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Denver-area shop owner wins Jay Leno Garage tour with $10,600 bid

Auction held to benefit the Collision Repair Education Foundation and its work to support collision repair educational programs, schools and students

Commerce City, Colo.—BJ Penrod, owner of BJ’s Auto Theft and Collision in Denver, said he was thrilled to learn he was the winning bid for a private tour of Jay Leno’s Garage. The auction was held to benefit the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and its work to support collision repair educational programs, schools and students.

“As soon as I heard about the auction, I added ‘tour Jay Leno’s Garage’ to my bucket list,” Penrod said. “My wife, Lisa, and I, watch the TV show, and we can’t believe we won.”

Penrod added that he heard about about CREF’s auction from his BASF paint supplier, Capital Paint & Refinish, and its representative, Troy Fallows. “They were actually the first shop to switch to Capital from a competitive paint line back when we first got going in 2016,” Regional Sales Manager Scott Kingsbury told Aftermarket Matters Weekly.

“Since we’re big fans of Jay Leno, Lisa and I were very interested,” Penrod said. “We agreed to start with a $5,000 bid, adjusting our bid as it increased because we had our hearts set on it. We were still shocked that we won with a bid of $10,600. We feel fortunate that we’ve won such an amazing experience, especially knowing that the funds are benefiting such a great cause — the future of our industry.”

“As soon as I heard about the auction, I added ‘tour Jay Leno’s Garage’ to my bucket list. My wife, Lisa, and I, watch the TV show, and we can’t believe we won.”

— BJ Penrod

Penrod has been in the collision theft repair industry for 35 years, including 30 years as the owner of BJ’s. His team of I-CAR-trained technicians specialize in repairing damage to the recovered stolen vehicles in the shop’s 12,500-square-foot facility.

As the auction winner, Penrod will be permitted to take three guests on his private tour of Big Dog Garage, where Jay Leno’s Garage is filmed and where his collection of nearly 200 vehicles is housed. The date of Penrod’s tour has not been determined, but he has chosen his guests.

“My wife of 40 years and I have been in the racecar industry for many years, and Lisa is just as much of a gearhead as I am – she loves the smell of 90 weight and can’t wait for our trip,” he said. “We’ve invited a couple we often travel with, and we’re hoping to visit Chip Foose’s shop while we’re out there. We’re waiting to schedule so we can try to work around Jay Leno’s schedule because we’d really like to meet him.”

The Jay Leno Garage Tour auction was facilitated by heavy-duty vehicle lift manufacturer, Stertil-Koni, whose equipment is used in Leno’s Big Dog Garage in Burbank, Calif. Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for CREF, said the organization has a new innovative approach to fundraising.

“For obvious reasons, corporate donations will be tough for many this year, and CREF is sensitive to the fact that many aren’t in a position to contribute like they have in the past. At the same time, schools need more help than ever. Many have expressed concerns about reductions to their already limited budgets. We decided to explore creative ways to raise funds, and CREF is collaborating with industry partners to create auctions for unique experiences and items that will attract all sorts of bidders, not just collision industry professionals.”

For those interested in supporting the CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs, can contact Eckenrode at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.

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