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Jewel celebrates 50 years of cars

Feb. 6, 2020

By David Nordby

The Brillion News

BRILLION – Outside of Jewel Meetz’s home, collector cars fill a large driveway visible from Highway 10. Inside is a long, steep rampway that leads to the lower level of a garage that houses multiple more.

It’s unmistakably the home of someone who is passionate about cars of yesteryear. In Meetz’s case, that passion turned into his livelihood.

Jewel Meetz at his home in Brillion, Wis. (David Nordby/Brillion News photo)

Jewel’s Body Shop and Restoration is celebrating 50 years of existence in 2020. Jewel and his wife Judy opened the shop in a two-stall block building with a five-by-five office space in 1970.

One of his first projects was painting Elliot Zander’s ‘29 Pierce Arrow. Soon, Meetz restored his own ‘55 Thunderbird and quickly fell in love with Ford Thunderbirds.

When he was a teenager Meetz owned a ‘50’s Thunderbird, which he drove for many years. He says he drove that like a regular car. His second one was the one he nurtured.

“We just liked the old cars … I lost my license going too fast or something, then I had my buddies drive the T-bird around. It was a lot of fun back in the day,” Meetz said.

Cars were fun, but classrooms weren’t, Meetz says. He spent one year at Brillion High School before entering the workforce.

Meetz worked at the Chevrolet shop in Brillion before eventually transitioning to his own company.

“I always enjoyed working on old cars, any kind of cars, back in the day,” Meetz said.


The restoration business quickly grew, but so did responsibility for Meetz when they entered the wrecker business, responding to accident scenes.

“You think back on all the different accidents you went to. People get killed and you have to stretch the car back apart."

Jewel's Body Shop and Restoration in Brillion is celebrating 50 years of business. Jewel and Judy Meetz opened the shop in 1970. (David Nordby/Brillion News photo)

Please see the complete story in the Feb. 6, 2020 print edition of The Brillion News.

1 comment


Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian

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