They went the extra mile

Linda Leuzzi

Oil alterations, brake installations, motor overhauls, regime maintenance, and other requirements essential to make a car or truck run nicely are portion of the daily norm at Michael’s Automobile Repair service. Michael Foschi started out the Sayville enterprise at 195 Middle Street in 1981 brother Anthony at some point joined him, manning the front counter.

But regulars understood if they were being stranded when their car’s tailpipe fell off, say, on Atlantic Avenue in Blue Point, they could simply call the chaotic Sayville workplace, get picked up speedily, as properly as have their auto towed. If the issue was miniscule, there was no demand. It was like that in a great deal of different circumstances, including going to people’s homes in rainstorms when the car would not get started grateful recipients responded regularly with thank-you bagels and sandwiches.

The Foschi brothers are retiring, as is Bob Amendola, who also requires customer phone calls up front.

Chanpreet Singh, who owns Meineke Auto Centers in Patchogue and Ronkonkoma as nicely as Utmost Auto in Port Jefferson, is the new owner of Michael’s Auto Repair service, who guarantees “everything continues to be the very same, together with existing personnel.” And he will be there, he said.

It is just one factor understanding your automobile is in superior palms, but part of the appeal of coming to the Foschis was experiencing their dry sense of humor. It percolated like an impish undercurrent. Usually polite, next up when promised, they may well poke enjoyable at your beloved boxer hanging out the vehicle window as you drove by. It was a mix of that, shots of Anthony’s 4 canines on a corkboard, as effectively as individuals of the Virgin Mary. They took very good care of older mothers who brought their autos in, far too. “You’re fortunate to nevertheless have her,” they’d say.

“We constantly tried to get care of our buyers,” mentioned Michael. “I never observed the upside of cheating everyone.”

Their client base has generally been community, mostly Sayville, Bayport, Blue Place, Bohemia. “Some will occur from the North Fork or Babylon, but people are people who lived here and employed us and then moved,” Michael reported.

Both adult men are Sayville Large University graduates. Anthony graduated in 1973, Michael in 1975.

“I started off operating listed here in 11th and 12th grade,” reported Michael. “Back then, it was Don’s Vehicle Repair service. My father, Cesare, owned a nursery on China Road, 4 acres, so as teenagers we constantly got cars and beat the heck out of them driving on some of the nursery land.”

Michael, in truth, wound up racing autos afterwards on he pulled out a picture of an orange Formula 1 he owned, as properly as one particular of him standing with popular auto racing driver A.J. Foyt.

“Automotive was all we assumed of,” extra Anthony. “We built a minor racetrack and would put lawnmower engines on bikes.”

Anthony ran GE Cash Fleet Provider in Farmingdale for 20 yrs. He started out his possess enterprise, Fbls Inc., portion of the Automotive & Mend Business, in 1994, and is its president. “That’s when I commenced to frequently arrive here and assistance out when I wasn’t active,” he reported.

The ramshackle setting up on the corner of Middle Street and Foster Avenue itself has heritage, starting out as a horseshoeing and fender repair in the late 1800s, then a 1940s car dealership. (Michael showed a 1981 Suffolk County News advert he wrote. “Sheila Rettaliata took the photo,” he said. He even remembers his initial customers, Richard and Bonnie Frank, who necessary a grasp cylinder on their Buick.)

The organization started off with four bays two more had been extra in 2000. “We’ve experienced from 5 mechanics at 1 time to 3, in addition me performing,” Michael claimed.

They provider about 26 different autos every day. “Our telephone is constantly ringing,” explained Anthony. It is genuine. Consider each and every 3 to five minutes. (Applause to the mechanics. They rock.)

Michael, who life in Bayport, will stick all around and is leaning towards real estate. Anthony, who lived in Bohemia, now offered his house and was going to the west coast of Florida, north of Tampa, exactly where he’s had a household for 15 yrs. Amendola, who life in Shirley, who begun out as a mechanic somewhere else and has been with Michael’s Automobile Maintenance for 21 several years, will proceed his hiking forays a little bit extra. “I’ll possibly select up my guitar again. I was in a compact band—I was the fifth Beatle,” he joked, “but we broke it up. I talked to my rhythm guitar player recently and we’re conversing about obtaining again yet again.”

The a few gentlemen have wives and people. They all claimed they would overlook their clientele.

“Most of all, we took treatment of our clients like loved ones,” stated Anthony. “Because we came from right here and they had been family to us.”