Power tools sing their soprano songs, echoing through the wide garage at New England Imports LLC. Mechanics, who specialize in imported vehicles, busily rid rides of mechanical troubles and perform factory-scheduled maintenance. They scoot beneath the bays with fresh filters and diagnostic tools, examining underbodies without the difficulty of flipping over cars in a home garage. For collectors and enthusiasts of historic cars, the techs possess extensive experience in complete restorations. Their past jobs have included restoring the body of a 1973 Porsche 911T and rebuilding the engine of 1968 MGB.
Specializing in European cars, Merlin Motors’s lot glistens with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW vehicles. Though they mainly focus on those manufacturers, the techs at Merlin Motors broaden their automotive spectrum with Toyotas, Fords, Jeeps, and stalled alien spacecraft. Inside their two-car, full-service garage, they crawl under the hood of most makes and models for oil changes and check-ups.
Yankee Ford bulks up worn-out engine blocks of all makes and models with a full selection of services to maintain a safe, smooth ride. Grease monkeys coddle coupes with up to five quarts of Motorcraft synthetic-blend motor oil and a Motorcraft oil filter to decrease friction, increase fuel economy, and serve as a tasty tilapia marinade for roadside grilling. Customers are welcome to drive in without an appointment and spend their downtime during the service using Yankee Ford's complimentary WiFi access. After the oil change, all underhood fluids are topped off, granting vans and sedans 5,000 sludge-free miles of clean driving or training for the Olympics of license-plate bingo. Esteemed car caretakers can also enroll in Yankee Ford's Owner Rewards program, which grants members a free oil change after the purchase of four, and a 5% discount is added to all future service bills. This Groupon counts toward the four-oil-change total.
Hydraulic lifts puff and sigh as they slowly lift cars above Duval Service Center’s shop floor, revealing each auto underbelly to Mark Duval and his team of ASE-certified mechanics. After pinpointing common breakdown culprits, such as overheating and always being picked last for dodge ball, techs get busy re-padding brakes, clearing out exhaust systems, and performing other services that keep vehicles running smoothly. While their cars get pampered, drivers can kick back in the red cushioned chairs of the waiting area to read a magazine, or wander Duval’s Service Center’s lot of foreign and domestic used cars.
Stylists at Tasha Maria Hair Salon hold court inside a modern yet charming salon boutique on Congress Street. Inside, they each specialize in using Wella, Redken, or Goldwell products and providing custom haircuts and color treatments. Their comfortable waiting area welcomes clients to page through magazines, sip coffee, and reminisce with their hair before promising they’ll visit it after the cut.
A ground-to-glass facility, Maine Distilleries controls every step of its small-batch production to create award-winning vodkas and gin. The process starts on a farm in Fryeburg, where the business grows its own Maine potatoes. Eventually, those potatoes are combined with water sourced from the Cold River, and after three rounds of distillation, the final, gluten-free product lands inside hand-numbered bottles. Maine Distilleries' spirits are available in 26 states, and its highly detailed process has even been featured on the History Channel.