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San Clemente Journal

Paint Your Wagon

Mar 01, 2022 09:34AM ● By Donia Moore

Jeremy Dugan with a customer’s newly painted truck.

by Donia Moore

Did you know that the color of your vehicle can actually reveal your personality? Look around you some time at the vehicles owned by people you know. If it’s fading a little bit, that doesn’t mean that you are, too. In fact you can quickly and beautifully restore that new car color you loved by contacting Jeremy Dugan, General Manager of Franks Collision in San Clemente.

“I’m a third-generation automotive industry family business member,” says Jeremy. “My grandfather started Frank’s in 1969 and as soon as I could walk, I was hanging out at the shop (s) entertaining staff and helping my family with anything I could possibly do. I held my grandfather’s ruler and put my grandmother’s highlighters in my mouth. As the years went on, I learned to wash cars, empty trash, and answer the phone. Fast forwarding to now, I am the GM and head of Frank’s Collision Centers. My past position was a Certified Subaru Sales Rep heading the internet sales department of Irvine Subaru. I am here to serve and help anyone that needs me. I am a true automotive enthusiast and can’t stop until I get to where I’m going!”

Jeremy’s roots in our community go deep; he was raised in San Clemente as was his father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles. Most graduated from San Clemente High School, and right on their heels comes Jeremy’s son, Tanner, who will be attending SCHS next year. Jeremy still lives in the house he grew up in. His grandfather is Frank of Frank’s Collision, an institution here in San Clemente since 1969. His mother, Desiree attended Ole Hanson Elementary school. Jeremy doesn’t remember living anyplace else and has no desire to roam. 


When Frank came to San Clemente, he rented a single stall at Top Tune Automotive. Small and with no hoists, it wasn’t long before he developed a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service, eventually expanding to three locations in town. Jeremy’s other grandfather and grandmother came to San Clemente because they were out of gas on their way to Point Loma. They saw the beauty of San Clemente and decided it was here that they wanted to raise their family. Grandfather Tom owned S & D Instruments, a locksmith firm, and his grandmother’s family started Eddie’s Family Pharmacy where The Icons of Surf building now stands. His dad worked for San Clemente Golf Course for 40 years, and taught Jeremy the laurels and discipline of playing a good golf game. Yes, “Da Germ” still plays golf as well as surfs and skateboards.
Grandfather Frank is still in business in San Clemente and agrees with Jeremy’s sentiment:
“Why look anywhere else when we have this beautiful slice of paradise right here?” A refrain voiced by most San Clemente residents.

 As Past President of San Clemente Noon Rotary, Jeremy has demonstrated his concern for his community and the world. He has also been involved in the Boys and Girls Club, Fish for Life and Family Assistance Ministries.\ as well as the Surfing Santa toy drive He spends as much time as he can surfing or visiting one of his favorite surf breaks at State Beach, Riviera, or Calafia Beach, his happy places in San Clemente. He enjoys walks with his wife and introducing his children to the San Clemente lifestyle, just as his family did for him. 

Growing up as a Grom in San Clemente, he was very much a part of the surf culture. His first surfboard was shaped by surf legend Bill Stewart, who also gave him his surf nickname of “Da Germ.” The name instantly brings a smile to Jeremy’s face. He spent hours following his uncle around, he was Captain of the San Clemente Surf Club and introduced Jeremy to many of the iconic surfers of the time. Jeremy spent much of his adolescent time in the water as a Lifeguard. When he wasn’t in the water, he was pounding out beats on his first drum set to the popular music of the surf culture. 

It wasn’t long before all soon knew “Da Germ,” who quickly made himself as useful and helpful as he could, soaking up the San Clemente lifestyle like a sponge. These traits are still evident in the excellent work and customer service he provides today. 

But there’s more here than just willingness. Jeremy has a rare and real talent and love for identifying colors correctly. This has shown up in some of Jeremy’s custom paint jobs. One such job involved painting an F250 truck Satin Purple upon request from a local San Clemente fireman. “The colors just seemed to melt into each other,” he said. “We had a lot of fun doing that job.” Another favorite job was when he restored an El Camino for Ike Shelton. It was a black background with Tiffany Blue racing stripes. His eyes still shine remembering that one. “Just one color can take up to 13 different toners,” says Jeremy. 

You’ve probably seen the diverse flat painted cars that look like they only have a coat of primer. This is not a mistake from a paint garage. These are actually trending examples and Jeremy was experimenting with this medium long before it became popular.

So how do you keep that beautiful new paint look long after you take your new car home from the lot? According to Jeremy, today’s modern factory paint jobs can easily last up to 20 years. Here’s what he suggests: Garage it. Wash it with a good quality automotive soap. Stay away from rocks and bird droppings. Don’t wax it excessively. A light touch is wanted here every two months. Get your car’s paint touched up every few years to keep its new-car gorgeous value.
How long does a repaint usually last? Longer than the manufacturer’s so if taken care of, it can retain its brilliance for another 20 years. That’s a pretty good return on your investment, in both our cars and our community.

Frank’s Collision
(949)498-5503.Contact Jeremy at [email protected].