Customers who come to Concours Auto Salon San Antonio inquiring about our paintless dent repair service often think that this method of dent repair is something new. They are very surprised when they learn it is a process or art form that has been around for decades.
This is a brief history of paintless dent repair.
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) gets its primitive worldwide origins from the assembly lines of the Mercedes and BMW plants in Germany dating back over 60 years there. It is unknown who started and perfected this craft there. In the US, PDR has several traceable origins. The most verifiable is Nattalio Balderama and Dent Wizard dating their incorporation back to 1983 here. Nattalio, or Lido as he is more commonly known, came to the US from Argentina in the early ’80s. He was a body man from there who was frustrated that a car panel had to be straightened and then painted to be considered properly repaired. He took old-school metal bumping techniques and molded them into modern-day PDR principles. He came to the US and started practicing this art and through lots of courting, formed Dent Wizard with a few American businessman.
Another US PDR pioneer is Juergen Holzer from Minnesota. He was a BMW factory PDR tech from Germany who moved to Minneapolis in about 1978 and started Dent Kraft there. He traveled all across the US, like Lido in those early days repairing high line cars. He does not have the corporate documentation to be able to refute DW’s claim here as being the original.
In 1986 Dent Doctor was formed when Tom Harris, a successful American businessman stumbled upon the talents of Darwin Sanders and the 2 joined forces. Darwin’s roots go back to his body shop days, and he claims to be an original here in the US. The modern-day Mecca of PDR in Springfield, Missouri. A large group of guys that worked at Springfield Acura there started into the PDR trade in about 1990. They included Jerry Powell, Scott Clifton, Jerry Blehm, and a few others. I’m sure there are many others who claim some type of originality, but the ones listed above have the most substantiation.
Paintless dent repair technicians usually take 1 of 3 different career paths. Some chose to chaise hail storms around the country or world working 9 months of the year. Others chose to provide their services to auto dealers and body shops in their community. Lastly, they are the ones who provide paintless dent repair on a retail basis offering repairs at a fixed location like Concours Auto Salon or as a mobile service.