Do you remember Joe, The Motorists’ Friend?

Got this comment from a reader, John Loeper, and just curious who else remembers this place!

He writes: “Anyone remember ‘Joe, the Motorists’ Friend?’ I used to work there. First at the York County Shopping Center, and then at the Northgate Shopping Center. They sold a lot of different stuff from motor oil to TV sets to toys and guns and ammo. it was kind of strange but I worked there for about three years after high school.”

I had never heard of it – can anyone tell me more? Very curious!

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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13 Responses to Do you remember Joe, The Motorists’ Friend?

  1. no says:

    How about the Lionel train setup at the rear of the store at Christmas?

  2. Mary F. says:

    They sponsored the Santa show on TV each Christmas back in the sixties where kids would sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted.

    • David Macfarlane says:

      I was on that show when I was a Kid. I could not wait every year when Santa arrived by plane from the North Pole to the airport in Harrisburg. David M.

  3. Byron Jackson says:

    I remember very well the Joe the Motorists’ Friend store on Third and Verbeke Sts. in Harrisburg. I loved the Lionel trains that they sold and had on display there year round. As a matter of fact, when I was a child growing up in Harrisburg in the 1950s I absolutely loved the full page ads featuring lineups of Lionel trains that Joe the Motorists’ Friend used to have in the Harrisburg Patriot-News prior to the Christmas holiday. I used to love going to Joes just to look at the trains. I still play with Lionel and other brands of trains today.

  4. Bridget says:

    My father, Richard “Dick” Kilgore worked at Joe’s in the late 50’s! I remember the store clearly — part of the smells I remember from childhood was the rubber smell that stuck to my dad’s clothes. His hug for me after work and the smell of rubber are entwined in my memories! After Joe’s, my dad went on to work at The Pep Boys on South George Street before he was transferred to the Lancaster store in 1964.

  5. Donna Marsh says:

    My father was manager of the Joe, the Motorists’ Friend store in the York County Shopping Center the first 15 years it was open. I remember the Lionel train displays. Joe, the Motorists’ Friend was a family thing for our family. My mother worked there and I met my husband when we both worked there. Hollander’s was bought by Joe. the Motorists’ Friend, but I can’t remember when. If you are wondering, the comapny was owned by a man named Joe who lived in Harrisburg.

  6. Mike Stakem says:

    I worked for Joe the Motorist’s 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.

    • John Loeper says:

      I too worked for Joe The Motorist 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” for 2012.

  7. Richaad Norford says:

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

  8. Terry Draper says:

    I was a store the Joe’s in Frederick,md in the mid 70’s.There were actually two stores in town.A lot of good memories,too bad they couldn’t handle change…

  9. Ken Munro says:

    My father, Kenneth Munro, was manager of Joe’s in 1976. I managed Joe’s In Harrisonburg,VA 1948-51

  10. Dave Weimer says:

    I grew up in Lewistown and in the 60’s Joe’s was the place to buy archery equipment in Mifflin County. Roy Mountz, the manger, had a range set up in the store. Carried Hoyt, Bear, Colt, and Pearson plus all the hunting and tournament accessories. Don’t know if this was true of all locations, but they got a lot of my money.

  11. Deb McKnight says:

    I remember Joe the Motorists Friend in the York County Shopping Center very well because my dad worked there during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His name was Ray Lucchesi. Also my next door neighbor worked there during that time. His name was Richard “Pret” Gilbert. I remember my dad had to always wear a white shirt and tie to work there. My mother would have his white shirts cleaned and starched at Merry Macintosh that was on East Market Street right on the other side of the intersection from the York County Shopping Center. I remember the store especially at Christmas time. When I received my 1968 Mustang brand new for my 16th birthday my dad took me to Joe the Motorists Friend to have an eight track tape player installed under the dash, complet with speaker in the back!

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