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Dimensions2200 x 1529
Original file size4.38 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUnknown
Date modified28-Jan-11 08:09
Shooting Conditions

Camera makePlustek
Camera modelOpticFilm 7200i
HAPPY MOTORING! AT SUNSET (Rt 66 Santa Rosa NM)

HAPPY MOTORING! AT SUNSET (Rt 66 Santa Rosa NM)

This Gas-N-GONER is among the last of its kind--a traditional gas station designed for full service. It went up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The station originally had American branding (a predecessor of Amoco) when it was built in the mid-60s. Route 66 traffic was the reason for its existence. (There are only 2750 people in Santa Rosa today, not enough even for a stoplight!)

When I-40 opened through here in 1972, this station wasn't near an interchange. Business dried up and it was forced to close.

The owner says he tried again in the mid-70s, this time with Exxon. Exterior panels and the well-known slogan were added at this time.

But "Happy Motoring!" seemed cruel as America endured a pair of oil boycotts, limited gasoline supplies, sharply higher prices--and crummy cars. Exxon quietly dropped the slogan.

Around 1980, new underground tank regulations, and the continued lack of business, forced the station to close again--this time permanently. The owner says he had the old tanks removed and never replaced them.

And so it remains to this day--a traditional gas station with no gas and no tanks--a fenced-off time capsule marking the end of an era. The era called "Happy Motoring!"