1960s Full Service Gulf Station
This is a circa 1968 photo of the Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gasoline station. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s and there were probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs. A Coca Cola machine is visible in front of the white Dodge Dart parked in front of the service bay. The sign in the grass to the right of the blue ’58 Plymouth (Belvedere?) reads, “We’re Making Deals on Gulf Tires”.
The office/sales area occupied the right corner, facing the adjacent road Rockville Pike. Attached to the office are two quick service bays with roll-down doors. Each bay of the bays served a specific purpose. One bay contained a hydraulic lift to raise cars for the servicing of tires, lubrication, and underside parts. A central in-floor drain to catch water runoff during car washes was utilized in the second bay. The station also contained a men’s and women’s restroom. A concrete ramp on the left led up to the second floor Auto Glass and Body Repair Shop.
The below 1940 architectural plan and rendering of a Gulf service station epitomize the defining design characteristics of this service station type.
Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs.