Shop Decoration: Sinclair Sign

Sinclair Sign

Is your shop missing something? How about a full sized porcelain Sinclair sign? The sign is located in Marshall, Illinois and is listed here on craigslist for $5,750 or best offer. According to the seller, the sign has been repaired, the lights work and the framework and lights are freshly painted. The seller says: “it’s going to sell”. So, if you are interested please contact the seller with you offer. So would you install this sign in front of your shop or would you figure out how to fit it inside?



  1. rusty

    hi robert cool / different find..thanks

    could anyone explain [to an overseas member] what Sinclair sells / does and why the dinosaur image.

    Particularly interested in the dinosaur part. I’ll try to google it too.

    edit: found its gasoline company

    • Roseland Pete

      Back in the 50’s and 60’s, they sold gasoline and had service stations in the Midwest USA. The Dinosaur was their corporate logo. Sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s, they rebranded their stations from Sinclair to ARCO which was short for Atlantic Richfield Company and later they closed their Chicago stations so I don’t know if they still sell gas under their name.

      • Dave Wright

        We still have many Sinclair stations in the west. I trade with them whenever I can.

      • Roseland Pete

        Dave Wright, Are they Sinclair or ARCO?

      • Dave Wright

        Sinclair with the same sign as this…..

  2. Gary I

    You know dinosaur, oil, mellowed over 100 million or 80 million years depending on how old the sign is. That was there slogan.

  3. rusty

    Cool gary

    just read a story on them must have been fun as a child when they gave out toys , the world fair story is interesting…

  4. Dave Wright

    Sinclair started in Wyoming and grew from there. It is a oil producer and retailer. In an interesting side note, the owner of Sinclair bought the old Sun Valley ski resort in central Idaho because he thought it was too much of a western icon to be auctioned off in pieces. He invested in referbishing and upgrading the resort.

    • rusty

      thanks dave so he is also cares about history? good stuff

      I note during the depression the original owner bought up a lot of smaller oil companies saving them from going bust. Shrewd but possibly saved jobs doing that???

      The dinosaur got me interested but the back story is just as interesting.

  5. JW

    I remember those stations as a child in Illinois, all closed up but after moving to Kansas City area there is one not far from the Ford Motor Company plant that is still in operation. Sinclair used to give away stuffed Dinosaurs with a tank full of gas while Texaco gave away toy Fire Trucks and other stations your mom would get a set of glasses or S&H Green Stamps. Those were the days.

    • Roseland Pete

      I remember seeing those air filled Dino toys at the beach when I was a kid.

    • rusty

      Those were the days……yes indeed even here in Australia in the 60’s/70’s we’d get some interesting stuff from our oil companies. Probably not exciting as yours but it sure made going to the Servo [as we called it here] a treat fighting amoung the brothers who got what…I remember Football cards were big with our Mobile Petrol Station who dad was loyal to being it was just up the road. We missed other companies toys due to that loyalty but those toys and good owner operated service did create loyalty.

      All they have now is cents per litre off if you purchased groceries from the big 2 grocery companies..stations tied into that thing…I dont even bother the saving per tank isnt worth the shopping around hassle. But if it was a dinosaur….

      nothing is as fun as a toy dinosaur.

  6. Dan the Man

    Dave is correct! My father ran a Sinclair station when I was growing up! (I still am!).

    • Dave Wright

      What would that sign cost new today? My brother is a Goodyear distributor, there signs are not that expensive.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        The price of this stuff is out of control, like everything else. There’s always some rich collector that’ll pay the ask though.

        That said, these are made of porcelain and you can guarantee no modern sign maker uses that anymore.

      • ydnar

        I believe the signs are made of solid metal, and the porcelain is baked on. Very well made signs, and would probably cost this much to have a new one made. That said, the prices are way out of control. I am sure the wealthy folks parking their money in old stuff like cars and signs would be open to suggestions on where to park extra cash, as the stock market is not even a little bit safe.

    • rusty

      wow dan cool stuff…do they still do any kids handouts anymore..or has that gone the way of the dodo…urrrmm dinosaur..hee hee

  7. grant

    It’s cool, but is it $5700 worth of cool? Not to me….

