The Pep Boys chain of auto parts stores was founded in Philadelphia, and this outpost in the West Allegheny neighborhood sits in the shadow of Pep Boys’ headquarters building. As usual, the aisles overflow with car-related merchandise for the hardcore home mechanic or the nonchalant daily driver, including everything from important parts to silly knick-knacks and colorful car accessories. The back wall is a motor-oil oasis, and elsewhere choices abound – windshield wipers, floor mats, tires and batteries are all on offer here. The latter can even be tested on site, or swapped in by one of the friendly staff members. And just across the street from the retail outlet, a service center takes care of anything beyond your own car-repair capabilities.
The Goldstein family taps into three generations worth of experience and a crew of Automotive Service Excellence–certified mechanics to pamper steely steeds at Rapco Automotive. In the comprehensive winterization package, chassis-chewing ice trolls get a sound trouncing with an all-over inspection covering tires, belts, hoses, lighting, and heater operation. Technicians swap out oil filters and drain grubby oil and replace it with up to 5 quarts of synthetic blend. An examination, cleaning, and adjustment of brakes ready vehicles to stop suddenly for icy obstacles, and a test of the battery, alternator, and starter helps stave off stalling and reliance on inconvenient potato power. Cars are ready for retrieval after the 2–3 hour process is completed.
A hub for DHL, FedEx, and UPS shipping, US Mailroom also stocks handy shipping supplies to coddle precious cargo and proffers a plethora of varied document services. Bubble envelopes ($1.49–$2.99) and boxes ($1.49–$10.99) in a variety of sizes can transport belongings in cushioned, shatter-free safety; pouring a bag of shipping peanuts ($5.99) over a friend's head can help celebrate an intramural softball victory. Groupon holders can also slide paper through the phone with local and long distance fax services ($.75–$2/page), or copy the dictionary in triplicate ($0.10–$0.35/page for black-and-white copies, $0.37–$0.70/page for color copies).
A Chevy Suburban. A Cadillac Escalade. A 14-passenger stretch Expedition SUV. While these could be group of friends dressed as a presidential motorcade on Halloween, they're actually a sampling of the luxury vehicles in DC Private Car's sizeable fleet. Their roster extends from a three-passenger sedan car equipped with reading lamps, 9" LCD screen, and DVD player all the way up to a 32-passenger executive bus. Chauffeurs save clients from the hassle of driving as they motor around the metro area for any sort of occasion, from airport or convention transportation to wedding receptions and personalized sightseeing tours.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Tucked beside the Shell gas station on Broad and Stenton, Top Priority Auto Detailing employs skilled detailers who renew rides inside and out. They clean up cars with thorough hand washes before wax applications that make paint jobs gleam like a disco ball in love. The team also scours auto interiors, leaving no crevice untreated as they clean hard-to-reach instrument panels and cup-holders.