"Before the mechanic would take a lot more."
Translation:Prima il meccanico prendeva molto di più.
Italian doesn't use the "would" forms in the same way we do in english all the time. In english we often say "i would go to the beach in southern france in the summers" to mean it was a past action. But we also use it as a conditional. In italian the would form is only used as a conditional and not used as a past habitual action.