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Western Standard: 1941

"1935 Ford Tudor sedan at gas station." The year is 1941, and we are somewhere in Southern California. Kodachrome by our West Coast "carrespondent" Don Cox. View full size.

"1935 Ford Tudor sedan at gas station." The year is 1941, and we are somewhere in Southern California. Kodachrome by our West Coast "carrespondent" Don Cox. View full size.


Grandpa at the Gulf

Since this picture is from 1941, I recall that my grandpa (Mother's side) ran a Gulf station right here in town from 1941 to '51. Thanks to the local historical society, of which I'm a member, I was able to obtain a nice image of the station, which existed until at least the first few years of my life. I remember well losing Grandpa in 1974, and only wished I'd have been old enough to think to ask him more about his younger days.

Color Makes it Real

That is beautiful! My first thought: Is that the way things looked back then? I thought everything was black and white." Color brings history a little bit closer to my reality. Thanks Dave.

Lead additive

Dave, lead was added to gasoline to reduce engine knocking, boost octane rating and lelp wear and tear on valve seats.

[We know that. The question was the reason for the warning sign. - Dave]

Gramps Would Be Proud

My grandfather (Mom's pop) ended his career as a VP for Standard Oil of California, later known as Chevron, based mainly in San Francisco and worked with both "Company Ops," meaning fully owned and run by the oil company, and the franchisees. He was a complete stickler for having the stations look spotless and if inspected by the company, enough demerits in the looks department could send a manager out the door. This was the norm, especially in stations around the downtown core of cities where there was intense competition. Gas was uniformly cheap, but it was the service aspect of the operation that built loyalty. He would have certainly liked the good and tidy looks of this example, wherever it was.

Air & Water Hoses

Rob Ellie's comment about the embedded air and water hoses aroused my curiosity. Where is the spring loaded reel that retracts and stores the length of these hoses? There doesn't appear to be an access plate in sight to allow repairs when the storage reels or hoses eventually need repair.

I've never seen that before.

The compressed air and I suppose water hoses imbedded in the pump island are a new one on me. It seems very practical and eliminates a lot of clutter. The little crank to reset the pump counters brings back memories.

The little yellow accessory lights on the bumper of the '35 are nifty. The no frills single windshield wiper, not so much.


Scene stealing little '35 has been equipped with later rims, clearance/accent lights added above bumper. Ford grille shell nameplate and some side brightwork appears to also have been removed from hood sides? What a sweetie!

Interesting Aftermarket Directional Signals

Aftermarket lights on the bumper appear to be directional signals. Factory signals were only introduced on more expensive makes in 1939. This Ford is also in great shape for a six-year-old car in that period.

Lead Warning

Gas pumps still had the warning "CONTAINS LEAD" in the 1960's. I never gave it a second thought as I filled up with premium. What were we supposed to do with this information, not drink the leaded gas or not inhale the exhaust fumes? The government was a little less excited about those issues back then, and I was absolutely clueless.

[What you were supposed to do with that information was not employ gasoline for cleaning, heating, cooking or anything else besides its intended use as a motor fuel. - Dave]

Kodachrome Automotive Beauty

What a lovely looking automobile! Wow, I sure miss the days of yesteryear! Too many people on the planet, too homogenous!

Ghost ferns?

What do you suppose the plants are in the lower right corner? Strange thing!

That's One Clean Gas Station

Not a bit of litter in sight.
The car looks good too.

I wish

somebody can recognize that art-deco-ish entrance for the location of the pump.
Car design that evokes confidence in the machine. So solid and husky.

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