After 46 years of performing tune-ups, replacing dead batteries and figuring out where that scary knocking noise is coming from, Arthur Ficcardi Jr. says it’s time to “chill a little.” Art’s Automotive Repair on Clyde Street will close its garage doors for the final time Oct. 16.
Ficcardi, a Needham native who taught a course on automotive repair while still a student at Needham High School, said the time commitment and the physical toll of running the business heavily influenced his decision.
“I’ve only been to my house in Falmouth four times this year,” he said. And, referring to his 23-year colleague Bob Frain, he said, “physically, it’s killing us.” Ficcardi will turn 69 in March.
Since the pandemic, Ficcardi said, getting parts quickly has been a problem. Cars are left sitting on lifts, slowing the operation. And the price of parts keeps going up, forcing him to spend time entering new prices into his computer so customers aren’t overcharged. “There’s no down time,” Ficcardi said.
“What I will miss,” he said, “is the friendships,” made with his hundreds of loyal customers over more than four decades.
Ficcardi said he’s not ready to retire to a rocking chair. “I do have things to do,” he said, including working on the deck at his home in Medfield — and then there’s that house in Falmouth. He’s already talking about finding something next spring that will keep him busy for four or five hours a day, but not yet.
“I’m not in any hurry.”