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Authorized Alemite Lubritorium at Joseph R. Dick Chevrolet

Today, owners of new cars need not be concerned about much in the way of lubrication services for their vehicles other than an extended oil change that can reach as long as fifteen-thousand miles with some synthetic oils; that and occasional transmission, driveline, and rear axle lube checks. In the mid-1930s, the mileage recommended between oil changes for many new cars was around one-thousand miles, in addition the chassis also needed a “grease job” at the same time.

In 1936 the Joseph R. Dick Chevrolet dealership in Pomona, California, installed this up-to-date deluxe Alemite lubritorium system which was complete with a pullout chrome plated oil drain funnel and piping. While the engine oil was draining, seven of the various types of heavy oils and greases needed for a through and correctly done chassis lubrication were readily available to the operator by using all eight of the air-powered and manually operated grease and oil guns supplied with the system.

To provide the volume of vehicles necessary to keep this equipment and the operator busy and profitable, the Chevrolet agency had a Frazer’s Fotos take this image and turn it into an informative postcard that was sent out to all of the car owners on the mailing list. When a motorist brought their car in for the service, often a well-run service department would also inform the owner about other services and repairs a car might need and also sell those maintenance operations.

The car on the “grease rack” appears to be either a 1936 Chevrolet Standard Series Model FC six or a Master Deluxe Model FD which both were equipped with a beam axle and half elliptic springs. The upscale Master Deluxe Model FA came fitted with the Chevrolet “Knee-Action” independent suspension system invented and patented by Andre Dubonnet.

View the Don Lee Cadillac (1932), and a Ford dealer’s (1934) Alemite equipped lubritoriums in earlier articles. Tell us what you find of interest in the expandable photo below courtesy of the California Digital Library.

14 responses to “Authorized Alemite Lubritorium at Joseph R. Dick Chevrolet

  1. The lubritorium was home to me, literally, then professionally. Our personal cars often received the thousand mile oil change. Each morning meant smelling the warm stink of crankcase fumes, arms in the air dirt in the hair. A good hot cup of coffee to make it all right.

      • Yeah I’ve retired due to health, though still if it comes to an oil change or dinner I’m pulling that plug first. But these days it’s a lay down job! 😉

    • Does anyone else remember the outrage when the Big Three started doing away with the Zerk?

      “An oil change and you can’t lube the chassis or the u-joints?! This is just so they can sell more parts!”


      • I bought a two-year old ’64 Ford Galaxie that had already had the factory “plugs” replaced with regular grease fittings. I would say most of the cars of that era were converted that way.

  2. “When a motorist brought their car in for the service, often a well-run service department would also inform the owner about other services and repairs a car might need and also sell those maintenance operations.”

    Some things don’t change, do they? Most dealerships perform a “Full Circle Service Inspection” of some sort that does just that. I always think it’s a benefit to the owner as most people don’t check, for example, their air filter.

  3. My Dad had that system in the back shop of his Nash (later AMC) dealership in Flint, Mi. If my memory serves me correctly, Alemite was also a source for replacement piston rings?

  4. There are a number of websites covering many facets of Frasher’s Fotos. Much of their work can be seen in collections. The third generation is still operating the company. Besides photography, they rent tuxedos.

  5. Years ago I bought a 1935 Pierce “12” from a fellow who had owned a wholesale distributorship for automotive lubricants. Included with the paperwork that came with the car was a lube chart which showed something like 55 points on the vehicle to be oiled or greased at various intervals. Screw-down grease cups, fittings , the works.

  6. The Key Feature of my Lube Rack —- [At: Normans Automotive Garage , (Silverlake District of Los Angeles) Circa: 1956, an Independent Garage (Unofficial Motto: “Anything from 2 to *18 wheels and we’ll work on it!) * ( Make parking lot appointment for 18 wheelers!) ] was: —- A “special” Coca-Cola Bottle (with a 45 degree “accidental” break on its neck —- that was ideal for pouring 140 Weight |Grease into Steering Boxes!!! Index finger “control valve” provided excellent flow rate and minimal spill , as one could watch the increasing level of the fluid! No tool from “Alemite” or”Lincoln” Lube Equipment Companies —could match its performance, Price: 5 cents . Edwin W.

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