Mallory Herrmann

Talley’s Auto Body is celebrating 35 years in business this month. Started by Tom Talley in his own garage in 1979, it began as a part-time gig to supplement his full-time job.

Tom Talley stands outside the auto body shop he opened in 1983

But it took off and he started renting the building at 410 SE Douglas in 1983. He purchased the building in 1987, quickly expanding the space, adding new equipment and creating separate facilities for auto body and paint work. Today, they employ 15 people and work on domestic and foreign vehicles, providing alignments, frame repair, and painting.

“We fix wrecked cars,” Tom says. “We make friends by accident, as we say in the advertisements.”

Talley’s is now managed by Tom’s son, Chris, who started helping in the shop as a kid. “He’s the next generation,” Tom says. “He’s marvelous.” You can hear the pride and gratitude in his voice: he says he is very fortunate and credits his wife’s support in the shop’s success. Tom and Denise will celebrate 41 years of marriage in October.

“We’ve made a lot of good friends along the way, through the years,” Tom says, adding that there isn’t enough to be said about that.

An anniversary celebration will take place in the shop on Friday, Sept. 21, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The public is invited to visit the shop and to enjoy a barbeque lunch.

Talley’s is located in downtown Lee’s Summit at 410 SE Douglas, just south of Dairy Queen. You can visit them online at