Vintage service stations & art deco cars

If you keep up with this blog, you probably know that I love all things vintage. This week has been full of vintage things so I’ve been pretty darn happy! I’m going to start with the cars. I absolutely love the design of the classic art deco style cars, but it’s hard to see many of them in the same place all at once. When I learned about the Sensuous Steel event, in Nashville, TN, I knew I had to go. The problem was that the bus was in Minneapolis. Well, I wanted to see these cars so bad that I got on a plane, went to the show, and flew back the same night! Ya know… just a 1,000-mile day trip to Nashville. No biggie.

It was totally worth it though. The cars were stunning, and I learned that seeing them in photos doesn’t do them justice. You really need to be able to walk around them and see all those sexy curves! The show was located at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. I was also able to visit the  Lane Motor Museum, which had some cute smaller cars, so that was a bonus for the day.Unfortunately, my phone’s battery died early on, so the only other shots I have are on my DSLR and I haven’t off-loaded those yet.

DecoCarOne of the beautiful cars at the Sensuous Steel show.

So back to Minneapolis: One of my personal projects has been to go around the country shooting vintage service stations. Here is one of my more popular images from that series:

Petrol Paradise-afterPetrol Paradise

I have an entire database of service stations that I want to shoot and they literally span the country. My goal is to travel around, shooting as many of them as I can. After we wrapped up Photoshop World in Las Vegas, we returned to the bus in Minneapolis and I started checking off a bunch of stations on that list.

My_places___EverplacesThe map that goes along with my vintage service station database. I have just a few dots on it!

We spent a few days in Minneapolis, where there were a few nearby stations, and then we began moving eastward, stopping in Des Moines and continuing east from there. I am, of course shooting these stations with my DSLR, but I’ve been loving the immediacy of being able to create images on my iPhone and immediately share them with you all. So without further ado, here are the stations that I’ve shot this past week:

CarverMNThis one was in Carver, MN

NewUlm-MNStation in New Ulm, MN

1upStationThe mushroom station in Dassel, MN. Karen calls this one the 1-up station because of the mushrooms in Super Mario Bros.

Shell-IAGreat looking Shell station near Cedar Falls, IA

OpalinestationWaterloo, IA station


I was bummed that this station had many broken down cars parked there and the sign had been removed. I’ve seen photos of it from a few years ago when it looked much better.

PhillipsPetroleumPhillips 66 station near Massena, IA

BridgewaterOilWasn’t expecting to run across this Sinclair station… Found it by chance!

PhillipsIA2An IA Phillips station


Was bummed to find that the station I was searching for has been destroyed.  Someone told me about this station in the same town… So I didn’t leave I empty handed!

ColoIAstationStation near Colo, IA

CollinsIAstationThis was a bonus station I found that wasn’t in my database! (Near Colo, IA)

SullyStationStation in Sully, IA

ServiceStdOilProductsLove the look of this one and just wish they had pumps from the 50’s instead of 70’s. But, they still serve gas here!

YoungvilleStationThis one is more a restaurant that happens to formerly serve gas.