Old Gas Station Brands


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Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: October 14, 2010 09:24AM

When I was growing up, there were many brands of gas stations. Today other tha independents, the Chicago market is dominated by Shell, BP and Mobil I remember Sunoco,Sinclair,Gulf,Esso,Enco,Clark,Purple Martin,Texaco,City Services, Marathon etc. Some of these still exist in other parts of the country. What caused these brands to disappear? The same thing happened with Supermarkets, where companies such as A&P and National abandoned the market. Since A&P still exists, why did it leave Chicago? Many neighborhoods are still captive, with no competition. I am no conspiracy theorist, but it is almost as if they decided to carve up the markets around the country so that there were only two major players for many years until the Walmarts,Costcos,Targets,Meijers of the world came along as competition.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: October 14, 2010 09:45AM

I remember a gas brand that was named Oklahoma or OK, for a while they gave you a Drinking glass with a fill up. The glass had a oil rig on it with OK-Oklahoma under
it, we has several of them as my dad filled up there every week. I want to say the gas station was on Irving Park or Montrose between California up to Western, I Just don't remember where!

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Chipast (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 14, 2010 11:44AM

A&P probably left because of the competition from Jewel & Dominick's, And/or the local tax issues.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: October 14, 2010 12:09PM

the same thing happened to A&P and National, Kroger, Certified..etc...that happened to the mom and pop neighborhood independents they replaced....price and convenience.

in the case of A&P and National, they couldn't keep up with Jewel and Dominick's foray into the suburban market in the late 50's, 60's and 70's...Jewel especially, began to really expand the idea of the "one stop" supermarket, where you could get many more types of products under one roof....once a chain begins to get huge, they can offer better pricing across the board, marketing, etc...

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Steve B. (---.performancemetal.com)
Date: October 14, 2010 12:28PM

Standard became Amoco. There was a Standard station on 45th and Ashland that had a car wash for $1.00 and as many free road maps you could carry! Plus they would check your oil and fluids and put air in your tires when gas was 30 cents per gallon - plus they gave S&H Green Stamps.
At Purple Martin on 105th and Indianapolis Boulevard, you could dial the octane you wanted right at the pump (they did not have separate pumps for regular or ethyl). Then they would give you Gold Bell stamps and free gifts with a fill-up.
There was huge Standard station on 95th Street between Western and California on the north side of the street. In the late 60s, they had what they called "Elek-Trak" that would diagnose your car problems using a computer! That was high tech stuff back then.
Regarding grocery stores, don't forget I.G.A. (Independent Grocers Association) that many neighborhood Ma and Pa grocery stores belonged to. That gave them some buying power to compete with National and A&P stores.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: shoreline (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: October 17, 2010 02:24PM

Steve B. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Standard became Amoco. There was a Standard
> station on 45th and Ashland that had a car wash
> for $1.00 and as many free road maps you could
> carry! Plus they would check your oil and fluids
> and put air in your tires when gas was 30 cents
> per gallon - plus they gave S&H Green Stamps.
> At Purple Martin on 105th and Indianapolis
> Boulevard, you could dial the octane you wanted
> right at the pump (they did not have separate
> pumps for regular or ethyl). Then they would give
> you Gold Bell stamps and free gifts with a
> fill-up.
> There was huge Standard station on 95th Street
> between Western and California on the north side
> of the street. In the late 60s, they had what
> they called "Elek-Trak" that would diagnose your
> car problems using a computer! That was high tech
> stuff back then.
>

Elek -trak was bigger than I realized. It was also touted as revolutionary by Z Frank Chevrolet at 2050 W Peterson back in the early 60s.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 17, 2010 04:17PM

shoreline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Steve B. Wrote:
> > There was huge Standard station on 95th
> Street
> > between Western and California on the north
> side
> > of the street. In the late 60s, they had what
> > they called "Elek-Trak" that would diagnose
> your
> > car problems using a computer! That was high
> tech
> > stuff back then.
> >
>
> Elek -trak was bigger than I realized. It was also
> touted as revolutionary by Z Frank Chevrolet at
> 2050 W Peterson back in the early 60s.


Oh wow, I vaguely remember the Elek-Trak sign on Z-Frank's building when I was a kid in the early 80s - I had no idea what it was until now. Thanks!

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: tomcat630 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: October 23, 2010 01:23AM

Wikipedia has good write ups on gas brands

Cities Service is now Citgo, Clark shrunk from bankruptcy. Lots have been bought out like Gulf and Union 76 [Pure]. Enco/Esso is now Exxon, which is merged with Mobil. Phillips 66 merged with Conoco.

