We completely disassembled the 2 Wayne 492s replaced any broken or striped bolts with original Brass fasteners . Made everything work such as pump and valves cleaned them and left them in there original condition.
Not sure how long ago this was but I spend a lot of time in and going thru this small Montana town. One day I drove around town and noticed part of a Wayne 70 beside a big old building on the edge of town. I knocked on the door of the closest house and a fellow says he owns the bldg and lot. I asked about the pump and we walked over there. He said someone got the good pump awhile ago but didn’t want this one. I bought it for parts and asked if I could look around in the bldg. I could see it was now a storage bldg for carpet as it was everywhere. I did notice a small attic access door on the outside above the main big doors and asked if there was anything up in the attic. He said no, nothing up there. Would you mind if I took a look I asked and he said sure go ahead. So I got the ladder and headed up. I opened the small door and shone my flashlight around quick. I could see off to my right something round but the dust was to thick to see what it said so I lifted it and looked at the underside. Holeeee s**t. It was a Husky sign. This was a big bldg so started back to the middle and I see some wooden boxes. I looked in one and it originally held globe lenses with just one lense in there and unfortunately it was broke in about 3 pieces. There was also 3 boxes of small pint gas cans. Then I also saw a big long sign with a wood frame and flipped it over. Lol, was disappointed it wasn’t Husky. After about half an hour rooting around I hauled down what I wanted and set it on the ground. The fellow came over and said well I guess there was stuff up there. Yes and some good stuff I said. We made a deal on the pile and I loaded up. I think I left some of the small cans up there as I figured I had enough. Pictures of some of it below. Btw. I gave the pieces of that lense to my buddy Les and he repaired it. I must say it looks great and I have never seen another one of those lenses. There is another interesting turn to this story and another great find that I will add onto tomorrow. It’s getting late.
When I was in 6th grade I came home from school and found this laying on my bed. My Dad found it earlier that day leaning up against a fence at the local metal scrap yard. He was out hunting locally. He paid 50 cents for it, the scrap metal price. Lol. I had often thought of selling it, but my Dad was so excited when he surprised me with it I will never forget the look in his eyes.
Christmas Day, 1994, I was 14 years old. After opening presents I talked my dad in to going out looking for pumps. We ended up in the hills above Hillsboro, Oregon. I spotted a pump I had never seen before next to an old shed that was falling down. It was so odd compared to what I had seen over the previous year of collecting. Round clockface, tapered skins, and a “house” on top of the head. I had no idea what it was but I knew I wanted it. We pulled in and spoke to the grandson of the owner. He gave us the old “it’s not for sale and never will be”. But he was a very nice guy and we talked for a while. He told us that if anything on the farm were ever to be for sale, it would be up to the oldest son who lived down the road in a mobile home. We decided we were there already, might as well go talk to the son. We found him, told him we were interested in the pump, and we couldn’t get another word out before he asked, “well what’s it worth?”. I told him I honestly didn’t know...I had no idea what model pump it was...but to me, it was worth $500. Keep in mind I’m a 14 year old kid...that was literally all I had to my name after a year of slinging pumps. The guy couldn’t tell us “yes” fast enough. We had to go back home for the pickup and by the time we get back it was disconnected from the tank and the guy was leaning it in to the truck as we backed up!
I got the pump home and called Mike Slama (who was always gracious enough to put up with my ignorant questions) and tried to describe the pump. “Boy, that sure sounds like a Wayne 800” he says. Long story short, that was the first of years and years of rare pumps but one I’ll always remember fondly. I sold it and restored it for a customer a year later...here it is restored. To this day it’s still the only 800 I’ve seen with original brass nozzle hangers that contoured the head.
This neon came out of a small town by Spokane Wa...I used to go to the swap meet there every year and would go a couple days early trying to fill the truck before the swap meet in case there was nothing to buy there. Went into an old building that looked to be a dealership at one time. Asked if there might be any old signs for sale. Follow me, down the street to an old shed, with no windows left, pigeon ***** everywhere, there on the dirt floor was this Ford neon. NOT for sale as he was going to put it up on the building with his old cars. OK then...I would come back and visit every year before the swap meet. Five years later. Hell, I'm never going to put it up, Talked with the wife and we will sell it to you. Rest is history. Loaded it in the truck, pigeon ***** and all. Plugged it in, all original neon, works like a charm, mint condition as he had plexiglass all around it cause the darn kids might throw rocks at it back in the day when it was up at his dealership.
