HJ/EDMay 15, 2006

John's Collision opens in Howard Lake

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

John Stapel of Winsted collided with his career path a year out of high school – a path that led him to open his own business in Howard Lake May 1.

“I was going to community college in Willmar when I was spending more time at the technical school with my friend, who was taking an auto body class,” Stapel said.

“The teacher told me I’d better sign up for the class next year, or start paying tuition,” Stapel laughed.

That was the beginning of Stapel’s auto body career, which led him to open up John’s Collision in the industrial park on the west side of Howard Lake.

“People shouldn’t have to look too hard to find me,” Stapel said, whose business is right off of Highway 12.

A native to the area, Stapel grew up in Lester Prairie, and moved to Winsted about six years ago, where he now lives with his wife, Julie, and 7-year-old daughter, Alexis.

Stapel chose to open his business in Howard Lake because it was close to his home, and there wasn’t many auto body shops in the area.

Stapel has worked in the industry for 10 years, and was last employed at HEI Collision in Waconia.

His business offers repair of all types of vehicles, glass replacement, frame work, restoration, Dupont refinishing, paintless dent repair, and expert color matching.

Stapel guarantees all of his work, and gives free estimates, so if customers aren’t sure if it’s worth fixing, he can tell them.

Stapel has fixed some vehicles that were in pretty bad shape over the years, including a 2002 Denali that was in a rollover.

“The customer was very happy, and surprised, at how well it came out. It was a big job,” Stapel said.

Stapel also does restorations of older cars.

John’s Collision is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call (320) 543-0190.

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