Nat Danas, restyling icon, dies at age 89

May 22, 2012

Restyling industry icon, Nat Danas Dinofsky, of Tampa, Fla., passed away May 21, 2012, at his home in Tampa. He was 89. Known to the industry as Nat Danas, he was born in New York City on Nov. 4, 1922.

Mr. Danas was the publisher and founder of Auto Trim News (ATRN). A mentor to hundreds, he possessed an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience spanning more than 60 years. He combined this experience with his vision and dedication to education, training and professionalism, leaving a profound impact on the automotive restyling industry.

Throughout his lengthy and illustrious career Mr. Danas had been at the vanguard of emerging trends. Through both his publishing profession and his personal outreach, he not only earned the respect of his trim and restyling colleagues nationwide, but also helped to establish the automotive restyling industry as a vital segment of the specialty automotive equipment marketplace, that is responsible for some of the most advanced restyling and appearance products coming out of Detroit today.

“My first meeting with Nat Danas was in 1987 at the SEMA Show,” noted an ATRN quote from Chuck Blum, former president of SEMA. “Nat contributed a substantial dollar amount to the SEMA scholarship fund. We had a little ceremony at the show and that’s when I first met Nat. At that time, the SEMA scholarship fund was struggling. It’s doing well today; but in those days, we needed some seed money to get it started, someone to step up and help us, and Nat did.”

Said Ellen McKoy, EMK Marketing and a member of PRO: “A long-time SEMA member until his retirement, Nat not only was instrumental in PRO becoming a then-SEMA committee, but he also served multiple terms on the council’s select committee and was the first person to receive the PRO Lifetime Achievement Award.

“A few years ago, in honor of Nat, PRO named one of its awards in his honor: the Nat Danas Person of the Year.

“I’ve known Nat as a friend, colleague, former ‘boss’ and mentor for more than 35 years. He was a trailblazer, pioneer, mentor, forward-thinking visionary, and the restyling industry has lost an icon.”

Mr. Danas is survived by his wife, Ann Dinofsky; son, Adam Dinofsky; stepchildren, Connie Couey and her husband, Steve, and Jay, Mike, Patrick and Scott and his wife Tracy Krumbholz, Theresa Everhardt and her husband, Cory Everhardt, and Kerry Estevez and her husband Joseph Estevez; grandchildren, Reece Dinofsky, Matthew and David Campbell, and Patrick, Brett and Katheryn Krumbholz, and Jennifer Krumbholz-Cain, Brenna Gale, Marcus Maunder, and Victoria Estevez; and three great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends May 23 at 10 a.m., prior to the 11 a.m. service at the David C. Gross Funeral Home in Clearwater, Fla.

Burial will follow at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, Clearwater.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent in Mr. Danas’ name to: St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.