This is a great thread. Really enjoying the pictures and stories. Keep em coming!
Ok here is another road trip to Price Utah area . I had no clue what the sign was under the paint and the owner didn't know either . I made a deal to buy it went and rented some scaffold and managed to get it down , he wanted me to take the pole to but to my regret now I said no thanks . I new it wasn't a Utoco or American because the size was different and there was a few places where you could see green porcelain . Anyways got it home and there you have it . That guy holding up the sign is a much younger version of Me .
I didn't take a lot of photos for years but did keep this one photo. A guy called me and offered me these signs for 35k delivered. Probably 20 years go. I said I'd take them. A couple of hours later he asked me if I'd sell them. I said I'd take 45k for them. He said done deal and sent me 10k. Like to have them now!!
OK I got chidded into telling a picking story by Minuteman, The originator of this thread! It appears to be very popular and this is all thanx to who i think is probably the best petroliana picker out there bar none. It seems like when we used to pick more often, that every 2 or 3 years he would show up with a new truck because the last one was shot!! No one drove more miles and crawled under into or over more old buildings and sheds than that guy, whew! Anyway he was an inspiration for sure. Anyway, i dont have many pics cuz like he said we never took photos of the truckloads, just the individual things we kept after we put them up.. This story took me about 5 years to complete. I was trying to buy some signs from an old fellows fence not far from home about 25 years ago and asked about globes. He said the only time he ever had a chance to buy any was about 5 years earlier when a guy tried to sell him 2. I asked what they were and he couldnt remember. outa the blue i joked, they werent Grizzly were they? I had been dreaming of getting ANYTHING from this rare Montana co. He thot for a minute and said i think one of them was! I got a name from him and the hunt was on. Turns out the guy lived next to a small piece of property id just bought and actually one of his sheds was 10 ft onto my property! Ah now i had a reason to go over and see him. The woods were real thick right there so i couldnt see his place at all but went over and knocked on the door. on the front of the shed were a few signs and i could see a visible in a leanto. He comes to the door and i ask him about the globe and told him about the shed being over on my property and that i didnt really care. He said lets go look in the barn. Im getin kinda excited at this point and just inside the door of this old junk filled barn is a big box of bolts on the floor with a Grizzly Ethyl globe laying on its side on top of the bolts!! Holy *****, would it be ok if i get it outa there? NO, I put down there because it used to be up on that beam with another globe and the cat knocked the other one off and it got broken. Over in the corner was the broken globe.......... An Oval E globe, whew! I woulda died had it been a regular Grizzly! Anyway he didnt wana sell it now! Still laying down in the box,, Just leave it there! Long story short i bugged him for 5 more years to no avail. One day he was with his wife up town and i see them together and go over to them. I had noticed that at one time he had a fireplace on the side of his house and it had been removed leaving a big section of exposed area that was missing the bricks that looked like ***** and had been that way forever. Being a mason, again i asked to buy the globe offering my original amount but throwing in that i would patch in the brickwork on the house on top of it,... in front of her!! The pressure was on now! That evening the phone rang and you guessed it , come fix the brick and i will sell you the globe! Got the globe 2 Gilbarco pedestal air meters a bunch of old signs and a G&B 67 Visible before it was all over.......... Dont ever give up and pull out all your old tricks! Lol
Thanks to all who have added to this post and shared their road trip stories with us. Unfortunately for us younger collectors the days of picking like this were/are pretty much over. Sure, there's the odd story here and there of a good find in an old bulk plant or a few globes or signs found in the crawl space of an abandoned station, but bulk finds like many of these discovered decades ago are nonexistent. Thanks for giving us a little bit of the thrill of the hunt in the glory days! Darin
OK, Here is some pic's of Jeff's gas bash the first one that my son and I went to in Seattle's General Petroleum Museum. The place was great and My son had a great time with his dog. Jeff's wife was a great cook.
Great stories and treasure's . I got this Frontier sign up in Border Wyoming years ago with my friends Jim Oswald and Kent Swensen . Had to hire a front end loader with forks to get it down . We got it all the way back safely and set it in my back yard with a crain . Lucky to get it both front and back signs are pristine.
