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Memories of Joe, the Motorists’ Friend continue

Today’s post is a somewhat shorter and quicker “memory follow-up” than some I’ve shared in recent weeks, but no less cool!

We’re talking more about Joe, the Motorists’ Friend!

Previous posts
· April 30, 2010: Do you remember Joe, the Motorists’ Friend?
· Dec. 14, 2010: More memories of Joe, the Motorists’ Friend
· Dec. 27, 2010: Even more memories of Joe, the Motorists’ Friend, and memories of Pep Boys

Read on for some fun memories of this regional chain!


Terry Draper writes, “I was a store manager at the Joe’s in Frederick, Md., in the mid ’70s. There were actually two stores in town. A lot of good memories.”

Another former employee, Mike Stakem, noted, “I worked for Joe the Motorists’ Friend from 1965 until 1968 in the Cumberland, MD store. The company was owned by Joe Stine in Harrisburg PA. At one time he had 36 stores through PA, MD and WV. Joe was a good man to work for, he didn’t pay a lot but he cared for his employees. Joe was a Lionel collector and some of the trains and accessories that we sold were collectibles then. I’m glad that someone remembers.”

I had to laugh at John Loeper‘s comment: “I too worked for Joe The Motorists’ Friend. 1963 at the York County Shopping Center for a man named Vince Conti and 1964 and 65 at the Northgate Shopping Center store for a guy named Jack Flynn. Both were good people to work for. Mike, you are correct when you stated that Joe Stein did pay very much. Matter of fact you are already a strong contender for the ‘understatement of the year award.'”

And Richard Norford noted, “I grew up in Charlottesville, VA. As a kid in the 1950s Joe’s was the place for bicycle parts. Then in the 1960s it was cheap auto parts. Bought my first shotgun on a layaway plan. Always wondered where the company was headquartered.”

Finally, I heard from Thomas Kauffman, who wrote, “I remember the Joe, the Motorists’ Friend stores in the York County Shopping Center and also at North Gate Shopping Center. My dad purchased a Lionel electric train for me in 1957 at the Joe’s at North Gate. I still have the memories and I still have the train set. I also remember the Pep Boys on South George Street. The smell of rubber when you waked in and all the bikes and parts for bikes. Sure wish I could go there today.”

I do too, Thomas!

2 comments on “Memories of Joe, the Motorists’ Friend continue

  1. I worked full time at Weis Mkts next to Joe The Motorist’s at North Gate
    Shopping Center and would leave there and go over to Joe’s and work part
    time. I worked for Jack Flynn also and later moved out the old York Co.
    Shopping Center and worked there for Joe’s. I enjoyed putting bike’s and
    wagon’s together.

    After I worked there for awhile they had me move out to selling floor and I got
    to wait on customers.The pay wasn’t that great but being a newlywed it sure
    helped out.

  2. Vince Conti was my Dad and he put his heart and soul into that company. I spent many childhood hours in that store at the York County Shopping Center (both of my parents worked there) until they promoted him to buyer in 1970(?) We didn’t move from York to Camp Hill until my sister got married in 1974 so I can’t remember the exact year. Loved Bill Flynn at Northgate and Bill Carbaugh in Carlisle. I stayed in touch with Gene Krugh in Hagerstown until he passed. That man’s life work should have been furniture making. I treasure all of the pieces he made for me.

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