reminiscence - bedfordrl
How about this- do you remember the little pot on the right hand side of the fuel pump which had a swirly line and spun as you pumped your gallons out as the dial went round,like a clock face ?.
Green shield stamps (done that one before).
Esso blue, Pink parrafin, National Garages,We serve you garages, garages that only sold petrol/derv and oil.
Only one derv pump per garage,and usually not under cover.
When derv was half the price of petrol.
Redex, oh the glory of a white cloud following you down the road.
Those pint and two pint oil cans with the peel off tab.
The "anything else sir" after being filled up rather than the indifferent stare whilst the continuation of cud chewing.
Thinking Blimey that almost cost £15 to fill her up.
Being served by a chap who came out of the workshop wiping his oily hands clean.
When the Budget put petrol up tuppence a gallon and there would be a collective gnashing of teeth, whereas now petrol can be up to 10p a litre difference in price around here which by my poor maths is about 45p a gallon difference.
I will end on the Hamlet advert for Carlos Fandango wheels on that poor Ford Anglia.
Happy Days.
reminiscence - bedfordrl
Just thought of another one, the strip across the forecourt that made a bell ring to let the attendant know that a customer had turned up.
reminiscence - bell boy
the big tin michelin map screwed to the wall,ive always wanted one of those
reminiscence - bedfordrl
Wasn't he called Bibendum or something ?.
reminiscence - bedfordrl
There you go,I am old, i read man instead of map, going to interesting when i want the loo !!.
reminiscence - Gromit {P}
@ befordrl
Wasn't he called Bibendum or something ?.

The Michelin Man? Indeed he is called Bibendum. He still features prominently in Michelin's advertising in France.

Esso brought back the tiger tail not so long ago, with a suction cup so you could hang it in the rear window. Got one when I bought a tankful of Esso, but I've no idea where it is now...
reminiscence - Lounge Lizard
This is my favorite Michelin man story which I hope is true.

A few decades ago there was an HGV driver who delivered goods to really remote parts of the world like mountainous parts of Afghanistan.

One time he was travelling through such a place populated by tribesmen with a reputation for thieving. Unfortunately, his HGV broke down and he was forced to abandon it for a few days while he went to arrange recovery.

When he returned to his HGV he was amazed to find his goods and vehicle intact, despite the local prevalence of theft.

He discussed this with some friendly locals who said that it was because of the 'Michelin Man' model mounted on top of the cab. They thought this was some kind of supernatural protecting sprite or a god or something and they were too frightened to interfere with the vehicle.
reminiscence - mrmender
My favorite Michelin man story is thus/ as a apprentace in Liverpool we were in a night club, on of our lads starts dancing with a girl, my mate says look of the state of the girl Joe's dancing with she'd like the michelin man, i says what fat? no he replys she got a face like a tyre tread!....,.poor girl
reminiscence - Roberson
the big tin michelin map screwed to the wall,ive always wanted
one of those

Get yourself along to the garage in the town near us. Many years ago in '70s it used to be a Fiat dealership, but changed hands a few times and ended up as a used car dealer. Been derelict for a number of year now though. But, there is what looks like a Michelin map on the wall, which is now bent, because it looks like someone has already tried to remove it.

Although only 20, I can recall some things which my dad says which perhaps you older members may remember:

- Petrol sold in gallons
- Petrol sold by 'star' rating
- Smiths instruments which you could add to your dash'. Try doing that these days with all the fancy electrics!
- Whitewall and cross-ply tyres
reminiscence - massey
Anybody ever see a Visible Register Petrol Pump in operation?

(A type of petrol pump developed in the early 1900's in which petrol was hand-pumped, usually from an underground storage tank, into a glass cylinder located at the top of the pump, then was gravity-fed by rubber hose into a vehicle's tank.

I remember seeing one of these dispensing petrol in Ireland in the mid 50's.

It was used at rural locations which had no mains electicity
reminiscence - stunorthants
They still have them at a couple of our local garages out in the countryside, as well as the attendants - you dont have to leave your car or lift a finger.
reminiscence - bedfordrl
The star rating was a good one, my parents had a Sherpa camper that they ran on 2 star, if they still had it what would they run it on now ?, Halfords octane booster ??.
But i do not remember those fuel pumps as mentioned ,though we had petrol pumps on a farm that you turned the handle to pump and it came to a stop and you rewound then pumped again..
reminiscence - andymc {P}
Our local shop/filling station still has that - we really are out in the sticks. Of course, what they use it for is to know that someone should be coming in to pay for their fuel after filling their car up, rather than coming out to serve you. Ah well, I never would expect that to happen anyway.
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
reminiscence - JH
reminiscence - johnny
Those Castrol signs that spun round in the wind.

