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 has taken over the daily management of the
business as Greg slowly transitions into retirement.
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.
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
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
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 steel 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. He has taken over the daily management of
the business allowing Greg to enjoy some much earnt time away.
Now over 85 years old and in its fourth generation, business
continues to steadily grow with a strong future ahead.