We pulled some excerpts from the YesterWreck manuscript and sent it to a few industry leaders to see what they thought about it.  Here’s what they said:

“At long last, the collision repair industry finally has a book about its history…and a great one at that! This is a must-read for anyone who works in this industry and/or has a passion for it, or even just loves automobiles. Gary winds facts and figures with fascinating and oftentimes humorous anecdotes to create a compelling, entertaining and educational read that evokes nostalgia for the past and wonderment for the future.”

Jason Stahl / Editor / BodyShop Business


“The only thing constant about the auto body industry over the past 100+ years has been change itself. This is something Gary Ledoux frequently points out in Yesterwreck, his decade by decade overview of the issues, challenges and opportunities of the times.  This is a fascinating read for someone who loves cars, loves fixing cars, and loves whatever role they play in today’s collision repair industry which is filled with some of the greatest people on earth. Countless times I found myself saying things like “Ah ha! That’s where that came from” or “That’s why it’s called that”.  The influential roles that people I met back in the 90’s was fully revealed in this book, something I wish I had realized the significance of and been able to appreciate at the time I met them. I loved seeing the evolving, and crucial, role of trade publications, associations and jobbers over time as well. A disturbing revelation was actually how long certain things have been, and remain challenges for our industry. In particular, the lack of skilled workers, the lack of participation with industry associations to make the industry better, and the often-strained relationship between repairers and insurers.  The concluding sections about liability for repairs and what experts believe the next 30 years holds for our industry should help us all focus on what’s truly important going forward and help determine what we need to do about it.”

Mark J Claypool / President and CEO / Optima Worldwide Limited/Optima Automotive


YesterWreck: The History of the Collision Repair Industry in America, written by industry veteran Gary Ledoux, is a rich and informative treat for anyone who is involved with or interested in the collision repair industry. It is not only well-researched and engaging, but also tells the 120-year history of the industry in both easily digestible and fascinating detail. I guarantee you will have learned something after reading this book.

The organization of this book lends itself well to the study of different time periods in history. Throughout its 13 chapters, the reader is taken on a journey through the evolution of collision repair where details come to life with the human side of the story and illuminates the often-unexpected contributions made by so many to our industry.

From the first-known traffic “moving” accident (which may have involved a saguaro cactus in 1899 in Arizona) to the launch of the Ford F150 aluminum pick-up truck in 2015, the book delivers an engaging historical perspective on the collision repair industry in the U.S.

It a great read and ride for those with an interest in the collision repair industry and how we got here. You’ll want to keep a copy on hand for future reference.

Barbara Davies / Co-owner, Autobody News


As someone who reads 5 to 6 books a month, mostly non-fiction , it is with eager anticipation that I await Gary’s book to come to print… so often we can read about other industries and now finally we have a “ historian” who has documented the industry we all know and love… It is amazing to read about the events that have brought us to where we are today. Kudo’s to Gary on a job well done!

Mike Anderson – Collision Advice