Remember When Michigan’s Gas Stations Were Fun To Visit?
Some of you do, some of you don't.

You go to a gas station.
You gasp at the prices.
After filling up, you use every four-letter word you can think of when you get the total. And, unless you go inside for snacks or coffee, that’s pretty much the whole experience.

Many decades ago, the gas station experience was extremely different. For those of you who saw the original Back to the Future, you may recall the scene where Marty has gone back to 1955 and sees a group of four Texaco attendants rush out to a car that just pulled in. One checks the oil, another checks the tires, another cleans the windshield, and the fourth one gasses up the car. For those of you who thought that part was fiction, you are totally wrong…that’s how some service stations actually treated their customers…like royalty.

Now you have to do all those things yourself.

But it wasn’t just the extreme service you received – there were also little goodies and souvenirs you were given absolutely free with each fill-up. It could be a set of glasses, can of oil, set of kitchen knives, comic book, ash tray, baseball cards, toys, and other cool stuff. Nowadays all you walk away with is a receipt and an empty debit card.

What else?
How about the prices?
We didn’t think much about the prices then, because we were used to gas being under a dollar a gallon. What’s the lowest gas price you recall? I remember driving around during a gas war, where stations were competing with each other to have the lowest price…the lowest I came across was ten cents a gallon! Now there is very little local feverish competition, as the prices are dictated to the various locations by corporate CEOs. They can’t have gas wars anymore…and they were fun!

Also, many gas stations had their fun mascots and wacky statues out front to lure you in. Sure, they had candy, pop, and cigarettes on the inside just like now, but that’s about where the similarity ends (they had those famous pop machines standing outside as well).

The gallery below shows some old gas station giveaways, prices, locations, and memorabilia. It’s definitely a part of Michigan/American history that may never see the light of day again.

When Gas Stations Were Fun


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