Sun Truck

100_4215.JPGDon't ask me how I came to get this piece of junk. I'm thinking that my Mom lives near said Sunoco gas station and used to get her car repairs all handled here. She had a Pontiac 6000 and a Dodge Dynasty and when it was time to do oil changes or regular maintenance, or change of headlights or batteries, she had it done here.  She must have gotten it for a fill up. We had a Shell on one corner that was a classic 70's Shell with nothing other than a tiny booth filled with cigarettes and a octagonal roof over the pumps. They tore that down and added a trailer sized store. Cheap 40oz beers could be had there. When I moved into the area, there was a Sohio on the other corner, and it too offered service. However Sohio became BP and soon the station was uprooted and a smaller box cigarette kiosk where you could walk in and trip over expensive snacks and a small wall of cheap beer. So, that left Sunoco. Good Old Sunoco, 

100_4216.JPG By the time the 90's came around, service stations were out and self service gas stations with cigarette kiosks, hot dog rollers, cheap beer coolers and fountain drinks with gallon sized cups became all the rage. Yes, there were a few hangers on for the other brands, but pretty much the last "service stations" in the Cleveland area at least, were Sunoco stations. It appears they really tried to capitalize on being one of the last full service providers. You could even have the gas pumped for you. (I believe New Jersey has a law where it must be pumped by a guy...) Our Sunoco had the same above truck. They had an older truck as well done with white and gold paint.  That's all I can remember. It's not like I had fond memories of this joint. I may have gotten a alternator replaced here or a battery put in, but I wasn't a big fan of Sunoco. They had 17 blends of gas ranging from water with a little gas in it to almost jet fuel that cost $7 a gallon. Those were my memories. It was at this station  that I discovered that my '73 Ford Gran Torino  had a small pipe that was leaking fuel like a sieve. I didn't get a whole lot of MPG before with a 351 Cleveland 8 Cylinder chuffing under the hood, but it had worsened. I think I was checking the air filter... No, I preferred to get the 87 grade ova dey at the Shell "Bee Hive" station with the Cigarettes. Lots and lots of Cigarettes.

100_4217.JPG Good old generic Matchbox cars, or Hot Wheels, NOT made in China. I was a fan of Hot Wheels, but it was more a smash up derby. I'll bet this truck wouldn't fit through a super charger.  I never opened it and put it away in a box, only to be unearthed for this junk blog.

So, yes, this was an independently owned last ditch effort to be a service center. You'd see the rack of batteries, and the wall racks of tires and the electronic alignment. Perhaps service centers went away as finally everybody started building cars that held together. I mean, people were still buying Chevy Luminas and Corsicas or Ford Escorts and Tempos Or Dodge Spirits Or hell...ANYTHING Dodge. The "one stop source for most repairs" eventually moved into your dealer once again as only they knew how to reset your "check engine" light.  I'm not sure how many of these joints remain. This one abandoned ship for a private garage elsewhere and then they ripped the tanks out and rebuilt a new Sunoco where you can walk into a beer cave, get "broaster" chicken or even pick up a few cigars from the humidor.  An era was pretty much over, but I still has me the truck. 

100_4218.JPG Well, at least the toy was brought to earth by the Coneheads. They're from FRANCE after all. Gee whiz, I'm thinking of the Frank Zappa song "In France". "If you POOCH a civilian it's a MAJOR EVENT, down in France." That's all I got. It's Sunoco's FREEDOM TRUCK. Wow. I'll stop now. I'm toast. BOP! I can't be stopped! -Ric