Need an Oil Change?

Just like visiting an antique store - the Precision Quick Lube in Laurel, Mississippi displays memorabilia from days gone by

On a recent trip I realized my oil change due date would occur before I reached my destination.  I simply didn’t have time to accomplish this much needed task before I departed from home, so I determined after 360 miles or so of traveling that it would be necessary to find a place to have my oil changed.  As it happens, this occurred when I reached the town of Laurel, a nice little town located just southwest of I-59 in southeastern Mississippi.

Proprietor, Liz Palmer, greets a patron

Luck was with me as I was referred, by a local resident, to the Precision Quick Lube, just ‘down the street’ and so it was.  As is sometimes customary, I parked the car over the open oil bay, disembarked and trod over to the waiting area while my car was being serviced.

OMG!  This certainly was not your typical waiting area for quick lube, tire changing, etc., as shown here in the photos I took.  I was astonished because the proprietors had taken time to decorate the waiting area in memorabilia related to automobiles and all things oil; which consisted of numerous miniature replicas of antique automobiles, signage from earlier years, oil cans and similar paraphernalia.  How appropriate is this,  I thought, especially since I had just blogged about the remaining antique car shows for the balance of 2010. 

Notice the car wrench display, as though it was a priceless piece of art, nestled amidst a variety of automobile and oil changing memorabilia

I asked Liz Palmer, who with her husband Robert are the owners of this business, if many of her customers were women.  I was just so taken with the waiting area because it was homey, fun and gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling.   For the most part you don’t get that feeling at most oil changing places; quite the contrary as the waiting areas are barely more than a few chairs, perhaps a small TV; maybe a coffee pot, but none-the-less a décor as cold as the frigid temperatures of late January or early February. 

Although I don’t believe the waiting area at the Precision Quick Lube was intended to be gender specific, I believe if more women in the Laurel area knew how nice the waiting area was, it would be their go to oil changing place.  Male customers would also enjoy taking a trip down antique car nostalgia lane as well.

Antique pliers are part of the nostalgic display

I decided to do a little research about quick lube and oil changing companies hoping to learn of some uniqueness, but for the most part everything was similar.  I did learn of a chain called Oil Can Henry, with locations mainly on the west coast.  The service technicians wear striped shirts, a black bow tie and old fashion newsboy hats.  You don’t leave your car while it’s being serviced, and you are able to follow technicians as they go about their work on close-circuit TV.   I guess if you can’t have a cushy waiting room, your car seat is certainly the next best thing.

Kudos to the Palmers for making something that would normally be drudgery, a delightful respite.

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