Ball Body Shop: The art of remanufacturing cars

Wisconsin’s largest body shop makes damaged cars new again

Madison, WI. When Smart Motors purchased Ball Body Shop in 2010, it had purchased a 20,000 square foot body shop that was known for its service. But a recent remodel saw the shop increase in size by approximately 30 percent to 28,000 square feet—ensuring Ball Body Shop will be known for both size and quality of work.

With this expansion, Ball Body Shop, 2225 Eagle Dr., Middleton, a division of Smart Motors, has become the largest full retail body shop in the state. But the company didn’t just increase the number of service bays or apply a fresh coat of paint, it also added high tech equipment to turn it into a state-of-the-art facility. From an alignment rack that can lift any vehicle, to a full service glass company (NOVUS Glass Madison), Ball Body Shop remanufactures vehicles back to pre-accident condition.

There’s even a special 220 volt squeeze resistant spot welder that knows the make and model of every car. The $20,000 computerized welder knows the contour of every car and will tell the technician the precise point to weld. “Our goal with every car is to restore it to pre-accident condition,” said Jeff Hepp, director of Ball Body Shop.

Ball Body Shop has served the Madison community for over 50 years and its technicians feature decades of experience. But they’re not above learning new techniques and strategies to make the car rebuilding experience more efficient and affordable. When the technicians wanted to learn advanced automotive painting techniques, Jeff Hepp sought out Hendricks Motorsports, a North Carolina-based team that’s known for its abilities in building professional NASCAR vehicles. From Hendricks, the Ball Body Shop team learned tricks of the trade that have enabled cars to complete the painting process in as little as 45 minutes. That includes painting the car, applying a clearcoat and baking it so it sets.

“NASCAR cars are not just the premiere cars because of what’s under the hood, it’s also the painting process that the Hendricks team performed,” said Hepp, “And I’m happy to say we now match that quality and efficiency.”

Among its large footprint, it has four paint booths, four prep stations, two frame racks, one alignment rack and 16 individual body repair bays. With the technology Ball Body Shop possesses, cars aren’t out of commission for long. But even when they are being worked on, people don’t need to rent a car or borrow one from a friend—Ball Body Shop is owned by Smart Motors and therefore has access to an entire fleet of new Toyota loaner vehicles.

“If repairs take three days, they’ll get that loaner for three days. If it takes three weeks, that loaner is theirs for three weeks, all at no charge” said Hepp. The loaner vehicles (cars, hybrid cars, vans, trucks) are free to use until repairs are completed if you don’t have rental coverage. “We do just want to get people back on the road again.”

These amenities and the state-of-the-art facility might make it sound exclusive, but Ball Body Shop works with over 17 major insurance providers to ensure it can quickly get that family car back on the road. Ball Body Shop repairs over 2500 vehicles per year, with the utmost levels of quality.

About Ball Body Shop
Ball Body Shop, the official body shop of Smart Motors, opened its doors in 1950 and has provided body services to all makes and models of cars ever since. Ball Body Shop has been voted “Best Body Shop” by readers of Madison Magazine over the years. Ball Body Shop is located at 2225 Eagle Drive, Middleton WI. Phone #: 608.831.5944.