Auto body shop owner Richard ‘Pinkey’ Feest is 98 and still going strong

If you want to live a long and healthy life, check out Richard’s Party “Pinkey”the enigmatic owner of Pinkey’s Capital Automotive Body Shop in Milwaukee, WI.

He is 98 years old and still works 40 to 50 hours a week in the body shop he started in 1956.

When Feest entered the industry, there was no DRP, self-driving cars were coming out of sci-fi movies, and the average body tech was making $10-15 an hour.

Pinkey got her nickname at birth when her sister exclaimed, “What a cute little baby, he’s all pink.”

“I don’t mind the nickname at all, and I don’t mind people calling me Pinkey,” Feest said.

Pinkey fell in love with the coachbuilder life at age 12 and has never looked back, he said.

“A cousin of mine was married to a guy who owned a body shop, and he let me hang out there and watch the techs in action,” Feest said. “I was captivated by the process, and very quickly they let me work on it on Saturdays and after school. Sometimes I worked late at night and I never got tired of it.

“My buddies used to go to dances and football games, and I missed them all,” he said. “When I saw these body men doing amazing work with their hands, I knew this was the right career for me. This shop was my classroom, and these highly trained collision professionals were the best teachers in the world! If you love your job, you’ll never work again.

Any business that’s been around since 1956 has gone through its own trials and tribulations. There’s been a fire, a little strewn family drama, and the pandemic that’s made everyone’s life harder for the past few years.

After serving in World War II, Feest landed a job at a body shop he would buy. When he saw there was an opportunity, he jumped on it.

“I was in overseas service for three years, and the night I came back I partied, then the next morning I went to work at the body shop at 8 a.m. .

“I approached the owner and told him nicely that I didn’t think he really wanted to own a body shop,” Feest said. “He had a lot of other business, including…

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