Paintless dent repair or removal is not as new as commonly thought. Paintless Dent Repair or PDR dates back to the car assembly plants in Germany more than 60 years ago. On the assembly lines of luxury cars, the manufacturers used steel rods and special lighting to massage away the imperfections. This method was highly secretive for many years. However it wasn’t well known in the United States until 1983, and that was when it was brought over from Argentina to the U.S. by a man named Nattalio Balderama, whose nickname was Lido.
Another completely different history of PDR states that it was started by a man named Oskar Flaig in 1960 during the “International Motor Sports Show” in New York. He worked for Mercedes and was responsible for the paint on show cars. He had to repair the cars at night after they’d been damaged by the public during the days of the show. Word has it that he used a hammer to push out a small dent so he wouldn’t need as much paint to repair. It looked as good as new.
A trio of American businessmen formed the Dent Doctor in 1986. At that time, the largest group to provide PDR was formed in Springfield, MO, when a group of men who worked at the Springfield Acura began the trade in earnest in 1990. At first the most likely career for PDR technicians was to chase storms around the country and work on the cars that got damaged by hail, door dings, small creases and more. Less radical PDR professionals were hired by auto dealers and auto body shops to offer the service at a retail location.