Friday, July 06, 2007

Drive with care, and buy Sinclair!

The title of this post is an old advertising slogan for Sinclair gasoline. That is one of the brands that I remember from my childhood. I can remember the round Sinclair signs that had "H-C" in the middle. I seem to recall that the H-C stood for "High Compression", but I also have seen on the Internet that it was for "Houston Concentrate", its high octane motor fuel.

The Sinclair brand also plays a prominent role in another childhood memory. My family went to the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, where Sinclair sponsored a pavilion about dinosaurs. My sisters and I got plastic dinosaurs there that were injection molded on the spot by a machine the company had set up to dispense them. I wish I still had one, as I imagine they may have some collectible value today.

Many Sinclair outlets were rebranded as either ARCO or BP after the company was acquired by Atlantic-Richfield in 1969. In the 1970s, the brand and its apatasaurus logo made a resurgence in many western states, and today can be found once again along the American highway. Once in a while, one of the stations will still have a large dinosaur standing out front. Here is one that happens to have two of them!

Over the Independence Day holiday, my mom, sister, nephew, and a friend came up from Texas for a visit, that included a trip to the always stunning Garden of the Gods. Just outside the park lies the town of Manitou Springs, Colorado, home to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. It was in Manitou Springs where two of the Sinclair dinos watch the traffic go into and out of this great little municipality.

The first one you notice is a bright green dinosaur looking out at the street. To his left and positioned sideways and in a stand of trees is a darker green version. These guys, like other advertising icons, have become more rare as time has taken its toll on them, along with the occasional theft of one from the front of a gasoline station. Still, I am glad to see that these two are still around.

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