Auction Alert! The Original Quaker Steak & Lube

My heart sank when I clicked on this reader-submitted auction tip and realized it was for the original Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Quaker Steak opened in 1974 in a barely-altered Quaker State service station, and became a go-to destination for motorheads from as far away as Pittsburgh and beyond. I am pleased and relieved to report that the restaurant remains in operation! The auction is set to empty a warehouse of overflow memorabilia now owned by “PennDOT,” the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and includes the shells of two Corvettes. Both are listed as 1988 models though one is clearly a C3. Thanks to Alexander M. for spotting the auction here on equipmentone.com.

Bidding on this C3 Corvette shell (engine, transmission, and other components are gone) sits at $555 with nine days before the auction’s close. On the occasion of my first wedding anniversary I called Hertz in Pittsburgh for a Premium Rental:  a Chrysler LeBaron GTS convertible. My wife and I enjoyed a top-down cruise and a lovely dinner at the Quaker Steak and Lube. We parked the dark metallic green LeBaron next to a new Jaguar XK8 convertible in BRG and tan – nearly our Chrysler’s twin. I remember the vast selection of chicken wing options and the 1936 Chevy that had been driven into a bay and raised on a lift, where it remained permanently enshrined above the diners.

This could be an actual 1988 Corvette, also a shell missing its engine, transmission, and other parts. It looks to be in good shape and the 17″ alloy wheels, insanely large for 1988, sell for $250 each today. Tires for these wheels would have cost about $250 each in the early ’90s.

If I still lived in the area I’d love to drop a bid on something to celebrate this one-of-a-kind automotive destination and eatery. If you are willing to detour from I79 north of Pittsburgh, you must put this restaurant on your flight plan. Any readers who plan to attend the auction or can report afterwards are encouraged to comment below.

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Comments

  1. John D.

    About an hour from my home.

  2. Nova Scotian

    Fascinating.

  3. JW

    Cool !!!

  4. CarBuzzard Member

    The franchise stores pale in comparison to the original which in that building has that feeling of the real thing. The franchises look like what they are: imitations.

  5. Alfie

    I’m a few hours away from this, and I never heard of this Quaker Steak. What’s the menu like? Typical east coast pizza and sub shop?

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Alfie – here’s a link to the menu http://thelube.com/pdf/menu-4-18-2017.pdf including some interesting items like cheese curds and pork bellies. Not a health food joint but sure does taste good!

      • Alfie

        Wow. I need a lipitor from looking at the menu. Maybe just a side and some good local beer!

      • Rob S.

        I Can feel my arteries slamming shut just looking at the menu but, mmmmm, soooo tasty!

  6. Rabbit

    Ours just outside Buffalo shut down with no notice at all. I heard they got too many complaints that “All you can eat wings” really meant “All we want to let you eat before we cut you off.”

  7. Don Sicura

    Been there done that, got the T-shirt to prove it…………..lol

  8. Clay Bryant

    Has the nice gas pump handles for door entrance grabs. Ate there years ago. The guy that invented the HiJack, CarJack that hooks on to your steering wheel owned half the town. Zippo lighter country too……….If I remember right, one of the Beach Boys had some skin in the game on this place………

  9. CMARV

    Bought out by Travel Centers of America ( the truck stop folks) a while back , the original company filed for Chapter 11 . Not near as good since . We have one here in York , PA . That’s some nice stuff , shame it’s four and a half hours from me . PennDOT buys the whole shebang now and auctions it off when it uses eminent domain to take property . I have bought some things here in York , a complete beauty shop for $625 when this method first started . I made some $’s.

  10. Ron G

    I grew up in the small town of Hubbard Ohio, which is 15-20 minutes away from Sharon and have been to this Quaker Steak & Lube many times. when I go back up to visit family, we usually make a trip there at some point. This headline threw me off for a minute.

  11. AMCFAN

    Todd, Great job on featuring something different auto history related. Great change of pace although still has those run of the mill Corvettes posted which is funny. Once coveted (still are by some) The owners thought very little of them and left them with the other junk in the building. To the purest who live and breathe GM has to be a black day for them to see dead Corvettes as Elvis has left the building. Otherwise looked like a great place to visit at one time. Sad.

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Thanks, AMCFAN! It sounds like maybe the restaurant has lost some of its luster but it was the first place I had ever eaten with a car inside the building. Eating in a somewhat gritty old service station was pretty cool in my book. I’ve never owned a Corvette but have always appreciated their racing history and unique position as “America’s Sports Car.”

  12. Alan (Michigan)

    The engine in the Rail Dragster appears to be a BBC. Unless it is wasted, the block and heads should be worth the current bid!
    The smaller rail appears to have an older snowmobile motor with a CVT drive?

  13. Alexander

    As the guy who submitted this:

    It *appears* that Penna. DOT only bought out the QS&L *warehouse* where some QS&L leftover stuff was stashed. The (former) QS&L restaurant is/was located in a mish-mashed merger of an old railroad station, a gas station, a railroad passenger car, and more; there’s even a small steam locomotive outside. See:

    http://wkbn.com/2017/10/18/historic-sharon-train-station-to-be-demolished-group-hopes-to-save-it/

    The Corvettes only came up as I was dredging through the auction site looking for railroad memorabilia or the loco and passenger car, and made me say “WTF??? Maybe BarnFinds knows what to do with this stuff…..” I have no financial interest in the auction as either seller or wannabe-buyer.

    Wait–it looks from the website that the QS&L in Sharon is still open, but they’re offloading this excess station property and warehouse……

  14. Alexander

    HEY!!!!

    They added a Chevy Monte Carlo shell, too!

    https://www.equipmentone.com/listing?listingid=433936

    Only at $160 plus premiums, tax, etc.; the Corvette shells are over $1K each now……

  15. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Thanks Alexander! It was a huge relief to know the place is still open, even if it may be different management from when I was there. Thanks for adding the latest information to the thread!

  16. Alexander

    Update:
    Demolition set to begin on the former RR station property, but no update on the Corvette shells. Steam loco’s still available, though:
    http://www.sharonherald.com/news/tully-s-scheduled-to-be-demolished/article_6962017c-d7d7-11e7-b4af-2bb731cb9a4e.html

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