Fletcher’s Auto Glass: doing it right the first time
Fletcher’s Auto Glass
125 Springhill Dr., Suite 6
As a kid growing up in Nevada County, Dan Fletcher was fascinated with old cars. For his eighth-grade graduation, his parents gave him a beat up 1956 Ford pick-up truck.
He was too young to drive it, but that was the plan all along.
“They told me to get to work fixing it up — I had a couple of years before I could legally drive it,” said Fletcher. “It turned out to be the best motivator when it came to learning how to fix cars.”
The lesson stuck — today Fletcher’s two kids, his 16-year-old son, Shawn, and his 11-year-old daughter, Shelby, both have their own hot rods.
Shawn just got his learner’s permit and can soon drive his 1967 Pontiac Firebird, while Shelby is still working on the engine of her soon-to-be pink or turquoise 1966 Mustang.
“They need to be road-worthy and safe,” said Fletcher. “I made them a deal. They can go to college on a scholarships if they get straight As, or they can sell their fixed up hot rods and use that money for college, which of course they don’t want to do. It’s a great incentive.”
While growing up in South County, Fletcher took auto shop at Bear River High School, and landed a job with a paint and glass company not long after graduation. He knew the manager because he owned an old Mustang — and by then Fletcher had begun to collect old junkers, which connected him with other car lovers.
Fletcher started out mixing paint, but when the glass technician called in sick one day, Fletcher stepped in. He impressed the boss with his skill and meticulous approach, and ended up spending the next eight years honing his glass skills before he was ready to go out on his own.
In 2000, Fletcher opened his own Grass Valley shop, Fletcher’s Auto Glass, and has never looked back. Located on Springhill Drive, Fletcher and his installation technician Brandon Fagan have developed a reputation for precision work.
In addition to insurance contracts and servicing the general public, they have an impressive number of “fleet accounts,” including the likes of the Grass Valley Police Department, the City of Grass Valley, PG&E, the Nevada County Department of Transportation, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department and the Nevada Irrigation District.
But it’s the challenge of the unusual projects that gets Fletcher most excited. Recently he and Fagan took part in the restoration of Railbus #97, which will soon allow people to ride from the Northern Queen in to the Nevada City Narrow Gauge Railroad museum.
Fletcher and Fagan installed two vintage wing windows, then volunteered to paint the entire open air bus, free of cost.
“As the restoration lead for Railbus #97, I can’t thank them enough for their generous efforts,” wrote Tom Davisson of the Nevada County Transportation Museum in a letter to The Union. “Suffice it to say that these two professionals literally put the icing on our railbus cake.”
While Fletcher takes on other out-of-the-ordinary glass projects, such as airplane canopies and enormous RV windshields, his greatest love continues to be vintage cars.
Because some of the large auto glass companies often don’t like to install glass in vintage cars, over the years, Fletcher has become the go-to guy.
“When I was working at my first job, I’d install glass in contemporary cars during the day, then I’d work on street rods on my own at night — sometimes until 1 a.m.”
Word got around, and that’s when members of the Roamin’ Angels Car Club came knocking. To date, Fletcher says he’s worked on more than a third of the cars in that club, and in his free time, he’s working on his own fleet of vintage cars — not to mention his kids’ cars.
In addition to Fagan, a Nevada Union High School apprentice helps out in the shop, and Fletcher’s wife, Briana, works in the office.
Fletcher now has 22 years’ worth of experience in the glass business, and it shows. When he’s not out fishing with fellow members of the Grass Valley Sportsmen Club or manning their beer booth at the fair, chances are he’s in the shop, restoring his latest classic car acquisition.
“Whether it’s on old car or a new $80,000 Mercedes, people want the job done right,” he said. “My goal is to do a job one time and one time only. If it’s done right, they never have to come back. I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s turns out I filled a niche, and I love what I do.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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