Not nearly as good as most of these posts nice stuff and awesome finds. I have a few pics. Mostly I find things in antique stores and meet people that way and get leads and phone numbers. Have also met people on this site. My first pump Hudson, Wy McCord muffler Bonners fairy, ID Lee tires with order card Tea, SD
Ok Kim, I am going to give this story a shot. It is hard for me to compare my stories to yours. You are a great original picker. Anyway, my wife I was driving down the interstate or some huge highway going around NYC pulling my junky trailer. I was constantly about to have a wreck or run off the road looking for leads. LOL. Anyway this dealership was visible from the elevated major highway and I saw these signs. It was an operating dealership in White Plains, NY. So I jump off at the next exit and wound around trying to navigate back where I was to find the dealership from "ground" level. I find the dealership and walk in asking to speak to the owner. Guy says "who are you". I said I want to talk to him about the signs which he did. Great old man. He asked which ones and I said all of them. He said that he would sell me the big letters because GMC no longer made coaches. I paid him that day and grabbed a couple of socket wrenches, grabbed a ladder from his service mgr, got on the roof and had no idea how "BIG" they were or how I would get them down. My wife and I lowered them down with a rope using the frame as leverage because of the weight (picture below). I asked about the others and He said the GM might be making him replace them in the next few years, but to stay in touch; and that he would call me if anything happened. I was thinking to myself "good luck". One thing about junking in New England is business owners are rich guys and a few thousand dollars doesn't do much sometimes. So I kept in touch with him for several years and one day the phone rang. Yep, he said "do you still want these old signs". I said "yes sir, when do you need me there". He said his sign guy would take them down and put them on my truck. 2 months later in the spring I was there with his sign guy who took all the signs down on the ground. I had to load them with my wife because the union workers would not help. Anyway, this was a great ending and I never got the window neons because I could not make the timing work and the owner was finished. The dealership is no longer there and the property was redeveloped. I had to strip the ugly maroon layers of paint off each letter; all the cans were rusted out, and I hand made the new metal cans for each letter in my garage, mounted the neon and restored them all. I think the "M" on GMC was 12 ft. wide. I have a couple of more stories worth sharing, but no pictures except maybe here in my house. There were not really any picture phones back then and I didn't take pictures when I found something. Enjoy!
Pretty nice group of signs Butch!!! Les, I used to sit there sweating my butt off taking those big signs out of the poles and would leave the signs stacked on the bottom because I couldn't get the heavy poles moved off the top. LOL... I went back to see if the poles where still there and everyone had scrapped them all or they were gone. Crazy how the value on this junk has changed over the years
I'll tell another story. In about 2003 I was in New England junking, but first went to spring Carlisle. I was at the show talking to Chuck Pergl about his old picking days and he told me of a story where he and his brother found a guy who had a 1 pc. molded Texaco Firehat globe. Long story short is that he never bought it because the condition was a little weak and the price was high. I enjoyed the stories, didn't find much and left the show. About a week or two later I was driving up Hwy 23 of Hwy 287 in northern NJ. My wife and I were winding through the little towns and went a stretch with no town. I saw a little sign to turn off Hwy 23 and a town was 1 mile down. So I said what the heck, let's see if there is any town to speak of. I turn and go in to what was really not a town, but as I got there, there was a 50's Texaco station converted it to a auto body shop. Big banjo sign out front. I stop and the guy is under a car working. I almost left before he rolled out because there was nothing inside, gutted. He rolls out from under the car and I say I am collecting old gas signs. He says to me, I have the rarest gas globe known to exist. I said, trying to keep a straight face, "what would that be"? He said " A Texaco Firehat globe". I'll show it to you after I get off work at 5:00. It's at my house about 1 hr away. I go to the car and tell my wife, "this guy says he has an old texaco firehat globe". It's 4:00 now and we really can't make it anywhere else before the businesses close. Might as well go see the $50 repop globe with a firehat on it. We drive to his house, he says, "Let me grab it and I'll be right out" as we stand in the living room. He brings out a 1 pc molded milkglass Firehat globe. I about s**t in my pants. He says, the old man had 2, but would only let me have this one. I end up buying it right there. Coincidentally it was the exact same one Pergl was telling me about 2 weeks earlier because it matched the minor damage he had described. This world is smaller than you think and CRAZY things happen. I don't have a picture.