Sinclair sold off N. IL stations to Arco. Texaco, Sunoco, Arco pulled out of Chicagoland. BP now owns Arco which is how AM-PM name is now back here. Marathon has made a comeback in past 10-20 years, buying some old Amocos. It was sad BP finally phased out the 'Amoco fuels' name.

Groceries:

National simply closed up shop in the late 70s recession. A&P shrank from being the largest chain, books have been written about its rise and fall.

Dominick's bought out Kroger's Chicago stores in 70's, which helped it become a powerhouse, although the Safeway name is gradually taking over. Jewel is the King Kong store here. But WalMart and Target are starting to get some action, and Meijer has some smaller stores going in.

The Certi-Saver [Certified] and Centrella groups of indie stores ars still going, just harder to find.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Chipast (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: October 23, 2010 09:55AM

National closed up in the Chicago area in 1976, Whilst it lasted in St.Louis til 1995.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 10, 2010 12:37PM

While not limited to Chicago, here is a website that has logo signs and pictures of every gas station imagineable.


[gassigns.org]

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: daveg (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 10, 2010 01:14PM

I often wondered how (or if) the dial on the Sunoco pumps worked. I think they went up to "260".

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: shekaago (---.sub-75-211-143.myvzw.com)
Date: November 22, 2010 11:03AM

Kchi - The gassigns.org site is great!

Here's an example of a "Pure" sign in the background of this 1960 photo.


Pure Gasoline

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: shekaago (---.sub-75-211-143.myvzw.com)
Date: November 22, 2010 11:34AM

Daveg - Yes, those pumps did go to 260. The simplest explanation I could find about those old Sunoco pumps was in this forum.


Photo of Sunoco Pump Dial

Forum

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: November 22, 2010 01:30PM

Thanks for the links shekaago.

Sunoco story follows:

My dad had a 56 Pontiac, two-tone Chieftain with an Indian hood ornament. One fine Sunday I asked if I could drive it solo to church. He said yes (big mistake as it turned out). It needed gas and I filled it up with Sunoco 260. When I drove it home I "stomped" on it, as there wasn't much traffic on Sunday morning. It started making loud engine noises and limped home. I parked it in front of the house and told my dad about the noises. It never started after that and another car eventually replaced it. I suspect me driving it very hard probably caused its demise, not the 260.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2010 01:34PM by daveg.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 22, 2010 02:05PM

Dave you're dating yourself there! the finger smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2010 02:06PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: shekaago (---.sub-75-211-124.myvzw.com)
Date: November 22, 2010 08:41PM

Awesome story, daveg! You know, it could have been the gas from Sunoco. I remember my dad not wanting to return to a certain Clark filling station in our neighborhood because he thought they (this was before the pump-your-own-gas era) had once put "bad gas" into his 1961 Ford Galaxie 500.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2010 08:45PM by shekaago.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: November 23, 2010 07:19AM

Shekaago, My dad also had a 1961 Ford Galaxie. That car was like a tank. LOL.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: shekaago (---.sub-69-96-208.myvzw.com)
Date: November 23, 2010 09:32AM

222psm - Yep, you are absolutely right. It was a tank! They just don't make cars like that any more. My dad's was a cream colored, 2-door, hardtop with lots of chrome and had a red interior... Red dashboard, red steering wheel, red carpet, red upholstery. smiling smiley

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: tomcat630 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: December 02, 2010 10:55PM

They don't make cars like that anymore, since they rusted away earlier.

And thanks for the info on National Tea Co.

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Re: Old Gas Station Brands
Posted by: chevyliddle (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: February 14, 2011 04:22AM

I often wondered how (or if) the dial on the Sunoco pumps worked. I think they went up to "260".


Yup, went from 190 to 260 in increments of 10. Sunday morning called for 1/4 tank of 260 in the old hot rod and off to Oswego Drag Strip (the Dust Bowl). I think the 260 ran about 105 octane but I'm not real sure. There were a few rare stations that sold 110 octane racing fuel but they slowly fazed out with the unleaded coming in. I think one of the last to offer the hi octane stuff was Avery's on Ogden Ave. in Berwyn? You could still get 100 octane at some of the Speedway and Purple Martin up into the 1980s or 90s but those are gone now too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2011 04:25AM by chevyliddle.

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