GREENFIELD — After nearly four decades of auto body work in the city of Greenfield, local business owner Rusty Low is retiring.
Low recently sold his business, Rusty Low’s Collision Center, to Riley and Sons Collision & Mechanical Specialists. Low has been doing body work in Greenfield for 39 years. He has grown close to his employees there, having worked with some of them for more than 25 years. Leaving is bittersweet, but Low feels confident the business will continue on in good hands.
Riley and Sons started out in Anderson in 1957, said co-owner Dave Driggers. The collision repair shop later expanded to new cities in central Indiana, with Greenfield their fifth location. It’s a family-owned business, and its leadership plans to implement top-of-the-line collision repair equipment while preserving the same friendly-atmosphere familiar to Rusty Low’s customer base, Driggers said.
Riley and Sons will be investing $200,000 in new equipment right off the bat, Driggers said. This will include an advanced laser measuring system and spot welding capabilities.
The business has had an eye on Rusty Low’s business for some time, Driggers said.
Riley and Sons began discussing buying Rusty Low’s business back in 2007, he said. They were attracted to the shop’s location and positive reputation with both their customer base and insurance companies.
Ten years later, Rusty Low finally conceded, and the two companies made plans for the change in management. It took Low some time to decide he was ready to retire, but he was not at all uncertain in who he wanted to take over his business.
“I never even marketed or talked to anybody else besides Dave Driggers and Tim Riley,” Low said, referencing Driggers’ co-owner. “I felt like they were going to come in, take care of my customers and my employees better than anyone else I knew, so I stuck with them.”
While well-known in Madison County, they hope to be welcomed into Greenfield by maintaining Rusty Low’s familiar family-focused atmosphere and attentive service, Driggers said.
They also will retain all the current employees of the business, he added.
“As a smaller business, one of the biggest assets whenever we go to buy a location is the local staff,” Driggers said. “We can’t do it without them.”
Another important mission of Riley and Sons is connecting with customers on an individual level, added Brian Huffman, the new manager of Riley and Sons’ Greenfield branch. They hope to provide people in need with the customer service they deserve.
Low is grateful to his loyal customer base over the years. He recalls providing service for three generations of some Greenfield families. Knowing that he’s worked on the cars of a customer, his son and his grandson is a remarkable feeling, Low said.
It’s enough to make him a little emotional, he said.
“I went to the bank the other day, and the bank manager there just gave me a hug,” Low chuckled. “He said, ‘You fixed my car for twenty years!’”
But Low leaves the company in capable hands, he said.
“[Riley and Sons] won’t disappoint the community,” Low said. “It will be as good or better as what I did.”