Peter, Yes I certainly remember. I never forget good things and good people. What a great place you have there. I thought maybe you forgot. I still have the Frontier globe Todd sold me(pictured) along with the other Frontier globes I found over the years. What you don't know is that you told me you found those globes in the Frontier bulk plant in Rawlins WY. What I never told you is that my dad bought a 15,000 acre ranch in Rawlins in the late 70's and I was there looking at the ranch in the 70's junking with him. We went downtown and we bought some signs out of the jewelry store there, but we never went to the bulk plants because he was not in to that and I didn't collect yet. So when you told me that story in the late 90's, it stung a little I've attached a bad picture one of the reverse on glass jewelry signs (over the door) for fun. It is hard to see but was always in my dad's house. He would always ask me "why are you collecting that gasoline stuff, they made thousands of those". What he and I didn't realize early on is that the smaller companies did not have thousands. LOL. Great to hear from you and glad your doing well. Those pictures you post and your collection is incredible!
This came off a farm by lava hot springs . I found it at the start of winter and it was frozen in the ground and couldn't get it unstuck . I had to wait 5 long months until the ground thawed out to get it dislodged . New neon of course . I wish I still had it but I got an offer that I couldn't refuse at the time . It went to a good guy that was really into John Deere stuff .
Sorry because I could not figure out the deal. However, I figured it was money so I have been trying to pay them the $5.99/mo for the last week thinking that was the problem and it says invalid when I punch the payment in. Driving me crazy. I will try again. Also, I think if you click on the picture, it shows you a better picture and the watermark goes away. But thank you for letting me know the problem!
I'm sitting around at night with this virus stuff going on, so I am adding another story. Kim started a good thread.
I was in New England in 2012 junking. I stopped at a closed down Chrysler dealership in a little town. The 75 year old owner happened to be there cleaning some stuff up. I asked if he had any old signs and he said yes, how old. The ones I have a plastic but were never uncrated or hung. I asked to take a look. So he shows me the crated wrapped in cardboard signs in his back storage building. There was a partial dropped ceiling that looked as old as 50's or 60's to me. I asked what was up there and he said nothing because they added that ceiling to the building later on. I asked if he had a ladder and he said "NOTHING is up there". I asked a few more questions and asked again if I could look. He said almost angrily, ok, but don't fall through and you are wasting your time. I get up there and it was a drop down ceiling with not a lot of solid stucture. I look over and see what appears to be a counter top some 10 ft long leaning against something (kinda on it's side). You could tell it was just thrown up there as to get it out of the way. I make may way over, carefully. I rub the 3" of dust off and see orange and STOP. The wood frame gave it away, metal, orange??? The length puzzled me and it was heavy. I slide it over to the edge of the drop down and hand the long thing down without it seesawing up and hitting the top of the building while trying not to fall through and kill myself (standing on the flemsy wood runners every 2 feet). I get it down and without cleaning anything, ask him if he would sell all of them. His young helper kept asking " what are they". I was getting nervous. I made a deal and loaded everything in my trailer. Paid him and left..... It turned out to be 2 signs never hung that were nailed together with a wood slat backing. Here they are cleaned up that night.
Kim, thank you for the clarification. It was and is a beat down to go out junking/picking. Most doors you bang on are gone, busy, don't have time, etc. and think you are there to take advantage of them. We are summarizing years of stories to be entertaining and fun to read. I have some more "mother load" stories, but old pickers were telling me it was over when I was looking 20 years ago. Like Kim said "the harder you work, the luckier you are". In Kim'a stories, the guys always say, "there is nothing up there". 90% of the time, that is true. We are not telling those stories, just the good ones. Love the thread and interest!
By the way Eric, that brain fart stung a little more than some when the box sold for $310K and I probably could have got the whole bunch for $2K. LOL. All memories now.
Junking in New England 15 years ago. I motorcycle/snowmobile shop had a 6 foot gas sign on the building. I go in and asked to talk to the owner who said he had a few things, but mostly just repro and common things. I go down and look and I see the Jenny globe in the middle of a Esso and Skychief globe. I think 5 globes total. I'm looking and looking, I and think to myself, "Dang, that Jenny globe is original 15" lenses on a repro body". I go upstairs and ask him if he would sell anything, and he said "what". I said tell me about that Jenny globe. He said, "my uncle worked at a Jenny station and when they closed it, he brought me those lenses and I put them in that repro body. He said how long you gonna be around?". I said today, my wife is at the hotel, I let her sleep late because it's her birthday. He said, "you go take her to lunch and come back later, if I'm not here I'll let the guys know". I said OK. I go to lunch, couldn't hardly eat, then went back. I pulled up and one of the employees ran out, I said the owner told me to come back about selling me one of his globes. He said "I know. He said to tell you to go down and get it". I about fell over because I thought he was trying to avoid telling me NO. He is the picture of his display and in my house now!
