, he also takes pleasure in his personal triumph towards his passion.