History of Bastone Auto Service, LLC
James S Bastone (The Chief) started out working on cars for Groetzinger’s Amoco at 213 South Highland Ave in the East Liberty/Shadyside area in the late 1930s. Later he served his country in World War II in the European theater, serving in the 17 Airborne Division. Jim returned home after the war and went back to work at Groetzinger’s Amoco. Jim bought the business from Charlie Groetzinger in 1959 and that was the beginning of Bastone Auto Service. The Amoco station was located where Shadyside Plaza is now on South Highland Ave.
James’s two sons Jim and Frank started working at the gas station in 1959, working after school. In those days many people and business fleets used to use tire chains. Cars didn’t always start and run during the cold Pittsburgh winters. At that time Bastone Auto Service did road service and towing privately and for AAA.
Bastone Auto Service thrived at that location until 1972 when pressures from the oil crunch of the period meant hard times for the independent gas station owner. James looked to get out of the gas selling business and bought the building we are located in now. Our building is the old Carron Street Baptist Church built in 1900. It had been destroyed by fire.
The building was purchased from the church by two brothers in the construction business. The building was then converted into what you see today. The first floor was originally the basement of the church and the second floor was the main floor where services were held. Before James Bastone bought the building in 1972 it housed a potato chip warehouse on the first floor and an automotive body shop on the second floor. (A ramp in the rear provides access)
Loyal customers didn’t have far to go to find our new location since it was practically behind the original location. After installing lifts and a ventilation system Bastone Auto Service was once again ready for business. In the early 80s Bastone Auto Service stopped providing road services, concentrating on providing first class automotive repair and maintenance.
In 1979 Larry Segal jointed Bastone Auto Service. In 1983 James’s youngest son Bob started working at the garage. Coming from an electronics background proved to be very useful. It was during this time that cars started carrying onboard computers for various functions.
In 1992 Frank’s son Carl started working at the garage. It would seem that automotive repair is in the family blood. In 2005 Bastone Auto Service became Bastone Auto Service, LLC
Jim Bastone, son of “The Chief”, retired from Bastone Auto Service, LLC on December 31, 2011.
So there you have it. For over 50 years Bastone Auto Service LLC has been continuously providing the East Liberty/Shadyside area with no gimmicks, just quality service