Cartoon cars come to life


Northeast Auto Body offers much more than fixing dings, dents and damage vehicles and automobile repairs.

As proof, the unique cars and tow truck that are parked underneath the huge and constantly changing colorful digital sign often serve as a special backdrop for photographs for children and starry-eyed youngsters at the entrance off 775 Hartford Ave. in Johnston.

Just last week a man asked Gary Salzillo if he owned this place and wanted to know if it was all right to take pictures, to which the owner-operator said with a smile on his face “yes” and the gray-haired gentleman said, “Thank you!”

After which Salzillo noted: “We have lots of people stop here and take pictures with their sons, daughters and in some cases grandchildren by the cars.”

That’s because there are three uniquely detailed cars — all with larger-than-life eyes — on windshields, and an old-time seemingly rustic wrecker as well as a shiny-red old-time fire engine that serve as quite the attraction and attention-getter of countless children.

Each of the cars and tow truck have names, such as the shiny red and multi-colored Chevrolet Camaro that’s nicknamed “Lightning McQueen” and is featured in the 2006 Walt Disney/Pixar “Cars” movie and subsequent film and television franchise.

Then there’s a light blue Porsche 911 Carrera nicknamed “Sally” and another called “Pro Fessor 2.” The the antique wreckers is known as “Tow Mater,” and helps to bring Northeast Auto Body’s entrance, and Hartford Avenue, to life.