There was a time when gas stations were things of beauty or roadside novelty. Sure, today some are designed to be visually stunning like this Agro-crag looking fuel stop, but most are not. Here are some of the most eye-popping gas stations to ever dot the American road. (Some are still operational!)
Sometimes you build an airport and have some pieces leftover. Sometimes those pieces become the roof of a gas station. Jack Colker's Union 76 has one of the most dramatically stunning roofs ever put on a gas station thanks to using parts originally intended for LAX. They're still open too with many full-service pumps like the good ol' days, just beware they charge a pretty penny for these feelings of nostalgia.
There's not much to Shamrock, Texas, except Route 66 ran right through town. That was enough to inspire the Tower Conoco Station (and U-Drop Inn Cafe). The Great State of Texas is now working to turn the place into the coolest retro rest stop ever. (And be honest, you knew you recognized it from the movie Cars.)
Frank Lloyd Wright designed it. It was the only gas station he ever designed. Enough said? (Photo via Flickr)
Shell built eight of these beauties, and sadly this is the only one remaining. Thanks to Preservation North Carolina, we have this Shell restored to its original glory for taking all the photos your tourist heart desires.
Two brothers coupled their love of airplanes with the automobile boom to create this roadside relic. Although rumors circulate about the plane having crash landed and turned into a filling station, truth is the brothers built the "plane" to take advantage of a recent widening of U.S. 25 and all those new motorists. Today, fans of the site are trying to save the plane.
Sure, the novelty of a gas station shaped like a teapot is cute, but the backstory is even better. The Teapot Dome Service Station was built to poke fun at President Harding's Teapot Dome Oil Scandal. The little station has been moved several times over the years, and lovers of the teapot are still trying to preserve it. (Photo credit: Larry Myhre)
Cammack Station operated for several decades as Pete's Grocery in a no-stoplight rural town. When Pete's was going you could get gas, penny candy, a deli sandwich, and all the local farmer and Hoosier basketball talk you could stand. Today, the current owners have lovingly restored and expanded Pete's to operate as a diner called Cammack Station.