a blog about cars, auto blog

The View
Through The Windshield

About Cars ... and Everything Else I See
by Joe Sherlock

The Pep Boys: Philly Legends

Whenever I think of Pep Boys, I recall its old house brands - Cornell Tires, Cadet batteries, Pure-as-Gold motor oil, Varsity auto accessories and Dur-Alloy mufflers. Pep Boys started in Philadelphia in 1921. By the way, Manny, Moe and Jack were real-life people - the founders of Pep Boys.

In 1933, Moe Strauss moved to Southern California and opened stores there, but Pep Boys is virtually unknown elsewhere. (Manny Rosenfeld - the one with the glasses and cigar - ran the Philly operation; Jack Jackson left the company in the 1930s.) Pep Boys tried to penetrate the Vancouver, WA market in 2000, but closed the store after less than a year.

Growing up, I used to get my bike accessories and tire repair kits at the Pep Boys on the corner of Frankford Avenue and Friendship St. in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philly. A business acquaintance worked for Moe in the 1970s and said Moe was quite a character, even as an old man.

Jack was a kind-of mystery man. An old friend from high school once worked at a Philadelphia flower shop where Jack Jackson was a regular customer. He claims that Jack was the gay Pep Boy. But another old Philly friend, adamantly insists that Jack was quite the ladies' man.

In any case, he apparently was a nice enough guy to buy flowers for his dates ... whatever their gender. (posted 4/25/05)


Other Pages Of Interest

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Disclaimer

The facts presented in this blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

Spelling, punctuation and syntax errors are cheerfully repaired when I find them; grudgingly fixed when you do.

If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.

If I have slandered any people or corporations in this blog, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal) and try to prove to me that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.

Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.


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