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Silver Spring Collision Center in West Bend sold

September 2, 2020 – West Bend, WI – It was 1996 when Joe Lamberty moved his business, Silver Spring Collision Center, to West Bend.

“This spot at 3000 W. Washington Street used to be home to the Golden Knight Supper Club,” said Lamberty.

In the late 1980s Art von Schledorn, Ernie von Schledorn’s son, had the property for a used car lot.

At the time Lamberty owned a self-serve car wash up the street. “Art came in and said his dad wanted him to give up the car lot in West Bend and run one of the dealerships in Mayville,” he said.

Lamberty offered to buy the property and build a body shop; that was the start of Silver Spring Collision in West Bend.

“I knocked over the restaurant and we opened the body shop in April 1998,” he said. “I’ve been here ever since.”

Joe Lamberty

Dressed in a vintage Silver Spring Collision Center polo shirt, Lamberty took a trip down memory lane.

When the shop first opened his neighbors on the block included Young’s Royal Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Inc. across the street. “The self-serve car wash I owned is where the Russ Darrow Chrysler dealership is now. I sold that to Steve Kearns and he tipped it over and built Kearns Motor Cars and then sold it to Darrow,” said Lamberty.

Kitty-corner was the old Devenport family farm, now home to Morrie’s Honda and down the street the Holiday Inn and later Fanta Suites.

Silver Spring Collision started as a 12,000-square-foot shop; a 13,500-square-foot addition was quickly built to the east. Lamberty also had a 2.5-acre parking lot out back.

Silver Spring Collision

On Tuesday, the office at the 30-bay autobody shop was operating at a NASCAR pace as members of the incoming team, Crash Champions, was setting up to take over.

“It has been a wonderful run and I get along good with the insurance companies and we kept growing and growing and now it is time for me to step back and let the younger generation take over,” said Lamberty.

At 69 years old, Lamberty said he “knew it was time.”

“I’d rather do this while I’m healthy and I still have some years where I can travel,” he said.

Choosing to work with Crash Champions, said Lamberty, came after a lot of research.

“My son and all 14 employees will stay on board,” he said. “That’s what the beauty is with this whole deal; they are a standup company. We worked 10 months on this deal.”

Lamberty said the company is straight forward. “These guys are coming into this building and they’re making an investment into the employees and the community,” he said. “We were state-of-the-art but they are going to update that and run with it. They have a network of 50 shops and they’re on top of their game.”

Asked what was ahead for retirement. “I don’t know. I’ve got to decompress and tie up the deal here,” he said.

Questioned what was one of his most significant memories about running the shop. “In all these 24 years I’ve never had any vandalism, no theft and I only had two bounced checks,” said Lamberty. “That is phenomenal

Lamberty started his shop in 1983 at 16th and Silver Spring. “I was renting various buildings in Butler and Brookfield and I ended up on Silver Spring running a body shop called Silver Spring Collision,” he said. “That serviced Bob Brown Nissan, Hobbs Honda, Schlesinger Toyota and Schlesinge Nissan.”

After 13 years Lamberty sold his business in Brookfield and the one on Silver Spring.  “I took two years off and when I wanted to get back in again I talked to the insurance companies and asked them which area I should target. They said Washington County and that’s how I ended up out here.”

Crash Champions announced September 1, 2020, its expansion into the Milwaukee, Wisconsin market with the acquisition of Silver Spring Collision Center in West Bend, WI.

With the addition of this facility, Crash Champions continues its rapid growth strategy and expansion throughout the United States with 40 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and California.

“I’m excited about this location because it is a very nice well-equipped facility.  They also share our operational standards for high-quality repairs and great customer service,” said Matt Ebert, CEO of Crash Champions.  “This acquisition is another big step in our expansion as it marks our entry into the state of Wisconsin.”

The Lamberty family created a company that fit perfectly into the Crash Champions business model.  For over four decades, they have been hyper-focused on customer service, high-quality repairs, and employee retention.  Joey Lamberty, Jr. will remain with the Crash Champions organization as the General Manager of the facility.

Crash Champions looks forward to continuing the tradition and begin service their loyal customer base.

On a history note:  According to Al Luedtke of West Bend the “Golden Knight was just west of the Harley-Davidson dealership which used to be Frontier Bowl.” Luedtke sold the Golden Knight in 1978 to Larry and Diane Block who named it Blocks Supper Club. They leased it to Dean Derge who turned it into a night club called City Limits.

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