The Ultimate Guide to Buying Reproduction Gas Pumps
A reproduction gas pump is without a doubt one of the most noticeable and unique pieces with which you could choose to furnish a room. Made to mirror the iconic gas pumps of early 20th century America, these reproductions perfectly capture the spirit of a bygone era. Their beautifully nostalgic designs stand the test of time, and is sure to impress even into the modern age. Whether you’re interested in adding one to your house, your garage or even your place of business, then read on for the ultimate guide to buying the best reproduction gas pumps on the market.
Part One: What You Should Know
Unsurprisingly, quite a lot of detail goes into making a reproduction gas pump. If you’re in the market for one of these, it will definitely help to be familiar with them so that you can get your pump exactly the way you want it to look. If you’re already familiar with gas pumps from this era, you might be able to skip ahead to part two. But for first time buyers, or those who need a refresher, we’ll start by showing you some of the different parts and design styles you can choose from.
Visible vs. Regular Pumps
The first thing you need to make when looking for a reproduction gas pump, is whether or not you want a “visible” pump. Visible pumps have a large glass cylinder near the top, which regular pumps lack. This design required the customer to manually pump gas from an underground storage tank into the cylinder, and then pump it into the automobile. This particular style came out in the 1920’s but was used into the 1940’s.
Regular pumps on the other hand, were electric rather than manual. For that reason, they lack the cylinders found on visible pumps. However, they do posses a “face,” while visible pumps do not. A face is a glass-covered meter on the front of the pump, which measures how much gas the customer has pumped. Besides the face and the cylinder, the major distinction between visible and regular pumps is height. Regular pumps usually stand around 7 feet tall, while visible pumps are closer to 9 feet thanks to the added height of the cylinder. Whichever you chose, be sure to check that the space you set aside for you pump will accommodate its size.
Clock Face vs. Calculator Face
If the visible pump is more your style, you can skip this section due to the fact that visible pumps don’t have faces at all.
But if you’ve decided on a regular pump, you have one more choice to make – clock or calculator face. Clock face gas pumps came into popularity during the 1930’s, replacing the once dominant visible pump. Clock face pumps have a meter that looks exactly like a clock, except it measures gallons pumped, not time passed. The customer still had to calculate the bill by doing the math in their head, however, which eventually lead to the calculator faces of the 1940-60’s. The calculator face measured both how much gas the customer pumped, and how much the final bill would be based on the current price of gas. Whichever one you chose, make sure to browse through some pictures so that you can see the aesthetic difference between the two.
The last thing you need to know about before pulling the trigger on your gas pump is the globe. This refers to the round ornament on the very top of the pump that displays the brand of gas. Normally the globe’s design and the logo matches the body of the pump, but some manufacturers also do custom work and can create a globe with whatever image or logo you provide. If you prefer to keep it classic, you’ll still have to decide which color and brand you want your globe and your pump to be. Make sure to look all the different options your manufacturer offers before you finalize the order, so that you’re sure not to miss anything you might fall in love with.
Part Two: Where You Should Look
Now that you’ve decided on what to get, it’s time to talk about where to get it. There are a whole host of companies that manufacture and sell reproduction gas pumps, some better than others. Where you order your pump from can make all the difference in the world. The construction quality, selection size, and price are all important factors to consider. To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve evaluated the marketplace, and compiled a list of the top five best shops to make your order.
Gas Pump Heaven is undoubtedly a market leader both in quality and selection. Their gas pumps are made from steel, unlike any of their competitors, and their selection is almost infinite thanks to the offering of custom work. They have three base models, all of which are extremely competitively priced, and produce both visible and regular pumps. Their website is modern and easy to navigate, with an option to order right from the webpage, or call and talk to an employee. They even have a video that showcases some of their models and outlines the features of each.
Retro Gas Pumps is an exceptionally well designed and informational online store that boasts a huge selection of both custom and replica gas pumps. Made from aluminum, these sturdy reproductions come in both visible and regular styles, and both types of face. Their custom selection goes beyond color and logo to include options like pumps with beer taps, electric charging stations, TV screens, or gun cabinets. Orders and price requests can be made over the phone.
Garage Art is a fantastic shop that does a great job pointing out what makes their products unique. They have detailed descriptions of their pumps and even explain the steps of the manufacturing process. The range of options they provide and the construction quality is truly impressive for a store that sells much more than just reproduction gas pumps. Made from aluminum, these competitively priced pumps can be ordered right on the website. They offer both types of pump and both types of face, as well as custom work, including TV, beer tap, shelved, and electric car charging pumps.
Past Gas Garage is by far one of the easiest websites to navigate. Contact information, prices, and the models that they offer are clearly listed all in one place. Although it is unclear whether or not they offer visible pumps, they posses a wide range of color options, faces and globes for regular pumps. They offer custom logo work as well as specialty pumps like beer tap, wine cooler, and shelved units. Orders are available over the phone or by email at a reasonable price, and they even offer free shipping to the continental U.S.
Car Guy Garage is a large shop that offers plenty of control over the specifics of your order. Their website is furnished with detailed specs and product descriptions for the models they offer. Their fiberglass pumps come with a calculator face and can be painted in over 20 colors and adorned with one of over 60 globes that they have to choose from. Their specialty offerings included shelved units, gumball dispensers, and an exceptionally nice beer tap unit. However they do not offer visible pumps or custom logo designs. Their website makes it easy to order and ship online, and even boasts free shipping to the lower 48.