Awards judging for Best Shop in the 2020 Paint & Panel Awards is now complete. Juding for all of the other categories such as Best Country Repairer, Rising Star and Operational Excellence will take place soon.

The majority of shops since our last article were in South Australia and Western Australia and, for the first time, Darwin. South Australia has really raised its game once more. It was great to see previous winner Peter Coupland in a new shop after years of making the best of an old, narrow premises. Bissell's in Noosavile was new to the awards and is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous shop. Then we toured Finishline in South Australia which is like a mini Zagame - we're talking floor tiles in the workshop.

It was also great to see Varrichio's Crash Repair, which is a tiny shop in Adelaide had really maximised their workspace since we last visited taking out an old, huge realignment rack and putting in a paint prep area with mezzanine storage area as well as taking on new office space. Another business where we noticed dramatic improvement was at Bert Bennett Panel Centre in Perth. A massive rethink of shop layout has resulted in better workflow and an increase in units per week flying out of the doors. Bennett got extra points for being an avid Paint and Panel Podcast listener (just joking).

It was great to visit some shops in Darwin for the first time, and very nice they were too. Business conditions are very different there, especially with a declining population and just 0.2 persons per square kilometer. 

If you want to know who won then you will have to tune into our special Paint & Panel Awards night which will be streamed on Friday 13 November. Save the date, get dressed up on the night, fire up the bbq or dial in a take out and watch with your team (if social distancing rules allow). 

The last shops selected for judging were:

South Australia

Eblen Collision Repairs

Varrichio's Crash Repair

Finishline Autobody Repairs

Walker Crash Repairs

Houghton Autobody

Gawler Bodyworks


Western Australia

Bowra Panel & Paint 

Vizion O'Connor

Bert Bennett Panel Centre

Fletchers Smash Repair

Damage Control Accident Repair Centre

Fix Auto Cockburn

Northern Territory

Autocare Panels

Palmerston Smash Repairs

Autocrash Express Repairs

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