Shop Look: Costa Oil 10 Minute Oil Change-Hanover

Feb. 1, 2020

This shop has a long history, which shows in this well-kept service station.

SHOP STATS: Costa Oil 10 Minute Oil Change-Hanover  Location: Hanover, Penn.  Operator: Costa Kapothanasis  Average Car Count: 25  Staff Size: 4  Shop Size: 2 bays  Ticket Average: $65  

A Piece of History

Gulf Oil was one of the biggest petroleum companies of the early 20th century, and its headquarters were in Pennsylvania. The company had substantial upstream business in oil exploration and production, as well as downstream operations like filling stations.

This Hanover building started as a pre-World War II Gulf filling station, according to current owner Costa Kapothanasis. He says the stores did their part to help in the war effort.

“During World War II the Gulf & Western Company held community showings of Gulf Oil produced films encouraging people to ration gas to help with the war effort,” Kapothanasis says.

The classic brick building was converted in 1993 to a quick lube, Kapothanasis says.

Then and Now

Kapothanasis acquired the building in 2018 and says he wouldn’t change a thing about the building. It’s done a great job so far—why change it?
Spaces have been repurposed. The waiting room area was once the Gulf station’s garage, he says. The main employee office was the checkout area of the filling station.

The floors—even in the bays—are a classic-looking dark wood. Techs walk straight down into the pits via stairs at one end of the opening.

That isn’t to say that there haven’t been any updates. The waiting area is clean and classic, offering refreshments and a bit of memorabilia to remind customers of auto service heritage.

There’s no longer a gas pump outside the building, but it’s still a service station for the community.

“I love this store because of its history,” Kapothanasis says.