O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
April 2002

Columnist — Joyce Trent

PUEBLO — The days of smiling gas station attendants who cleaned the windshield and offered to "check under the hood" are history. And so are the gas pumps.

Well, not at Fred Quint’s place east of Pueblo. Quint and his wife, Kay, are preserving history by restoring dirty, rusty, greasy, smelly old gas pumps.

Two walls of their garage are lined with 12 restored pumps, standing like soldiers at attention, guarding a bygone era. Another 10 are outside, waiting for the 40 or more hours it takes to bring each one back to life.

Colorado flag

The Quints enjoy just looking at and admiring their handiwork. The restored pumps are beautiful, standing six or seven feet tall, with bright colors, gleaming nozzles and clock face gauges. Glass globes sit on top like a crown on Queen Elizabeth.

They date back as far as the 1920s, back to the years when gasoline sold for as little as 15 cents a gallon.

Restoring the pumps means disassembling, washing, painting, and polishing. Each pump is authentic to the smallest detail. They are painted the same colors as they were originally, the colors of the oil companies they represented.

Two of the pumps came from Quinter, Kansas where Quint was raised and where he pumped gasoline as a kid. He bought them after the old gas station was torn down.

Working on the restoration process is a pleasure. "It’s relaxing," said Quint, a drywaller who was forced to retire after heart surgery. "When I’m working on ’em, I just get so involved that I forget everything. I can spend all day out here. When I finish work on one, I’m ready to start on the next one."

Even the Quint’s three-year-old granddaughter Mariah helps. "Mariah gets just as greasy as we do," Quint said.

The Quints pay from $25 to $500 for the old pumps and they pay as much as $1,500 for the parts, ordered from collectors’ catalogs or bought at trade shows. "When we’re on the road, we always keep our eyes peeled," Quint said.

They have found pumps in the middle of farmers’ fields, lying next to barns and in junk heaps.

When the restoring is done the pumps are worth as much as $3,500. But the Quints made it understood that they are not doing it for a profit.

Their favorite pump is the red, white and blue American Gasoline pump with a flying eagle above the message: "Powerful as its name." It just happens to be the pump they were working on last September 11th.

DENVER — Eight Colorado Lubrication Inc. franchises were terminated March 27 by Jiffy Lube International after employees said they were told to lie about the brand of oil they were putting in cars.

Eight current and former Colorado Lubrication employees from three stores said they were told to tell customers they put Pennzoil in their cars when in fact they used less expensive oil.

Colorado Lubrication had owned 22 franchises in Colorado from Greeley to Pueblo. Officials denied they told employees to lie but said they had been using Unocal 76 and Silco Oil instead of Pennzoil. Pennzoil owns Jiffy Lube.

The stores were to be closed for a week then they were to be reopened under Jiffy Lube management with Pennzoil products.

"We are troubled by allegations that employees misrepresented the brand of motor oil they were using in a Denver-area Jiffy Lube service center owned by Colorado Lubrication Inc.," said Cindy Landers, spokeswoman for Jiffy Lube.

"Although is appears that the motor oils used in the service centers met or exceeded the requirements of auto manufacturers, Jiffy Lube firmly believes that any misrepresentation to customers is unacceptable."

Colorado Lubrication employees who spoke about company practices said they were concerned about the possibility of losing their jobs.

Landers would not comment on that but said, "We are going to do absolutely the right thing."

COLORADO SPRINGS — Everyone knows a moose can’t sell gasoline. Just the same, a moose can help.

When a young bull moose was discovered contentedly cropping the tall grass along Fountain Creek in this city’s Monument Valley Park, it drew sightseers by the hundreds.

And while the cameras clicked and the foolhardy dared to see how close they could get, the gasoline pumps at the nearby 7-Eleven store were busy pumping gasoline.

On one Saturday, an estimated 50 moose watchers at once crowded into the store, scarfing potato chips and Big Gulps. At the same time, cars were waiting in line at the gas pumps.

The moose not only sold gasoline, it sold beer. A nearby liquor store had a Moosehead beer sale. than $100, authorities said.

The moose had to have come down out of the mountains west of the city, but no one has any idea how it got across crowded I-25. "Running into that animal would be like running into a brick wall," said a state trooper.

And no one knows exactly when it left the park and ambled back across I-25 to the Air Force Academy’s acreage. But the gasoline stations wouldn’t mind at all if it returned to Monument Valley.

COLORADO SPRINGS — An armed man wearing a mask over his mouth and stockings on his arms and hands robbed the Diamond Shamrock station on the city’s north side. Police were told the man showed a gun and demanded cash and cartons of cigarettes.

DENVER —A bill in the Colorado General Assembly would require land and royalty owners to share the cost of transporting and processing natural gas with the energy companies. The bill passed through the House as a study.

It was amended to have a task force study oil and gas royalties.

Representative Tambor Williams (R-Greeley), a co-sponsor of the bill, offered the amendment. House opponents argued the bill would get in the way of private contracts.

DENVER — In one week in mid-March, the average price of gasoline in Colorado jumped nine cents a gallon.

The oil companies blame the increase on the higher price of crude oil as well as on the retailers who they allege see encouraging economic news as the opportunity to raise prices.

Stations in Colorado Springs offered the lowest prices with self-service regular going for $1.275 a gallon. The highest prices were at Vail where self-service regular sold at $1.569 a gallon.

At that time the average price nationwide was $1.298 a gallon, a seven cent jump in one week.

Originally published in the April 2002 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2002 by KAL Publications Inc.

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