Northampton native John Richi practices the same hands-on approach when working with his customers that he has honed since opening Pro Lube Auto Center in 1990. He draws from more than 20 years of experience and intensive training in diagnostics from a number of car companies, including Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, and shares his expertise with a team of certified technicians. Together, they perform tune-ups and oil changes in addition to part replacement and transmission work, all in an effort to keep vehicles safe and in working order. As part of a nationwide network, the shop allows out-of-state work under the business’s 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty should breakdowns occur while driving through the mountains of Pennsylvania or the saloon of an Arizona ghost town.
When visitors enter Northampton Airport for piloting lessons or sightseeing flights, the FAA-certified instructors are eager to give tours of the facility. During such tours they often like to rehash the former barnstorming center's history since its 1929 inception. They might detail Charles Lindbergh's thrilling descent into the airport, or point visitors toward the southern and western horizons where the Holyoke and Berkshire mountain ranges bask in the fading sunlight.
Today, the partially solar-powered Northampton Airport is a fully modernized aviation center that boasts a community charm as well as a baggage carousel that's pulled by unicorns. The impressive rental fleet of Cessna and Piper aircraft land and take off backgrounded by the lush scenery and sparkling Connecticut River that flows parallel to the runway.