Our Story

Take a journey through the decades with our timeline of Raymond Auto Body’s History.

  • 1940’s

    It was the late 40’s. Harry S. Truman was acting President between hunting expeditions. The Studebaker Commander was the best-selling car at $2,468 and everyone was jitterbugging to the top hit, “In the Mood.” Meanwhile, young Raymond Slomkowski was taking steps of his own to open an auto body repair shop on Grotto Street in St. Paul’s Frogtown area.

  • 1950’s

    Along came the 50’s. Elvis was “all shook up,” every car had fins, everyone “loved Lucy” and Americans’ unending love affair with the Chevy Corvette was born.

  • 1970’s

    As the 70’s rolled in, along came disco music, bell bottoms, leisure suits, political disillusionment and the worst recession America had seen in years. Imported cars were floating into the U.S. market at alarming rates. American automakers bravely stepped up to the challenge with the likes of the Gremlin, the Pacer and the Pinto. Needless to say… the viability of import cars was forever secured. This was indeed, the dark ages of the American auto industry.

  • 1980’s


    The 80’s kicked off with an actor for United States President. Lee Iacocca was re-engineering Chrysler. Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champ. And Joel Slomkowski was learning that auto body repair business wasn’t for lightweights.

  • 1990’s

    As the 90’s dawned the Reagan era continued in the White House with Vice President George H. W. Bush taking over as the main man. Meanwhile Ford debuted the Explorer and gave birth to the SUV market while killing the station wagon. Ford maintained its good fortunes with the Taurus which took over the number one selling sedan title (1995) from the Honda Accord, and maintained the throne for three years.

  • 2000’s


    Having ushered in the New Millennium with nothing more than a Y2K blip, we were free again. Honda introduces the first Hybrid in the U.S., the Insight. Chrysler goes retro with the PT Cruiser (2001) and the Mini Cooper craze begins (2002). It was about this time Jason Slomkowski was graduating from Hamline University and entering the job market where he would wander for the next two years. Finally in 2005 Jerry Slomkowski invites Jason out of the cold and join the business as the 4th generation, assuring the family legacy will live on.

  • 2010’s
    Ford F-150

    Around this time, the use of aluminum in auto manufacturing was becoming more widespread, making vehicles safer and more environmentally friendly. Aluminum is the most cost-effective material to increase performance, boost fuel economy and reduce emissions while maintaining or improving safety and durability. Aluminum, however, is a very different material to repair.

  • Today
    Tesla Car

    Automotive innovations continue to accelerate faster than Tesla’s “Insane Mode.” Now that companies like Tesla are a big deal, vehicles are turning into complex supercomputers and luxury habitats on wheels. A standard fender bender is now anything but standard and could require recalibration or replacing several cameras and sensors. To meet the demands of increasingly complex repairs, Raymond is developing our staff to be experts with new technology and tools.