  8. fred

    When traveling in the early 60’s in the back of the Country Sedan, I remember seeing this guy by the road…

    • rusty

      ohh man excellent stuff.

      We only has one giant dinosaur as a kid on what is called our “Central Coast” it was at the front of a Reptile Park now moved to a location near a freeway and can be seen miles away as they painted it yellow..yuk. It was a full scale very impressivewhen originally setup in first location.

      Luckily we did follow in having some of your roadside giant attractions.

      We had the Giant Prawn [shrimp], Giant Banana [you could walk thru it], Giant oyster [clam??] a building you could walk in it, giant Pavlova [Aussie desert] bit of a cop out as it was just a giant water tank like thing [i think] painted pink, Giant Merino [sheep ] another large building [2 stories high] in the shape of Australia’s famous sheep]

      just loved that stuff as a kid but my dad never travelled far a field to see these things , not till I bought my first car a Morris minor did i get to experience the wonder of mankind…HEE HEE

      theres gotta be more of this stuff done to appease travelling kids.

  9. ydnar

    There were Sinclair stations in the Rio Grande Valley as well, and the toys were plastic dinosaurs. I cannot remember if they were solid or not. I would imagine they were, as most companies had not “cheaped out” yet. Folks were not so dumb (yet) and had to be enticed to spend their money with freebies. Now it’s Katy bar the door, as no one tends to save any money, and were are called CONSUMERS! I hate it.

  10. Bruce E

    We had Sinclair on the East Coast too. I live in upstate New York and worked 34 years for a Pontiac / Olds & Ford dealer that also had a oil business. Their first oil brand they sold was Sinclair. Somewhere…somewhere in my hoard I have a box of those plastic dinosaurs. They were piggy banks. I also have the upper frame & post for this exact sign, but unfortunately not the sign itself.

    • ydnar

      Take a screen shot of this one, and make a clone out of plywood.

  11. Howard A Member

    Well. I’m all for vintage petroliana, but this isn’t that old, maybe 60’s or ’70’s. I think this person has high hopes, as one site says this style sign ( sans post) goes for between $125 and $180 dollars. Buyer be aware.

  12. z1rider

    I remember during the Arab oil embargo, the lone Sinclair filling station in North Dallas (the corner of Royal Lane and Denton drive) would often have gasoline when no one else did. Rumor was they had very little if any reliance on imported oil, just domestic. Not sure if that was true or not. Of course as soon as they got a delivery the lines would start to form. Other stations might be out of gasoline for days, but that Sinclair station always seemed to get SOME kind of delivery daily.

    Note I referred to them as a “filling station” rather than service station. They were rather unique in that they had no stalls for working on cars. And IIRC they were self serve, one of the first I ever used. It was of course the start of a trend, in several ways. The attendant was in a small cube that had little more space than a toll booth. My how things have changed.

  13. ydnar

    I know that area, there was a superfuels that may have occupied that spot years later.

  14. tbone

    $6K for a NON-NEON gas sign? I don’t think so. way over priced.

  15. Nessy

    Remember when many gas station signs rotated? I think that started in the early 60s but by the early 80s, it was a thing of the past. I would love to have a few rotating signs in my garage and backyard. From what I remember hearing, the main reason the signs stopped turning was due to sunlight glaring off the signs as they turned with the fear of blinding oncoming traffic. There is a great safe driver short on youtube dated 1973 showing a dashboard view of a guy coming up to a red light in a new 73 Ford LTD, with a Shell and an Arco station in front of him. Both signs are turning and as they turn, the sun hits them just right causing a pretty strong glare so maybe it was true.

  16. Robert Member

    The 76 Union ones are interesting as well.

  17. Chebby Staff

    I love these signs too, not sure why, maybe because the connection between dinosaurs and oil makes such a great logo. I try to fuel at Sinclair on trips if they are in the area. 6k is a crazy price though.

  18. Mark

    Large, original, porcelin two sided signs like these go for good $$$, possibly $2000 or more. Add the post and the lights and I’d say retail is close to the asking, not that I could or would pay that. I’d love to have it though. There’s a vintage Texaco sign in front of an old station near me that I have been trying to buy with no luck so far.

