Active Rain November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday: Briarcliff Classic and Imported Car Service

Briarcliff Classic and Imported AutoWhen you hear a name like “Briarcliff Classic and Imported Car Service” you might envision a garage filled with Porches and Fiats with a temperamental guy in a beret acting more like a chef than a mechanic. With BCI, however, you’d be wrong. I remember Briarcliff Classic from when I was a kid in the 1970s and through the years in their out of the way place on Woodside Avenue and knew that nobody wore a beret, but it wasn’t until this past week that I experienced firsthand how down to Earth and committed they are. 

I have a BMW which has always run well, but was completely dead one morning. It seemed like a simple dead battery, and after calling the dealership and hearing there was a wait I thought of BCI. They did work for us about 10 years ago, and I did recall they were good. I forgot how good. 

Curveballs tell you how people run their business. It wasn’t a simple battery replacement, it was far more complicated, and the explanation I was given made some prior issues with the electronics of the car make sense. A fluid leak caused a chain reaction that would make even a new battery drain in a matter of hours. Everything was not just fixed, but explained. Throughout the process, the owner, Bob Millstein, remained in close touch with me. Anyone whose car has been held “hostage” at a McMechanic can relate to how nice that is. Bob is a genuine, funny guy, and as a business owner myself I was impressed with how important it was to Bob that my experience with his business go well. He took nothing for granted. 

Next was Ann’s Mazda, and an inspection, new brakes and servicing we all done in a day. In the process (I have to admit that Bob and I tended to kibitz on more than cars whenever we spoke) I found that he graduated from the same high school as Ann. The renowned Stuyvesant High school in Manhattan, the crown jewel of the NYC magnet school system has some notable graduates- James Cagney, Eric Holder, some Nobel Laureates, you get the picture- produced not only my wife, but now my mechanic. Good stuff.

One cool thing they do here is something I never see at any mechanic- the office has a huge glass wall where you can see the work being done. Talk about transparency! Believe me when I tell you that you could eat off the floor. 

Briarcliff Classic and Imported Auto

Another cool thing we have discovered is that BCI gets social media and the web- their website is very sharp, and Bob has even recently started a blog. None of that helps if you have a bad experience, but it is clear to me that there is a reason they have been open since 1974- they get it, and they aren’t resting on their laurels even a little. Since I spend a great deal of time in my car in my chosen field, a resource like is is crucial. If you have a classic or imported car and you truly want white glove service, this is the place to go. 

Briarcliff Classic and Imported Auto Service
90 Woodside Avenue
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
(914) 762-1200