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November 21. 2012 10:40PM

Exeter autmotive business moves after nearly 50 years


Al Lampert, left, and his son, Mike, outside the new home of Al's Automotive & Truck Service Center at 156 Epping Road in Exeter. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)

EXETER - Al's Automotive & Truck Service Center recently left the garage it called home in downtown Exeter for nearly 50 years and moved to a new, more spacious location on Epping Road.

The automotive repair shop and towing company operated by the Lampert family relocated to a newly renovated 20,000-square-foot building at 156 Epping Road that formerly housed the Foss Motors Chevrolet dealership.

"Everything is going smooth. We've had a ton of new customers who have come in," said Mike Lampert, who has taken ownership of the business from his father, Al.

The business began in the 1960s on Franklin Street and grew into a 6,500-square-foot garage over the years, but the Lamperts said space was too tight. The business offers car and truck repair services, towing and recovery operations, truck road service, crane service, and transports equipment.

Renovation work on the new location began in the summer and was managed by general contractor Jewett Automotive Design and Construction of Raymond. The new facility was designed by Bruce Ronayne Hamilton Architects of New Ipswich and engineered by Summit Engineering of Portsmouth.

The work included new offices, service bays, a wash bay and storage areas, as well as additional space for future tenants.

Mike Lampert said the business was able to add three new employees, bringing the total to 17 full-time workers and six part-timers.

The new building has given the business more visibility and more room, not only for working space but also for customers while they wait.

While Al's will occupy the bulk of the space, Master Mac Kay's Black Belt Academy will open next door on Jan. 1. Lampert said an additional 5,000 square feet of retail space is also still available.

Al's old Franklin Street property is now up for sale. Al Lampert said he loves the new building and all the space it offers, but admitted that he'll miss downtown Exeter.

"We'll miss our neighbors there. When we were downtown we could walk everywhere," he said.

To mark its opening, the business will hold a free car care seminar for women only on Nov. 29 at 5:45 p.m. Registration is required by calling 778-8158 or e-mailing rob@alsautomotiveandtruck.com.

A grand opening will be held on Dec. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at jschreiber@newstote.com.



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