  19. Martin

    Buddy Palumbo worked at a Sinclair I think.

  20. Horse Radish

    Wow, seems to be the topic of the day.

    Answer to your question: NO

    My name is not Sinclair (neither first, nor last).
    And I don’t have any cars by that Brand name to advertise.

    • Martin

      I can’t figure out what question no is the answer to. Looks like your name is horse radish.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Yeah I’m rather baffled myself LOL.

  21. D. King

    When I was a kid, we called that color “dinosaur green.” It’s a special green, after all. There was a crayon that exact color, although I don’t remember what it was called. I asked hubby what he associated with the phrase “dinosaur green,” and he said “Sinclair.” Both of us grew up in Illinois, about 100 miles apart.

  22. Barzini

    I understand the desire to own these old signs but what would you do with one this large? Great looking sign, though.

  23. JW

    Well if I had won last weeks lottery I told the wife when we built our new house I was having a garage built to look like this, because it was one of my first jobs in the automotive world and it would be the perfect place to store and maintain a couple old cars but it would have to be a early SHELL sign.

    • rusty

      Man that would be a ripper if you can

      does this garage still exist like that photo

      • JW

        No got that photo off of Google images.

  24. Ronniecarlo

    hey Rusty, I grew up with Sinclair stuff all over my grandfather’s house. Like round thin rubber disks to grip a hard to open mason jar,just all kinds of advertising stuff. My grandfather only ever had one job. He retired from Sinclair. After he passed away in ’07 I was looking for the title to his first new truck(_’67 short wide bed 307/3 on the tree)anyway I found a few cardboard cylinders about 10 inches long by 3 inches round. To my surprise each on held certificates if thanks. On for 10 yrs then 15 and 20 and so on. I also found his old silver metal hard hat and misc Sinclair stuff.Super cool.And the truck.. I have it.Has 76k.Looks like 276k but so what. I learned to drive in it.One more thing, for as long as I can remember the clutch pedal would squeek every time it was pressed down. Recently my son decided to replace the clutch and that was fine. What wasn’t fine was when he whipped out a can of PB blaster to stop that squeaky clutch… poor kid almost lost his life.. Lol.. That squeak was annoying to some.All I hear is my granddad telling me “don’t pop the clutch and let it die.” Anyway thank you Rusty for letting me share a fond memory..

    • rusty

      thankyou ronnie

      thats what i like about barnfinds..the positive things, the memories the stories, a chance to relive those things of our youth. Even though the signs are from your country they hit a chord with me from another country…wish the oil companies were as exciting as that now.

    • rusty

      we gotta’ thank Robert for daring to present a different find on here.

      • Robert Member


        Thanks for the kind words.

  25. Blaine

    Back in the early 90’s, there was a very funny animated TV series called “Dinosaurs”. The name of the dinosaur family was the Sinclairs.

  26. rjc

    Ronniecarlo great story!! thanks for sharing it with us!!

  27. bob

    i live in houston, my daughter lives in denver. we see a few of these stations in new mexico and denver. not a big deal.

  28. bob

    i live in houston, my daughter lives in denver. driving up, we see a few in new mexico and denver. not a big deal.

  29. alfred

    we had one in Peabody Mass. when I was a kid.

  30. Robert Member

    On another note, does anyone remember the Gulf Oil plastic “horseshoes”? Was the tag: “put a kick in your tank”?

    What about the ESSO’s “put a tiger in your tank” plush toy tiger tail that people would hang from the “gas cap”.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      A friend of mine still uses the Esso version on his 1966 Triumph TR4A. As a completely unrelated side note, my mother says my first word was
      “Esso.” Car-oriented from the start… :-)

  31. Mike

    Shell, Texaco, Sinclair, Mobil, Gulf, Conoco. Those are the names I remember growing up, and believe it or not the town I grew up in had one of each along the 2 mile main street it had. Today there is only a Casey’s General Store, on the lot that had been the Mobil Station. I can still remember the attendants wearing caps like the police caps of old, and always cleaned your window, checked the oil and fluids, before you drove off. In Missouri they would give out Eagle Stamps, I remember getting them and putting the in the books and the entire family buying something out of a catalog with them.

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