Last year I went to an auction where there were dozens of old vehicles from model T era to the 60's. The preview showed a picture of a shed crammed with heavy auto parts, transmissions, engines, lawn mowers, radiators etc. I wondered how the heck are they going to sell that!
When I got there they had pulled out tons of parts out of this shed and it was in rows on pallets.
There was still 2 feet of junk left in the shed and I poked around in there as well as 30 other people. The auctioneer said, "If you find something in there you want, bring it out and we'll auction it off, but you won't get it for a dollar, it'll cost $5 to start." I thought, hmm if I go digging in there and find something, I'm not going to bring it out for everyone else to see. haha, so I looked in there and there was a few cans but you really couldn't tell what was in there unless you took things out and made room, because if you moved something you had to put it on top of something else. It was nasty dirty, dusty, dead rats etc, but looked like fun. So at the end of the auction they decided to sell the remaining contents of the shed for one money and I got it for $35. One thing I had wondered about this auction was, where are all the license plates? They sold 2 but there were 30 to 40 vehicles here. I had about 45 minutes before darkness set in so I dove in with my flashlight. I moved a big red seat, some tires and there was a 2 foot dead furry critter laying there, uggghhh, stepped over it, looked between the studs in the corner and bammm, there was a stack of license plates, from the late 20's to the early 40's, all matching sets. woohooo, a good start. I had 300 miles to drive home so I boarded it up and planned on coming back the next weekend. I'm not very knowledgeable about old car parts, but I have a friend I know who is. Unfortunately this guy had just lost his wife to cancer the year before and he was in the dumps so I thought yea, I'll give Joe a call and he was happy to get out of the house to do a little digging. Next weekend comes and we arrive and Joe is like a kid in a candy store, he's recognizing what truck this came off of, what that belonged to. I start towards the corner, and now we could take things outside. I got down to the floor, and there was a model T tool box, filled with Ford hubcaps. Found 7 of these all in a nice row, filled with stuff, even mice. I left Joe in there and went into another building as the owner said, take anything you want because in a week I'm bringing an excavator and we're going to level the place. An hour later I go back to the shed and ole Joe has got a grin on his face, "look at this!" he says, and holds up an old motorcycle tank. Neither one of us knew what motorcycle it belonged to, but we knew it was a good one. After hours of research I still didn't know when I listed it on Ebay, but soon after I figured it out, a guy by the name of Excelsior offered me alot of money, that's when I realized this was a 1925 or so Henderson Motorcycle tank. I split the money with Joe and we said, let's do it again sometime.
Some more wish I had taken more pictures the day of since I travel so much. The Phillips was in storage unit in South Dakota. The neon 66 I bought on Facebook drove to Wisconsin to pick up. 42 hrs in 2.5 days. The American was my very first sign. Found it a couple of weeks after I moved to Utah.
My favorite picture and story. My son, the farmer, his dog, and the pump. We went on a trip to Idaho to pickup some stuff with my old Mazda B2000 pickup with no radio. Picked up stuff over there and on the way back had spoken to a man about a Wayne three light pump. He wanted way too much but I wanted to take a picture anyway. My truck was already almost on the rubber bumper on the axle and when I pulled up told my son we were going home with that pump. Mind you it was still hooked up and we had to spend 2 1/2 hrs watching the dog do tricks including walking up a ladder. Finally went into the house where the farmer asked his wife if he could sell the pump. IMMORTAL words from here, Honey it's your gas pump. When he said ok, the money I swear jumped out of my pocket. Unloaded the whole truck and had to lay the pump down and then stack the other pumps and stuff ontop. Now we were really rubber bumpers all the way back to Portland and the truck would not go over 50 with that little four cylinder motor. He told me that he gave the globe to one of his cousins, it was a Rainbow. My son will be 40 later this year.
A couple of trips to southern Idaho . Not big halls but some good things . Mint Veltex signs and a Wayne 60 with the Utoco Globe still on it . by the way those pole signs we have been talking about I also only took them because the guy had an excavator to load them on my trailer . I put them in a storage shed and it took me a couple of years to get rid of them and got very little money when I finally did sell them .