About


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workshop-inside.jpg

About Us

Greg Schulz, the managing director has been with the company for over 50 years, having started as an apprentice in the mid-sixties.  Greg's experience and knowledge in the motor body building industry is second to none.

 

Ben Schulz, Greg's son, returned to the family business in 2009 after working as an accountant for the previous twelve years. Ben is training up to take over from Greg as manager of the business as Greg approaches retirement age.

 

Bill Matthews has been with the business for twelve years and has been in the Motor Body Building industry for 38 years.  Bill manages the workshop floor and is the first point of call for most customers during the building process.

 

Combine that with an experienced team of qualified motor body builders and a strong focus on training new apprentices and you have a solid business geared for the future.

 

History

 

J.G. Schulz's history stretches back to the earliest days of Australian motoring, prior to the World War II, when the world automotive industry was still in its infancy.

Julius Gustav Schulz first learned the coach building trade with Bawden Bros. He then went on to work for Spencer Bros and Holden and Frost, which later became known as Holden Motor Body Builders, based in King William Street between Halifax and Gilles Street.

Julius rose up through the ranks to become foreman of the body shop, and was later put in charge of transport when they moved to larger premises in Woodville.

By this time the great depression had started to bite and Holden like many other businesses was forced to down scale its employee numbers. In February 1930 Julius was made redundant.  He received a generous redundancy payout and with these funds decided to established his own business.

And so it was that in March 1930 J G Schulz opened its doors.  The original premises were in Franklin Street, Adelaide, sharing a shed with W Wallis coach building.

In September 1930 Julius' son, Bob who had also been at Holdens, joined the business with the early work being repairs to wheels.

Balfours owned this original shed and in the early 1930's they needed the space to expand.  As a result J G Schulz and Wallis Coach Building moved to a shed in Elizabeth Street. The shed was pretty primitive - a dirt floor, no lights with the only electricity used to run a bandsaw, cropper and buzzer.  The principal work was converting old model tourers, dodges and Ford "A" models. The rear seat was cut off, the hood altered to a single seater and the body built behind the seat.

Julius eventually purchased the Elizabeth Street premises and with the retirement of Bill Wallis there was more room to work.

Early in 1934 Julius' younger son Ron came on board to meet the increasing demand. The business won a contract to supply wooden body frames for locally assembled Austin 7, and later Austin 8 cars, the motors and chassis of these cars being imported from the UK by Adelaide Motors.

Both boys went away and fought in the war with Julius just happy to keep the business running.

After the Second World War there was a huge demand for trucks and vans in Australia. A partnership was formed between Julius and the boys and with the funds they each contributed the shed was updated to include lights, electric drills and later a welder.

Over time there was a move from timber - which was becoming scarce to get in large quantities at high quality, to steel.

Business continued to grow and by the early 1960's the company had outgrown their Elizabeth Street premises, prompting a move to a larger property in Rose Street, Brompton.

Just prior to moving Julius retired and the boys restructured the business, forming a proprietary limited company in 1963.

In 1964 the move to Rose Street was completed.

Bob's son Greg began his apprenticeship in 1965.  By then most truck bodies were largely of steel construction, with wooden floors.  Van bodies were made out of square tubing clad in zinc anneal sheets or aluminium.  The staff had grown to six body builders, a painter and two apprentices.

In 1969 Ron retired due to ill health. Bob and his wife Ruth bought him out, bringing Ruth into the business to do the paperwork.

As trucks got larger, with tray tops reaching up to 28 feet long, the work shop was extended incorporating a new office and the storage sheds were rebuilt.

Through the 80's the business maintained a steady production of steel one tonne tray bodies, larger tray bodies and van bodies. The business picked up an agency to build tautliner bodies and things continued to grow.

Bob retired in 1985, although he continued to work casually and have an interest. This allowed Greg to take control.

To increase versatility in the recession of 1992 Greg decided to start building tipper bodies.

By 1993 the company again needed more room to park and store trucks, so in early 1994 a site of over 4000 square metres was acquired from the State Government at Cormack Road, Wingfield. The premises were completed and occupied by March 1995 and the company remains at this site today.

The business continues to supply aluminium one tonne ute bodies, as well as tipper bodies, trailers and curtain siders.  There are still plenty of trays built, service bodies and tankers.

In 2009 Greg's son Ben came into the business working in the office along side Greg.

Now over 85 years old and in its fourth generation, business continues to steadily grow with a strong future ahead.