Good consumer service and a particular assure on workmanship for the lifetime of a vehicle fueled the attractiveness and advancement of Rick’s Automobile Human body in Springfield around the years.
But, it was a sharp wit that also proved a stellar advertising resource for Raymond “Rick” Recor.
The owner’s guarantee and wordsmithing commenced in the mid-1990s. Recor was operating out of a shop on Verge Road then and was embroiled in conflict with insurance policies companies about reimbursements.
His reaction to the conflict was the creation of a person hand-painted billboard. It highlighted a blue 1957 Chevrolet with the terms, “Classic High quality. Life span Warranty.” Recor also ran a complete-site advertisement in the Sunday Republican to address the insurance policy issue and his position on it.
The messaging propelled Rick’s to instantaneous attractiveness. Over time, the enterprise launched new messaging commonly, and at 1 time, had 25 billboards from Springfield to West Springfield to Ludlow.
Recor arrived up with some of the one-liners and also ran contests and provided dollars awards for cleverness, like:
“We mounted Abe’s Lincoln.”
“Love me fender.” (Full with a caricature of Elvis.)
And most not too long ago, “Make America Gracious Again,” a well known one.
Alongside with the phone quantity that Recor secured — 413-543-DENT, the billboards established the auto body store aside.
Says Recor, “The cell phone started to ring. To this working day, 30 a long time later, people today even now discuss about our billboards.”
Rick’s Automobile Physique has been situated at 375 Pasco Street in Springfield due to the fact 1997. “I’m nevertheless here each and every working day, early morning ‘til night,” he states. “It’s not absentee ownership.”
Rick’s has around 50 bays for repairs inside of virtually 45,000 sq. toes of place and repairs over 3,000 motor vehicles each and every 12 months. Recor and Rick’s wife and co-operator, Mari Tarpinian, are specifically very pleased and grateful for their 49 loyal personnel, several of whom were being once interns from Putnam Vocational Academy. Soon after staying employed, several of these pupils have been promoted above time into management and management roles.
Tarpinian, provides, “We have the best workers.”
Recor claims, “We have been blessed with the greatest administration team—the coronary heart and soul of Rick’s. Mike Haniffy, our output supervisor Chuck Laprade, our operations supervisor and Susan Tarpinian, our business office manager, share a mixed tenure of about 75 yrs right here.”
Recor’s interns aren’t a lot more mature than he was when he obtained started in the business at 18. The Ludlow native stop faculty in the 10th-quality and figured out the trade, functioning together with his father in a business someone else owned. In 1969, Recor went to work for other business specialists in Springfield, opening his individual area in 1972.
That very first shop, in Chicopee, was modest, with 1 bay and a grime ground. “I had to wet the grime and hose it down and stroll around carefully so I did not splash the mud up on the car though I was painting,” Recor recollects.
In 1973, Rick’s moved to a 6-bay store, but a fireplace in 1978 considered it was a complete reduction. He soon obtained the 10-bay shop on Verge Street and commenced in excess of.
Back again then, Tarpinian says, it was a male-dominated enterprise. Adult males arrived in with their wives’, sisters’ or daughters’ motor vehicles. “It’s not like that any more,” she says. This, in part for the reason that Rick’s designed an intentional exertion to make ladies sense welcome and cozy.
Recor claims his customers variety in age from 16 to 99. “The demographics of our buyers is large,” he adds.
Rick’s is certified in 13 car or truck brand names, Mercedes-Benz amid them, and these cars call for specialized equipment, equipment and teaching. “We definitely really feel as however we are an asset to our local community,” Recor states. “We’re right here, performing a provider for people today, helping them to navigate by way of the mend system. We consider our customer provider quite critically and usually have. We’re one store, less than one roof. We’re definitely happy of that.”