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Vintage Gas: Service Motors Sales and Service Co. Filling Station

Today’s feature photograph takes us down under to Service Motors Used Car Department at an unknown location in Australia circa-1925. Apparently the auto retailer sold the sturdy and reliable Hupmobile at its primary location and used cars and service work at this garage. The Hupp was a popular car at the time here in the US and in many foreign countries around the world.

Service Motors sold gasoline from two visible clear glass reservoir pumps; the unit on the far-right dispensed Plume, a popular motor fuel produced by the Socony Vacuum Oil Company of Australia. In addition to selling fuel and performing service work, the outfit also sold accessories, batteries, and tires.

  •                                                  “Saturday Evening Post” July 1, 1922. 

Tell us if you can determine the location of the Sales Agency and what you find of interest in this scene. View the rest of the Hupmobile Saturday Evening Post advertisement shown above that tells of the automaker’s success in foreign lands at Google Books.

View over two-hundred other Vintage Filling Stations posted earlier on The Old Motor. The Service Motors image is posted by Ross Ball at Old Service Station Photographs – Australia.

  • Enlargeable view below of Service Motors Sales and Service Co.

14 responses to “Vintage Gas: Service Motors Sales and Service Co. Filling Station

  1. I owned a 32 Hupmobile at one time and I was surprised to find a hot wire AND a separate ground wire for each bulb.

  2. Common to most era auto businesses to offer ‘storage’ .

    I took a picture of the family house in Dayton, Ohio that my Grandfather built, and where my Father was raised. Behind it was a two car garage which I assumed was added later.

    “No, your Grandfather built that after WW l because there was always someone needing storage for their new car. ”


  3. I did a quick search for O. Gilpin, which revealed that there was an Oliver Gilpin, who operated a chain of shops – predominantly drapery – in and around Melbourne and regional Victoria, Australia. By 1928 he owned some 78 shops, so narrowing down the location of the featured photo could be problematic. I assume that the motor garage is independent of Mr Gilpin’s shop.
    Just a small point of clarification to JB’s post; I’m reasonably sure that the sign is actually for ‘storage batteries,’ as I believe they may have been called in those days.

    • I found out that the O. Gilpin store wasn’t much of a lead too. O. Giplin was a pioneer in retail apparently, fopund an article online with the title ” The eccentric Mr Gilpin, a retail entrepreneur.”

      According to that article: “Gilpin was famous for only employing women in his stores . The manageress wore a black cotton apron with pockets from which all the cash payments and change was handled.”

      Also from that article: “Males were not permitted t o work as shop assistants or managers, they were only allowed to drive delivery trucks. “

  4. Accumalators for radios were very much part of rural life in Wales even up to the 60’s.The term seems only used here in the UK,elsewhere storage battery.

  5. This is captioned as Fitzmaurice St Wagga Wagga NSW, a 1929 news item has them selling Whippet and Willys Knight

      • David the FB page linked above the caption, perhaps it was added later. Searching on FB for ‘Lost Wagga Wagga Service Motors’ should reveal the original captioned source.
        A google image search for ‘service motors fitzmaurice st wagga’ top hit is a 1928 ad listing Overland Whippet and Willys Knight, Presumably the photo with Hupmobile is later, Lost Wagga Wagga says c1930, lots of interesting motoring photos on that and other regional general history FB pages.

  6. I don’t know,,,looks like these guys could whip out a tommy gun any minute. Who’s “glamin’ it up” behind them?

  7. What might determine the date and location is the number plate, or registration plate, (as we call it on this side of the world). The wiki page on Australian plates says re the Victoria state series – “Initial Victorian plates, issued from 1910 to 1939, were in numerals only, from 1 to 285-000. From 1930, “Vic” inserts were added vertically down the left-hand side of the plate.”
    For the NSW plates – ” From 1910 to 1937, registration plates were in numerals only, from 1 to 274-000. Prior to 1924, these were issued with black lettering on a white background, until recalled and subsequently replaced with the reverse colour format: white lettering on a black background. All contained an “NSW” insert from 1912. In 1937, letters in registration plates were first introduced, using an aa-nnn format. ”

    The plate looks as if it might have VIC down the left side so I reckon the picture was taken in Victoria, no earlier than 1930.

  8. What is going on between the two men on the left, looks like a woman’s legs and a man’s torso and arms ?

  9. I manage the Lost Wagga Wagga page on Facebook where I posted this photo. It’s one of two photos showing Service Motors. The second photo (also posted) is of Gilpins Drapery but you can see half of Service Motors. It’s one of my grandfathers photos, he had a motor garage, Douglas Body Co, two doors down. (The Duke of Kent Hotel is to the left of this photo.) It’s definitely Fitzmaurice St, Wagga Wagga.

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