SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 21, May 24, 2012

Restyling Industry Pioneer Nat Danas Passes Away

  aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news
Nat Danas, founder and publisher of Auto Trim & Restyling News, passed away at the age of 89. 
 

Nat Danas, founder and publisher of Auto Trim & Restyling News passed away Monday, May 21. He was 89. Danas' knowledge and experience in the restyling industry spans more than 60 years, and he was known by many as a trendsetter, technical expert and teacher. 

He began his career in the restyling industry in his early 20s through a small trim shop that he owned and operated in New York City in the '40s and '50s. In 1952, Danas founded/published Auto Trim News magazine, which is recognized as the oldest publication serving the restyling, restoration and trim industries. 

Throughout his career, Danas was dedicated to education and training, and he served as a mentor to many restylers nationwide. He organized and produced a series of regional trade-only shows, was a frequent presenter and speaker for technical and business-management-related topics, founded the National Association for Auto Trim Shops, and created the Craftsman of the Year award that recognized restylers who practiced the concepts of adhering to best business practices and supported a voluntary code of ethics for work quality.

"Nat was more than someone who simply published a magazine for the trim and restyling industry. He was not only responsible for bringing the industry together and making it a significant force within the specialty automotive market, he was totally dedicated to sharing his knowledge and wisdom," said Ellen McKoy, owner of EMK Marketing. "Throughout his life, he mentored countless people throughout the industry. I was fortunate to have worked with Nat as his editor, and we remained close friends for more than 35 years. He was a shining light and an inspiration, and the impact he had on me personally and the restyling industry was profound."

A long-time SEMA member until his retirement, Danas not only was instrumental in Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) becoming a then-SEMA committee, but he also served multiple terms on the council's select committee and was the first person to receive the PRO Lifetime Achievement Award. A few years ago, in honor of Danas, PRO named one of its awards in his honor—the Nat Danas Person of the Year.