Battersbys Garage on the A63 East of Leeds kept its old pumps for ages. Don't know what's there now though.

When I passed my test there was a garage with an all night pump that took a 50p coin. If you were brave you could put a pund note in a drawer, but it usually got sucked away by a fan and gave you nothing in return.
reminiscence - johnny
aah the good old pund note. Quickly replaced by the pound note in 1974.
reminiscence - mlj
Sounds like the garage in the French village where we have a small house. Doubles (quadruples really) as the car park, bar, and general stores. The very helpful owner is the archetypal 'wipes hands with oily rag' Jacques of all trades. We asked if he could point us in the direction of the nearest bottled gas retailer. He led us behind the bar/ shop/ social club/ fuel sales point to a wooden construction held together with twine and rope. Inside were several full gas bottles. We chose the size we wanted and asked how much.
A Gallic shrug, a rubbing of the chin and eventually the answer : 43 euros.

To this day I swear he made it up!
reminiscence - mike hannon
He did. It's 23.95 round here...
reminiscence - eProf

Little red book driving licenses (had one of those!)
Lanchester cars with preselector gearbox (had one of those!)
When the de-limit sign meant just that!
Morris 8's with cable brakes (stopping power an optional extra)
When you could fill your tank for £5
Three lanes on main roads.
Straight-tooth gearboxes - synchro was for cissies.

...and me as a young man!

e Prof
reminiscence - henry k
Redex, oh the glory of a white cloud following you down the road.

And the special cans by the pumps for your "shots" of Redex in the tank.
When the Budget put petrol up tuppence a gallon and there would be a collective gnashing of teeth

And a long queue to fill up on the day.

IIRC tins of grinding paste and the little stick with suckers on are still available.,
reminiscence - paulb {P}
Our local Shell station with buttons on the pumps for 2, 3 and 4 star, and me aged about 10 filling my Mum's car up for her (which would probably net you about 5 years in prison or something these days). To be fair I'm not sure it was necessarily legal even then, but the guy in the kiosk didn't seem bothered.

Oh, and adding a pint of some Duckhams product to the sump about every other fill. Do they still make that?

Also, adverts in our local Austin Rover dealer in about 1983 or 1984 saying "Coming Soon - The Car That Puts The Driver First" - which turned out to be the Montego.
reminiscence - Pugugly {P}
Happy days indeed. I console myself with the thought that I drive a DERV car which can easily burn off most petrol engined cars on the road, which sees a dealer's workshop once a year at most, can be driven all the way to Barcelona without re-fuelling, let alone have it's points set, leak or use any any oil, has more processing power than the entire Apollo moon -shot programme. Has a state of the art passive and active safety systems which have contributed to a lack of transplant organs, is unlikely to fail an MoT through rust, and when it ends it's life can be recycled in it's entirity. Plus Ca Change.
reminiscence - Lud
Setting new ignition points absolutely perfectly with a cigarette paper, a dwell meter and a strobe light.

Just as I learned to do it standing on my head, the automobile modernised itself. Still can't make out whether I'm pleased or annoyed.
reminiscence - mrmender
Remember those ESSO tigers tais you could have dangling from ones petrol cap "i've gotta tiger in my tank"
Then there was the ESSO world cup coins collection for the 1970 world cup i have the set somewhere
I saw one of those old petrol pumps with the glass bowl on top near Abergaveny/ black mountains area about 4 years ago still in use
Any one remember shots of redex you would hear the driver say to the attendant 5 gallons and six shots
Remember car stickers with, discs, STP ,running in please pass, i'm sure other Br's can add more to that one
reminiscence - mrmender
That should read Tigers tails!
reminiscence - umistim

You are all a bunch of youngsters.

When I started driving you could get 4 gallons of petrol with a pound note and tell the attendant to keep the change as a tip.

The year was 1955.
reminiscence - madf
I remember petrol at 2/6 per gallon in 1968 or is that Alzheimers again?
reminiscence - paulvm
How about in car entertainment - before cassette tapes it was push button radios, although I used a portable reel to reel tape recorder perched on the parcel shelf. Had to record the tapes using a microphone in front of the "record player" loudspeaker! Then there was that lovely noise when the tape ran off the end of the reel, usually before the end of a song.
Also what about push button washers? Where you had to build up the pressure first before anything finally dribbled onto the windscreen.
Stick on rear window heating elements? Usually with lots of extra sticky tape discolouring in the heat.
Kids today, don't know they're born, in my day............whoa, Monty Python moment halted just in time.
reminiscence - Altea Ego
push button radios................

