Painter Martin Plascencia sprays BASF Onyx HD® Centre Pointe Collision Center in Newhall, CA. It’s a huge part of the production process at all three locations.
As the owner of two Centre Pointe Collision Centers in Santa Clarita and Newhall, CA, and Valencia Body Shop in Valencia, CA, Jackson started using the BASF Onyx HD® system back in 2000, long before waterborne paint was mandated in California. When other shops were scrambling 5-6 years later to meet the waterborne deadlines, Jackson was sitting happy with his BASF Onyx HD system, which includes both low-VOC solvent paint and waterborne paint, depending on the job.
“We wanted to get a waterborne product that was easy to apply and that all of our painters could get trained on using it quickly,” Jackson explained. “We sent our three painters to the BASF Training Center in Buena Vista, CA, and they quickly became adept at using the Onyx HD. Some of our veteran painters were a little reluctant with it initially, but now all of our younger painters don’t know any different.”
By using fewer binders and balancers and with sealers and primers that truly bond together, Jackson values BASF and the customer service he receives from the manufacturer and his jobber, Modern Paint and Body Supply. “It’s a better product overall, so if you add in the support and training that they provide, we’re getting a great deal. Competing paint reps don’t drop by our shops anymore, because they know we’re 100% BASF and proud of it.”
Jackson started working in the collision industry roughly four decades ago and he hasn’t looked back since, he said. “I grew up in this business and I have worked in literally every aspect of it—from body tech to estimator and everything in between. This industry has a way of getting a hold of you and that’s what happened to me.”
For many years, he worked at a frame shop, but now most of them are gone, Jackson said. “For 6-8 years, I worked only on frames. Back then, shops could not afford to own their own frame equipment, before the unibody frame came along.”
In 1992, Jackson decided to make the move from employee to employer when he purchased Valencia Body Shop. “I figured the time was right, so I jumped in. Since then, I have opened two more shops, which is a nice comfortable number. We’ve been able to take our business model and use it in all of our three locations, so that our customers can be certain that every repair we do is of the finest quality available.”
In 2005, Jackson opened the first Centre Pointe Collision Center and just earlier this year, he opened up the second one. “I’ve been lucky to get some very good managers who need little direction, because they’re pros and know this industry well. We’re now having difficulty finding good people, but that is an industry-wide problem we all have to deal with. Finding and retaining top-level people is tougher than ever, because they’re scarcer than ever before.”
When he isn’t fixing cars, Jackson is running Rick Jackson’s Racing, a very successful race team that competes in roughly 16 major NHRA Drag races annually. With 20 major wins in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category, Jackson has been involved with racing for more than 15 years.
With three shops and a racing team to manage, Jackson does not have time to worry about his paint. “BASF is a huge part of our production process and that’s why we are able to make these cars looking great, time after time. With less than 1% re-paints, we’re very pleased with BASF and its Onyx HD system.”
Gary Wanjon is Jackson’s paint jobber at Modern Paint and Body Supply, with three locations in southern California. He visits all of Jackson’s locations every week to share technical information and updates and he is known to jump in the booth to help out if needed. Wanjon has been working in the collision industry his entire professional life and is a former body shop owner himself, so he knows that a shop’s paint needs to perform at a high level consistently.”
“BASF was the first paint company to bring waterborne into the market back in 1989,” Wanjon said. “Now with the Onyx HD system, shops can use both low-VOC solvent paint with waterborne paint. It gives them the best of both worlds and painters love it for its flexibility, durability and the amazing finished product.”
When is the best time to use the solvent vs. the waterborne, we asked Wanjon. “It’s a three-stage process and in many cases, shops will use the solvent for better coverage, which means fewer coats and less usage,” he explained. “For example, if they’re spraying a car with white pearl, they first come in with the solvent to save time and paint. In the end, they use more waterborne, but they at least have the option of using the solvent, while adhering to the state’s mandate.”