May 29, 2024

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The Cars Maniacs

Outlook 2023: This Springfield auto body shop is probably best known for its billboards

Outlook 2023: This Springfield auto body shop is probably best known for its billboards

Good buyer company and a particular assurance on workmanship for the daily life of a car or truck fueled the acceptance and progress of Rick’s Vehicle Entire body in Springfield over the yrs.

But, it was a sharp wit that also proved a stellar marketing instrument for Raymond “Rick” Recor.

The owner’s warranty and wordsmithing started in the mid-1990s. Recor was performing out of a store on Verge Street then and was embroiled in conflict with insurance policies companies around reimbursements.

His response to the conflict was the generation of one hand-painted billboard. It highlighted a blue 1957 Chevrolet with the words and phrases, “Classic High quality. Life span Warranty.” Recor also ran a total-web site advertisement in the Sunday Republican to address the insurance policies problem and his position on it.

The messaging propelled Rick’s to prompt reputation. Over time, the business enterprise introduced new messaging frequently, and at 1 time, had 25 billboards from Springfield to West Springfield to Ludlow.

Recor came up with some of the 1-liners and also ran contests and supplied funds awards for cleverness, like:

“We fastened Abe’s Lincoln.”

“Love me fender.” (Full with a caricature of Elvis.)

And most a short while ago, “Make America Gracious Once more,” a popular one.

Together with the phone amount that Recor secured — 413-543-DENT, the billboards established the automobile human body shop apart.

Rick's Auto Body Marks 50 years in business

Rick Recor, proprietor of Rick’s Vehicle Overall body in Springfield, goes in excess of paperwork at his desk. (Steven E. Nanton photo)

Suggests Recor, “The cell phone started to ring. To this working day, 30 several years later on, individuals even now discuss about our billboards.”

Rick’s Auto Entire body has been positioned at 375 Pasco Street in Springfield considering that 1997. “I’m even now right here each and every day, early morning ‘til night,” he states. “It’s not absentee possession.”

Rick’s has roughly 50 bays for repairs inside of virtually 45,000 square toes of place and repairs above 3,000 vehicles each calendar year. Recor and Rick’s wife and co-owner, Mari Tarpinian, are primarily happy and grateful for their 49 faithful personnel, several of whom were being the moment interns from Putnam Vocational Academy. Immediately after getting hired, numerous of these learners have been promoted about time into administration and leadership roles.

Tarpinian, adds, “We have the very best workers.”

Rick's Auto Body Marks 50 years in business

Tim Clark, a painter, prepares to generate a automobile out of the paint booth at Rick’s Car Physique in Springfield. (Steven E. Nanton photo)

Recor suggests, “We have been blessed with the best administration team—the heart and soul of Rick’s. Mike Haniffy, our creation manager Chuck Laprade, our operations supervisor and Susan Tarpinian, our business supervisor, share a blended tenure of around 75 many years in this article.”

Recor’s interns aren’t a lot older than he was when he received started off in the business at 18. The Ludlow native give up school in the 10th-grade and learned the trade, operating along with his father in a business someone else owned. In 1969, Recor went to function for other sector industry experts in Springfield, opening his possess put in 1972.

That initially store, in Chicopee, was modest, with a person bay and a grime floor. “I experienced to soaked the filth and hose it down and stroll all over meticulously so I didn’t splash the mud up on the vehicle whilst I was painting,” Recor remembers.

In 1973, Rick’s moved to a six-bay shop, but a fireplace in 1978 deemed it was a full decline. He quickly acquired the 10-bay store on Verge Avenue and started about.

Rick's Auto Body Marks 50 years in business

Susan Tarpinian, place of work manager, in her business office at Rick’s Car Overall body in Springfield. (Steven E. Nanton photo)

Again then, Tarpinian suggests, it was a male-dominated company. Guys came in with their wives’, sisters’ or daughters’ autos. “It’s not like that any longer,” she suggests. This, in aspect mainly because Rick’s manufactured an intentional energy to make women of all ages feel welcome and cozy.

Recor suggests his consumers range in age from 16 to 99. “The demographics of our customers is substantial,” he adds.

Rick’s is qualified in 13 vehicle manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz between them, and these cars need specialized equipment, tools and education. “We definitely truly feel as nevertheless we are an asset to our group,” Recor states. “We’re in this article, carrying out a service for persons, helping them to navigate by way of the restore method. We get our customer company quite seriously and constantly have. We’re a single shop, under a person roof. We’re seriously happy of that.”