About | D&S Automotive
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Helping Northeast Ohio Since 1977

Known for both van conversions and auto body repair, D&S Automotive has been a mainstay on Tyler Boulevard, and in the Mentor community, since it first opened in 1977. Although D&S was not the first body shop in Lake County, it has been serving the Mentor community for many years as one of the longest tenured local businesses in the area.

Founded by Mr. Carmen Paterniti, D&S began as a vision that quite successfully became a reality.

D&S Automotive in 1996

original ds automotive location
  • D&S Custom Van History

  • Paterniti

  • DS automotive history

Originally a van conversion company, D&S modified full-size vans into the highly-desired “hippie vans” of the 1970s. Such vehicles were adorned with custom paint, sinks, beds, shaggy carpets, refrigerators, and anything else one could imagine.

When the “hippie van” fad faded, D&S adapted to the market and began to build family conversion vans and hotel shuttle buses for Stouffer Hotels. In fact, D&S Custom Van was the first to build a four-door Econoline and Jeep Wrangler for Stouffer Hotels in the early 1980s.

The mid-80s spurred change when many of D&S’s customers began inquiring about auto body repair and accessories. Thus, D&S decided, again, to adapt its business to meet the needs of all individuals rather than just the niche market. Renamed “D&S Automotive Collision and Restyling,” D&S opened its doors to the insurance repair market and the business of restyling cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles.

  • historical van with wheelchair lift

  • van with wheelchair lift

  • custom van

D&S’s business model may have changed over the years, but its core values have not. The once “van-conversion only” shop on Tyler Boulevard has blossomed over the past 37 years, with three locations in Mentor and Chardon.

Today, D&S is a thriving family business that prides itself on award-winning service and quality customer care. Invested in training and educating its employees, D&S encourages well-to-do attitudes and a positive work environment, qualities that breed hard work and dedication. D&S is also an avid supporter of the communities and the patrons it serves, making it the area’s chosen source for truck accessories, spray-in bed liners, lifted trucks and collision repair.

The overwhelming success of D&S inspired Mr. Paterniti’s oldest son, CJ, to open its sister company, Defender Auto Glass, in May of 2014. Housed in the same facility as D&S, Defender Auto Glass specializes in quality automotive glass repair.

With the help of CJ and his other sons, Shaun, Dustin and Cody, Mr. Paterniti plans to not only continue to grow business, but to maintain D&S Automotive’s respected reputation as well.

  • Paterniti Family

  • D&S Automotive Event

  • Paterniti family in front of truck