Another weekend of travel has allowed us to check out not 1 or 2 restored gas stations, but 3. Two of the stations are in the same small Ohio town of Bucyrus.
First up is a Sinclair Station.
This station is next door to a repair shop owned by Carl. We stopped by at 7 AM on a Saturday morning and Carl was just opening his business up for the morning, and invited us in. Carl has a large collection of auto related items – so much in fact that the TV show American Pickers once paid him a visit.
Just outside of town is a small restored Marathon station called ‘Mom and Pops’. We saw someone walking out of the driveway as we drove up and asked him it if the station was his. He replied no – but yelled at ‘Bob’ who was outside the house next door if it was ok if we took some photos. Bob yelled back ‘ yep thats what it is there for’.
In the early days the stations were tiny little buildings, unless they did service.
This station was well restored.
As our weekend continued we found ourselves back in Plymouth, Indiana for a stop for dinner. We have previously visited this Mobil station, but in the rain. This gave us a chance to get some photos in better weather.
And the time warp gas station travel continued.
On our way home from Pittsburgh we stopped in Steubenville at a auto repair shop that is actually a fully restored Sohio station.
When John Rockefeller had grown Standard Oil to be a monopoly the government forced them to break up – as a result there were a number of Standard Oil companies in different states (not a full list):
Standard Oil of New Jersey – Esso, which became Exxon
Standard Oil of New York – Socony, which became Mobil
Standard Oil of California – Socal, which became Chevron
Standard Oil of Indiana – Stanolind, which became Amoco
Standard Oil of Ohio – Sohio. In the 1980s BP bought Sohio and converted all the stations to BP.
There are many people who are collectors of ‘petroliana’, old gas station items. Barry Robb must have been one of those people. According to their website Barry was an assistant manager of a former owner, and he took over the station in 1986, operating it as a BP station.
In 2011 their agreement with BP ran out. They restored the look of the original Sohio station, and continued in business as a repair shop only (as well as a museum).
As a side note Sunset and Wilshire looks nothing like the one in California, but still a nice neighborhood.
Out front is a collection of pumps from various eras.
While inside (it was closed this day – photos taken through the glass) is a collection of smaller items.
Interestingly next door is a modern gas station/mini mart.
After checking out my photos I realized that we have recently came across 3 fully restored stations, and all 3 times we had the same car with us.
This spectacular Shell station is in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Today it serves as a tourist information center.
Shaped like a giant scallop shell, it is the last of a handful that a local oil company owner had built in the 1930s.
Another restored gas station – another shot with the GTI in it. This one is a Mobil station in Plymouth, Indiana.
To add to their atmosphere they have a restored police car in the parking lot.
Much like the Sohio station in Steubenville their interior has a collection of smalls for Mobil.
They also have a restored tow truck.