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TEXACO Sky Chief Gasoline at 27-Cents “For Those Who Want The Best”

This mid-1950s Sumner Tunnel Service Station image certainly rates as one of the top ten of more than 225-vintage gasoline station photos posted here on The Old Motor over the years. The Tunnel which passes under the Boston Harbor from the City was first opened to two-way traffic on June 30, 1934. It handled traffic traveling to East Boston and deposited motorists headed into the center of Boston in front this Texaco Station.

Due to the large volume of traffic passing by daily, the building on left side of the station served as one of the best places in Boston for billboards and large painted signs. The large Dubbleware advertisement was a ghost sign for a business that had sold work clothes there in the past, the balance of them advertised the Texaco filling station, and beer and frankfurter companies.

The Gas Station was selling regular gasoline for 27 and 9/10 a gallon and premium for 30 and 9/10; Coke was sold in the machine out front for five cents a bottle. The facility also had a service bay that offered Texaco “Marfak” chassis lubrication and both Kelly and B.F. Goodrich tires.

Tell us all you know about the automobiles, the Station’s Jeep, and anything else of interest in the expandable photographs above and below courtesy the MIT Libraries.

22 responses to “TEXACO Sky Chief Gasoline at 27-Cents “For Those Who Want The Best”

  1. On the far left looks like a two-tone 1950 DODGE Wayfarer Sedan and on the far right a two-door 1955 BUICK Special Sedan with incorrect hubcaps [either two-tone or possibly tri-tone].

    • AML, those look like the base hubcaps buicks had in those years; some of the nicest-looking dog dishes IMHO. You can’t see it here, but BUICK should be spelled out across them. (Same dog dish in `59 had the tri-shields)

        • Those caps were about the same from about 1942 on. The 55 Cal State Police Buicks had them, too. They required a different wheel with hub cap clips as did Olds 88s with ‘dog dish’ caps.

  2. The Jeep is the standard issue for service stations, appears to be a CJ3A ( one piece windshield, low hood) 1949-1953. The Caddy belongs to the station owner, I bet.

    • The Jeep looks like a ex-military as the headlights appear to be inset as opposed to the protruding civilian style.

      • Hi Lou, by golly, I think you are right. Upon closer examination, it does appear to have a thin windshield post, and those headlights are set in, so yes, it would be a CJ2A.

        • No, I think it is a vanilla WW2 Ford GPW or Willys MB, much more common and cheaper in those days.

          Flathead style hood, centre bar on the windscreen, traces of axle and shovel depressions under the driver door, and the real giveaway is the windscreen angle. In military service people were always hanging on those screens which caused them to bend back quite noticeably, as here. Someone has taken an ex-military jeep and just stuck a top on it, but the top is fitted to the windscreen in the bent back position.

  3. I think I was on my third viewing before I even noticed the cars. I’ll bet that was some expensive advertising per square foot of effectiveness.

    Now I’m hungry and want a beer. Nice Cadillac beneath the Texaco Sky Chief™ sign too.

  4. Pop Quiz.
    Who remembers the name of the 1950s TV show which had the Texaco sponsor’s popular jingle

    “Oh, we’re the men of Texaco
    we work from Maine to Mexico
    There’s nothing like this Texaco of ours…………….”

  5. I don’t recall the service station but I do recall the Sumner Tunnel which I used many times back in the 50’s. It was only two lanes with either a non-existent or totally inadequate ventilation system that left you gasping or coughing by the time you got to the other side. You were better off holding your breath as long as you could. And God help you if a traffic jam stalled you in the middle.

  6. All I can rememberabout Texaco is: “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.. The big red texaco Star!”

  7. The Sumner was built for two-way traffic. The Callahan tunnel ( blt. ca. 1964) became the northbound bore to Rt. 1-A/E. Boston Expressway and Logan airport. The Sumner became the southbound (inbound to Boston) bore.

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