Bumper Crop

An unusual shop in Livonia performs "dentless," low-cost vehicle repairs.


Published:

Simon Daoud says he dreams about pushing out dents.

Photo by David Lewinski

A back wall and workbench are covered with the tools of Simon Daoud’s trade: odd-shaped rods with colorful handles that he uses to slip up under fenders, inside doors, and underneath panels. Other tools are used to poke, prod, and coax out dents from cars and trucks. No use for Bondo here.

Some of the tools, says Daoud, are of his own designs. Other equipment has been fashioned from several repair techniques manufacturers incorporate on assembly lines. “If I could do this without money, I would do it for nothing just to see the satisfaction on customers’ faces,” says Daoud, owner of Dent Genies Inc. in Livonia (29429 Six Mile Rd, SW corner of Six Mile and Middle Belt behind Glory Hair Salon). “I see people come in with estimates for $600 or more from a body shop, and they leave here happy for $200. Beautiful.”

Daoud is one of the area’s leading practitioners of “dent-less” repairs, an art he has perfected for more than 27 years.

The key to coaxing dents back into shape, sans hammers or other standard tools, is to allow the damaged metal to take the lead, Daoud says. “Metal develops a memory and it knows where to go back to; I just help it get there,” he says. “I have dreams where I wake up sweating, pushing out dents.”

Daoud began his career in his native Saudi Arabia after someone damaged his first car. “It was a ’77 Oldsmobile, a two-tone, and I didn’t want to have it painted. My father owned a woodworking shop, and I made this tool out of wood and pushed it up under the metal. I made a mess of it, of course, but learned from it,” he laughs.

After moving to the United States in 1984, Daoud was returning a rental car after a rainstorm and saw workers struggling to fix cars damaged by hail. “I told them to let me try. I worked there three weeks and they handed me a check for $3,000. That’s when I knew I could make a living doing this,” he says.

Now customers seek him out. “I had a guy drive here from Pennsylvania. He had a 1967 Dukes of Hazard Dodge Charger with a dent from a hoist, about six inches long, on the roof,” Daoud says.

“He gave me $300 to just try and see what I could do. I made a special tool, sharp as a needle, and started poking at it. He was pacing around like a father with a new baby and I told him to just sit outside for a while. When I called him in, he was the happiest guy in the world. He would have paid me twice as much, but I just charged him the $300.” db

 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Higher Support

More and more companies and businesses are supporting employees in their efforts to receive higher education.

Chocolate Collateral

A cuisine team from Redford Township converges on cocoa.

Parts Air

Ford Motor Co. utilized a massive Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft to ensure the delivery of a 87,000-pound die.

Lip Service

Aspiring beauty mogul Adonai Alexander is our Young CEO of the Year.

Virtual Clouds

Data centers benefit from the region’s stable environment and market access.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Birmingham’s Ford-Peabody Mansion to House Japanese-inspired Restaurant
    Adachi, a Japanese-inspired restaurant, is slated to open for dinner in the restored Ford...
  2. West Bloomfield Township’s Planterra Conservatory to Expand
    Planterra Conservancy in West Bloomfield Township today announced construction plans have been...
  3. Massive $510M Dairy Campus to Open in 2020 North of Lansing
    Glanbia plc, a global nutrition group with a presence in 32 countries; Select Milk Producers...
  4. Annual Fash Bash to be Held on August 16 at the Detroit Institute of Arts
    The Founders Junior Council, the young professionals’ auxiliary of the Detroit Institute of...
  5. Exlterra in Hazel Park Launches Subsoil Nutrient Enrichment System to Enhance Tree and Vineyard Growth
    Exlterra, a sustainable environmental technology company in Hazel Park, today launched NEPS —...
  6. Bloomfield Hills’ O’Keefe Announces New Managing Director, Director
    O’Keefe, a Bloomfield Hills-based financial and strategic advisory firm, has announced Violeta...