Ah yes - the Hight of Luxury was a push button MW/LW Radiomobile.

For those who were really posh and well off - it was a Blue Spot - Who the hell was Blaupunkt anyway?

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
reminiscence - helicopter
Push button radios - you lucky lucky so and so.

In my day my old mans 1936 Morris 12 had a radio where you had to wait for the valves to warm up , you then adjusted the tuning knob to the Light Programme or Home Service to listen to Workers Playtime or Childrens favourites through a forest of crackles and whistling.

I remember also the foot operated dipswitch on the Hillman Minx in the 50's.and the knack of starting the car with a starting handle without breaking your wrist - similar to kickstarting a bike without breaking your ankle or shin.......

Oh and what about the strip of fake bullet holes for your window in the 60's.

I also remember the days when no one had a mobile phone to jabber into or text on whilst they drive.... Happy days.
reminiscence - Lud
My 1953 Bentley had a valve radio that took a minute or two to warm up, but was wonderfully warm and clear-toned once going properly.

Those foot-operated dipswitches were great.. Most cars used to have them.

Fake bullet holes are terribly naff, but real ones are cool. I've never had a car with a bullet hole, although I once nearly gave my car a load of buckshot testing the safety-catch on a dodgy old 12-bore.

I did once have a hotel room with a bullet hole in the balcony glass door though.
reminiscence - eProf
Thus spake umistim:
You are all a bunch of youngsters.

The year was 1955.

...and then in 1956, a bright young lad took to the road and has never looked back! (except in the mirror)!

That was the year when Learner Drivers, thanks to the Suez Crisis, could drive on their own so one could say that I am a self-taught driver! Five accidents in fifty years - I was well taught!

...and I still love driving!
e Prof
reminiscence - artful dodger {P}
>>Little red book driving licenses (had one of those!)
Yes I had one in the early 70's.

>>When you could fill your tank for £5
My first car was a Singer Chamois (better quality Hillman Imp) and I could 3 gallons for 99p before the fuel crisis raised it from 33p to 54p a gallon.

Can you remember being issued with petrol rationing cards in the 70's? I still have mine as a memento, might be worth something one day!

Also remember a garage that had pumps that had could be hand pumped when there was a power cut. It was the only garage left in the area able to sell petrol during a power cut. Not to forget the pumps that could be set to dispense an exact number of gallons.

Once a policeman showed me how to unlock a car without keys. Very useful a few weeks later when a customer locked himself out of his car. Only took me 30 seconds to get in with absolutely no damage to the car. My customer was shocked and changed his car a couple of weeks later. Maybe I should have become a car thief - only joking.

In the early 60's I can remember my father towing a caravan and being stuck in a traffic jam on the M1. Police were sent out to direct the traffic arround a crash. They used the stop go method on each of the three lanes - I would love to see them try that now!

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
reminiscence - Fullchat
8 track cartridge players - knock the spots off current ICE ?!?!?!
Floor mounted pumps for windscreen washers circa early Mk1 Escorts
Dunlop Grounhog tyres.
Was it National petrol stations had the head with wings on in yellow/white and blue?
reminiscence - bell boy
Dunlop Groundhog tyres.................beeeep beeeeeep

i remember them well i was always doing the cartoon figure,had one murialed on my van at the time.
reminiscence - bedfordrl
National Garages did indeed have that logo, i do believe there are a few around still.
Murco is another name i have not seen for a while, the garage in the next village was a Murco and it had an International break down truck that as a kid i drooled over.
I had a mark one Ford Transit L reg that had a foot operated dip as well as an intermittent wiper switch (which was posh).
The first car i drove was a series one Landrover with the Smiths Heater with the flaps that opened at the front.
I remember my parents test driving a Rover 110 P4 and delighting in sliding from side to side on the leather bench seats.
Do you remember teachers cars ?, Mrs Claxton had a Fiat 500 ,(which we used to pick up and move other parts of the school, Mr Jarman had a Renault 20,Mr Mason had a Volvo Amazon,Mr James had a TR7,Mr Brown had a Triumph Herald, Mrs Diggle had a Renault 12 and Mr Peed had a early Jaguar.
Gosh i was sad even then.
a chap at college had a Fiat 126 and this was re-parked inside the students union bar, he was not amused big time.
How about courtesy, now that really is delving deep, when you saw a bonnet up you stopped to see if you could help.
I ,on my postround, saw an old lady wandering around her car with its bonnet upon the A3 ,i went to the next junction and came back and asked if i could help, she had been there for nearly half an hour and i was the only person to stop, a quick call to her daughter on my mobile and she was sorted, everone is in a tearing hurry for what ??.
reminiscence - bell boy
following on bedfordri i was speaking only the other day about giving lifts to strangers and how i havent for 25 years now and never will (sorry trade plate holder m62 this morning)i always stopped for squaddies going to catterick or airforce men going to lincolnshire the conversations were brilliant but i stopped because people seemed to be getting scarier even back then in the 80"s (civilians i hasten to add)
we had a teacher at school who always had a right posh padlock and chain on his sit up and beg bycycle we nicked the chain and left his bike.
and we once put a teachers 3 weeler on its roof and we did do the detention
reminiscence - madf
Vacuum wipers on a Situpandbeg Ford Popular stopped going uphill.

