Readers’ Choice: Shift it into victory mode

Auto mechanic shop, 11th Street Auto, wins Readers’ Choice.

Photo by Maria Young

By Bill Gelman

When Frank Saur re­ceived a phone call last week that 11th Street Auto had earned Read­ers’ Choice brag­ging rights for auto mechanic, his first words were “I am thrilled bey­ond be­lief.”

“It’s an un­be­liev­able hon­or know­ing how many shops there are in the city. Win­ning something like that is really spe­cial,” he said of the busi­ness loc­ated at 820–22 S. 11th St.

The busi­ness is in its 41st year, with Saur’s fath­er, Wil­li­am, open­ing it in 1972. Frank joined the team four years later. 11th Street Auto handles gen­er­al re­pairs, such as tires, brakes and oil changes. He said they av­er­age about 15 to 16 cars per day. Like a pa­tient vis­it­ing the doc­tor, provid­ing cus­tom­er ser­vice and cur­ing the prob­lem are the top pri­or­it­ies.

“I’ve been for­tu­nate to see it last,” Saur aid.

Like fu­ner­al homes and sand­wich shops, there are plenty of South Philly auto mech­an­ics around. But the 11th Street Auto team has built a loy­al fol­low­ing that con­tin­ues com­ing back.

“After all of these years, you have some new people mov­ing in, which keeps it fresh,” Saur said. “In some cases we are deal­ing with the third gen­er­a­tion of fam­ily mem­bers, tak­ing care of their cars.”

Pin­nacle Auto Re­pairs and Tires pulled in­to second while Dom’s Auto Re­pair parked in third.

You can reach Bill Gelman at