Fresno’s Travelers Body & Fender collision repair shop in Fresno is being sold to national company after 72 years in business. Photo by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
After 72 years under local ownership, Downtown Fresno’s Travelers Body & Fender Work is undergoing a transition as it was recently sold to a national collision repair company.
Caliber Collision, which has more than 580 locations across the U.S., bought Travelers after the owner shopped it around to other collision repair companies.
Jim Minnis, president and owner of Travelers, said that after 62 years of working for the company that was founded by his father, he thought it was a good time to get some rest and leave the company in good hands.
Minnis said that he has enjoyed the time running the business, but technological advances in the automotive collision repair industry will make the work more difficult to perform in the coming years — and will also make overhead costs go up.
“We’re going to miss it, but the technology that’s ahead of all us is going to become very complex,” Minnis said. “At my age, 76 years old, I feel I should let some younger people take advantage of that.”
Travelers opened its first location in 1946 and set up its main body shop at its current location at 1861 Broadway St. in 1965. After the passing of his father, Orval Minnis, in 1987, Jim inherited the remaining stock and became president and owner, though he had been running the day-to-day operations since he was 27 years old.
Minnis says that he plans to do some fishing, take some cruises and travel to parts of the world he has yet to visit.
With the sale of Travelers Fender and Body Work Inc., there are now only seven independently owned auto body collision repair centers in Fresno, Minnis said.