Add your own windscreen washer kits: manually operated pumps!

Michelin X tyres : great for wear. Cornering in the wet was not so great as sudden breakway.

Shell Money coupons: I never won anything.

My car as a student had an under dash ignition off switch carefully hidden. My car kept stopping in dark country roads at weekends with female companions:-)

Advance/retard ignition switch on my 1929 Riley 9.

Dim/dip headlights - switching to a spotlight as well on Rover 16.

reminiscence - johnny
Bare legs welded to black vinyl seats.
Steering wheel covers / driving gloves.
William Woollard.
Black vinyl roofs.
Periscopes for caravan drivers.

I had a pair of Dunlop tyres put on last month, probably on the strength of the Groundhog cartoon which has always stuck with me. Tyre brands are associated by me thus
Michelin=Fat Man
Pirelli=Calendar of topless models
Avon = Bathroom Products
Firestone= 1950's Motor Racing
reminiscence - helicopter
Talking of petrol pumps and real bullet holes I recall that the petrol station in Gibraltar I used to visit regularly still had a bullet hole in one of the pumps long after the SAS shot an IRA terrorist there .

The teachers cars at school ..... I remember the music teachers Bentley Continental , the English teachers Austin Ruby ( which failed the MOT when it came in sometime in the sixties) and the Maths teacher had a Messerschmitt three wheeler.The Head had a Renault - I think it was called the Floride or something like that ?

Discussing with my friends the Grand Prix exploits of my hero Jim Clark and Graham Hill ....

Yes the Smiths heater on the Land Rover with opening doors also brings back memories along with flip out indicators on the A35.

Anyone seen a motorcycle with a proper sidecar recently?
reminiscence - Avant
Someone mentioned Castrol signs swinging in the wind - there were some helpful filling stations who provided ready-made mixture to fill up your Wartburg or DKW, as well as other facilities. The legend on the forecourt would therefore read "2-stroke Toilets".

Unlike the Hillman Minx, Austins were comparatively advanced in the 1950s - my beloved first car, an A50, could be started on the handle easily - and always first swing, if I felt like saving the battery on a cold morning - without breaking bones, as it had a sort of "barber's pole" indentation at the end of the handle which threw it straight out when the engine started.
reminiscence - former farmer
Anyone else remember the signs/coat of arms of the various counties of the country from the early sixties? Just thinking about them brings back memories of names of places long gone eg Westmoreland,Radnorshire, Huntingdonshire to name a few. I seem to remember it was a good point of interest when initiating a conversation, when hitching lifts home from agriculture college.
reminiscence - John R @ home {P}
Oh heck, I'm getting all bleary eyed now...

How many of you still have the sets of glasses (drinking type not specticals) that Esso and others gave away in the late sixties / earlie seventies. Also the sets of collectable coins for 'History of Aviation' etc.

I'll have to check on ebay if they are worth anything.


John R @ Home
reminiscence - Big Bad Dave
Remember when it was ok to drink and drive? When I was a little boy in the early seventies, my dad and his mates never drank in the locals, they galovanted off to the pubs in Werneth Low and around Cheshire. They took turns each week to be the designated drink-driver. Amazing now when I think back. He?s of that generational mentality that would probably still be doing it were it not for the moral outrage of his children and grandchildren.

I used to smoke on buses. Can you even imagine it nowadays?
reminiscence - helicopter
Ah yes -

Dave I forget smoking was allowed on the buses.However on the ones I used on the old A1, I remember they had a notice at the front 'Please do not spit on the floor ' Absolutely true.

Anyone remember Thames Trader lorries , Fodens lorries and Pickfords Scammell lorries with oversize loads.

Also Regent Petrol at the pumps.

Ask Honest John

Value my car