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Honolulu Filling Station Grand Opening – Buy Five Gallons Get One Gallon Free

The 1950s was a decade of unprecedented economic growth and during that period the average American’s income grew by thirty percent. This set of images taken in Hawaii during 1958 show the result of the economic expansion which also happened there at the same time. A year later the US territory officially became the fiftieth state.

The boom in new car sales and registered cars on the road in Hawaii lead to the need for more filling stations and car service facilities. This set of images contain views of the August 2, 1958, grand opening of Megs Nakama’s Flying A Service Station on the eastern side of Honolulu.

Terry Koenig’s father worked in Hawaii for the Tide Water Oil Company which used its Flying A brand name to sell its gas, oil, and lubrication services. Terry was a young child at the time and he attended this grand opening with his dad, who took this set of photos.

Share with us what you find of interest in these photos found via Ameristation. View over 175 other vintage filling stations here.

Flying A Gas Station Grand Opening 1958

Flying A Gas Station opening 1958

Flying A Gas Station Late-1950s

27 responses to “Honolulu Filling Station Grand Opening – Buy Five Gallons Get One Gallon Free

  1. The Veedol oil advertised on the building was another Tidewater brand. They had dropped the Tydol name in ’56.

    I guess this likely became a Phillips station after the 1966 split of Tidewater between Phillips (in the west) and Getty (in the east).

    • And a good thing they dropped the Tydol name in ‘56 since “Ty-D-Bol, an American brand of toilet cleaner, was introduced in 1958.”

  2. The thing that caught my eye in the lead photo was the difference between the ’58 Olds and the ’50-52 Chevy to its right. It really makes the chroming of America stand out.

  3. In the lead picture [and side view in the 1st expandable photograph], last in line for gasoline in the 2nd lane from the right, is a 1958 OLDSMOBILE 98 or a Super 88.

  4. In the 3rd picture [2nd expandable photograph], on the far right waiting for gas, behind a RAMBLER beach-wagon, is a 1957 OLDSMOBILE.

  5. The ’55 Cadillac has factory A/C. It makes the perfect luxury taxi especially with that cheap gas. It reminds me of the two Cadillacs used in the movie Driving Ms Daisy. both a ’55 and a ’56 were used in that great film.

  6. In the lead picture, in the upper left side of the photograph, just beyond the 1957 or ’58 VOLKSWAGEN 1200, is a 1958 CHEVROLET Yeoman beach-wagon.

    • AML, that ’58 Chevy wagon out in the street appears to have the side trim of a Biscayne rather than that of a Delray… making this a Brookwood wagon. I detect in an enlarged version of the photo the two side-by-side strips of trim on the front half and the short diagonal piece of trim connecting these mid-side strips of trim with the second strip along the upper portion of the rear quarter panel. On the Delray the single strip of front trim dips down on the rear door. ..and is not connected to the upper piece of trim on the rear quarter.

  7. The Cadillac is an air conditioned Taxi. Very common earlier, to find the most luxurious of cars were taxi’s.
    I lived in Honolulu for 7 years, but just watch a few of the original Hawaii 5-O programs to see them.
    Was a very lucrative business as vans were not common and with the number of visitors clamoring for transportation to and from the airport, business was always brisk.

  8. My guesses…in the Lead Photo, a white ’54 Chevy on the right following a likely ’51 Chevy sedan.

    Next row, a ’58 Olds Holiday Sedan, probably a Ninety-Eight, a ’57 Plymouth, a ’58 Ford and a B-body ‘56 Buick…and another ’58 Ford Fairlane 500 Club Sedan parked up ahead.

    The ’55 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special (with A/C) is in livery service. Ahead of it, a ’56 Plymouth Belvedere, a ’58 Edsel , likely a Pacer, a ’56 Chevy 2-door Two-Ten Handyman

    In the last row hat the pumps, a ’50 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan (small lip on the lower bumper edge vs a ’51), a ’56 Chevy Two-Ten Sedan and a ’51 or ’52 Chevy coupe

    Pulling into the street, a ’55 Plymouth Belvedere Sedan. Out in the street a VW, a ’58 Chevy Brookwood wagon, a ’46-’48 Plymouth, a ’52 Olds Super 88 Sedan, a ’57 Pontiac Chieftain sedan, a ’57 Ford Custom 300 Tudor and a ’55 Chevy Bel Air coupe.

    In Item 1 of 3 there’s a ’56 Mercury on the extreme right with a ’53 Ford Customline Fordor pulled into the station.

    In Item 2 of 3, a ’50-52 Nash Rambler wagon ahead of a ’57 Olds on the right edge.

    In Item 1 of 3 a ’56 Chevy Bel Air wagon…no idea whether it’s a 9-passenger Beauville.

  9. I am surprised to see the Cadillac seems to be a taxi? And a very luxurious one, for I think it’s a high-level ‘Fleetwood 6o special’ (judging by the trim on the rear quarters and deck lid)… Maybe a top-level hotel service car for its ‘ clients?

  10. Fascinating look at how Plymouth styling had evolved in the 1950’s. At the pumps are 1950 Plymouth, 1956 Plymouth, and one year later a totally different 1957 “Suddenly it’s 1960!” Plymouth.

  11. In the second expandable photo, three Plymouths in front – a 50, a 56 and a 57. All four doors, but the 57 is a 4dr hardtop instead of a sedan.

  12. In November of 1972, my destroyer left Charleston, SC, on our way to Viet Nam. Once we left the Panama Canal and headed toward Hawaii, we saw nothing but ocean for two weeks. Then, one evening we saw light. In the middle of the ocean. As we steamed closer, we could see multiple lights. Closer still, we could see headlights of cars as they cruised up and down the roads and streets. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean – civilization! Of course, when we docked and went ashore, it was just land, as solid as anywhere. And buildings, and roads and cars and lots of people. Still, never got over my amazement that all this was – again – in the middle of a huge ocean, a couple thousand miles from anywhere. Another funny thing was how foreign it seemed to me on my first encounter, but when we stopped by again on the way home, how it looked like the good old USA. We might still have had a long way to sail, but we were back home! It was a great feeling.

  13. The third photo reminds me of how great it was to be a 15 year old car nut in America back then. Two Plymouths, a ’56 and next too it a ’57. Just look at the huge one year styling changes. What a thrill it was each Fall to go to the back lots of the local new car dealers and check out the newly restyled cars. We would also pick up as many sales brochures as we could, many of which I still have today.

  14. I went to Hawaii as a high schooler in 1956. I remember our tour guide on the big island drove an almost new Caddy sedan.
    In Honolulu and Oahu I remember very little traffic.
    When I went there on R&R in 1967, the scourge of the automobile had become entrenched as it remains today.
    It was the perfect place to develop a different model of transportation.

  15. Final image with the two dapper gents. The gas pump is at $3.23 for 8.1 gallons at .39 cents per. I assume a fair amount of shipping expense is in that price per gallon.

  16. Looking at all those cars in Hawaii that long ago makes me wonder where do you dispose of all your junked vehicles when you live on an island that size? Eventually every one of the cars in all of those photos were junked,but where?

    • Probably crushed/ground up and shipped to the mainland or Japan, Taiwan or S. Korea back then.
      Probably still do.
      Do a google search for “hawaiian junk yards”. O’ahu in 2019 has a bunch of them.
      Maui and the big island also have some if you zoom in.

      Not a lot of competition but at the same time the junk yard can’t just sit on the stuff either. Finite # of customers.

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