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Gasoline Station Series: Phillips 66 and Violet Ray Filling Stations

Filling station grand opening days back in the period usually included support and signage for the new operator of an establishment from the oil company that owned, built and leased the facility. Today’s lead image from the Phillips Petroleum Archives contains a view of a grand opening day that took place in 1953 in Tampa, Florida, in one of the company’s new locations.

General Petroleum Co. headquartered in Los Angeles, produced a purple-hued “Violet Ray” gasoline that it sold and distributed in the western states during the 1920s and 1930s. The photo below taken in an unknown location contains a filling station selling General’s motor fuels from a pair of visible-style gasoline pumps. Note the motor oil tanks and pumps for different brands and grades of oil and a dog on top of one of them.

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24 responses to “Gasoline Station Series: Phillips 66 and Violet Ray Filling Stations

  1. Interesting shot of the Phillips 66 station! What appears to be a `51 Ford sitting at the pumps is actually a `49 or a `50. The `51 Taillamp trim to dress up older models was available through JC Whitney, which also offered `52-`53 Olds taillamp trim to dress up round taillights on Hudson Jets !

    • Good eye! Can’t be a ’51 because of its lacking the thin side-back-side chrome strip. Can’t be a ’49 because its fuel filler door is too high.

      • ’50 Ford trunk hinges were also hidden. The pictured Shoebox is a ’51. Shape of trunk pull is not right for a ’50, nor is the bumper section contour. Taillight lenses also too wide.

    • The Ford would be a 50 model, it has the fuel filler cover door and the. I have to agree it is not a 51 model.

      • On second thought and a closer look, I believe the Ford to be a 51 model. The trunk release handle and license plate light assembly on the 50 model is turned down on both sides, the 51 model has a flat assemble without the turned down sides. As mentioned above the trunk hinges are concealed on the 51 model as well. The lower back window trim is missing making it look like a 50 and as mentioned above the the lower trim around the back of the car is missing as well. If it is a 50 model some may have replaced the truck lid.

  2. The 1946/48 Olds fast-back coupe must have been a very rare car. I had never seen one before this picture. Very handsome though.

    • The Olds is a 1947 model. In ’46 the front fender chrome trim started with an oval shape. In ’48 the emblem above the grill was circular. In ’47 there was a club coupe in the “60” series and they are rare. I’m not sure the pictured car is one of them; looking at the rear side window profile it appears more like a club sedan whose image is a bit foreshortened by the camera angle.

    • My first car was a 47 Olds fastback like this one. It was 2 tone blue with red wheels. I paid $45.00 for it in 1963. I drove it about 6 months.

    • That Old’s photo brings back a memory from the Cadillac-Old’s dealer in Detroit. A lady that owned a similar car brought it in for very poor gas mileage . The Old’s was thoroughly checked with no poor mileage situations shown. She had just driven back from Florida to Detroit and knew something had to be wrong ! The Advisor assured her that her car on their test drive showed normal gas mileage. Suspecting that something else may have been a contributor to her trip’s poor mileage, they asked to drive her car and they could observe. She agreed, sat in place started the car, put the transmission in low gear and drove off!

  3. In the second picture the coupe is a 1923 Chevrolet Superior or could it be the ultra rare Copper Cooled, the both shared the same body? The other car is a 1925/26 Studebaker Duplex-Phaeton.

  4. The Olds is a 1947.
    The 1948 had a circular emblem on the nose.
    The 1946 had a shorter red section on the front end of the side strip.

  5. The fast back of that era was a GM product offered for the Olds, Buick, Pontiac and ‘Chebby’. Lot’s of ’em in Calif.
    The rarest being the Pontiac though. Road to high school in one back in the early ’60’s. Considered an ‘old’ car at
    the time I’d love to have it today. The flathead 6 got 30mpg.

  6. Aha!! The newer car in the second picture, with the unusual rear window — I believe that is a Studebaker Sport Phaeton. Hemmings Classic Cars had an article featuring one of those cars that had been originally been used by an Arizona sheriff’s office. It is a fixed roof that looks like a convertible roof. I remember that curved rear feature.

  7. The Ford is a ’51 model. The ’49 ford had an exposed fuel filler neck , and the ’49-’50 Ford’s deck trim was different than this ‘1951 model.

  8. It’s a 1951 Ford Tudor or Fordor “DeLuxe.” They had no stainless side trim and no stainless below the rear window. Could there be any sillier name for the most disappointing model?

  9. I recall with fondness the ceremony attendant to a gas station grand opening. In Milwaukee there normally were carbon arc searchlights drenching the night sky with light, gifts for the women folk and music blaring from bell shaped speakers. It was grand.

    • If you look closely at the new P66 station, you will see the start of a new “garden” feature. Wonder how long that will last? LOL.

      Those post war Olds were so grumpy looking. That grille design is outrageous, big mistake.

  10. Just got to love the dog
    resting on the bulk oil
    ( end ) tank near the coupe
    drivers door
    Either perched for petting
    OR to discourage motorist
    from obtaining a free sample
    Grrrrr.

  11. That looks like a California top on the newer car in the second photo. It could be lifted off in the summer or on nice days .
    I was told that it was an aftermarket top available in the late 20s.

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