SAAC Presents:
Galloping Petroliana - Another Original American Gas Station Icon is still "Out There!" - Greg Mattesen Visits the West Haven Pegasus, July 2006 (This page created as of 7/13/2006; this page reactivated as of 4/5/2011)

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Greg Mattesen photo: West Haven Pegasus, July 2006Our long-time good friend Greg Mattesen is always on the prowl for old & interesting "American Roadside Things" when he's out and about in the car...

Over the years that he's been documentiing, he's shared many of his wonderful "finds" with us here at the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection--be it an interesting old-fashioned diner (like Zip's in in Dayville, CT), an old auto-related storefront (like Potter Sports Cars in East Longmeadow, MA), or a defunct old-time gas station (like the one he discovered in East Hampton, CT)--these things and more are Greg's interests--along with old cars also, of course!

These days he's got a new job that allows him to visit new & interesting auto-related places around the state, and he often brings his camera along--and this is how he managed to snap the pictures featured on this new page.

For a little bit of background, it was the ever-watchful Greg who, on a visit to the town a couple of years ago, first noticed the fact that the Indian Neck Garage in Branford still had their original Mobil Pegasus on display on the front of their building. Appreciating how rare one of these original Pegasus signs was, Greg talked about one day driving his old car back to the Indian Neck Garage, and doing some photos--it was therefore very gracious of him not to be upset when yours truly managed to get over there and do it first! His being "the first" again to discover yet another original Mobil Pegasus on display in our local area, we are more than happy to feature Greg's own words & pictures from his July 2006 visit to the West Haven Pegasus. We'll use quotes from two of his e-mails where he describes the experience.

The photos by Greg that appear on this page were attached to the first of his two e-mails (the one dated 7/6/2006).

From Greg's e-mail dated 7/6/2006:

"...I was in West Haven today for work and remembered to bring the camera, so here are a few shots of the Pegasus that's there. The name of the business is Gran-Trans (a transmission shop), and it's located on Savin Avenue at the intersection of Graham Manor Road. This is about two or three blocks from the beach.

Aside from the T-111 plywood siding on the second story, the garage was much more historic-looking than I remembered it from last time. I like the vintage textured cement block construction of the first floor, and there's even another porcelain-sign remnant of the garage's gas station past: a "Ladies" room sign still mounted above one of the bathroom doors!

I went inside to introduce myself to the owner (both to find out more about the Pegasus and to introduce myself as a Wurth representative--killing two birds with one stone, ha ha). He mentioned that he's "going to have to take the sign down soon" because it's getting too collectible and valuable (he seemed to think it was worth $7,000 in its present condition, and while it's valuable, I would think it would be worth somewhat less). He said something about "having it restored and putting it on ebay." If it was my sign, I would rather leave it up on the garage and take my chances with it getting stolen (perhaps there's a way to theft-protect it). So the days of this roadside survivor may be numbered. Interesting that this garage and the Indian Neck service station that you photographed, Steve, are both relatively close together and have very similar Pegasus signs still intact!..."

Greg Mattesen photo: West Haven Pegasus, July 2006

And here is a bit more info & an interesting related link, from a follow-up e-mail from Greg that was dated July 8, 2006:

"...I was half hoping that it would be some old guy who owned the shop who would tell me that he was sick of that old thing and wanted to sell it for a couple hundred dollars. Then it could have been mounted on my barn and become a new landmark in Portland! Ha ha! As always, feel free to use the pictures in any way you'd like. It would be neat to see them as an accompaniment to the Indian Neck info.

The only other Pegasus that I'm aware of that's still on a building is up in Chester, Massachusetts on Charlie's Garage. http://www.roadsidenut.com/charlies604.jpg . Amelia and I will be within 20 miles of there today when we travel to Otis for a family picnic, but unfortunately won't have time to make a side trip to take photos. There used to be a small one right in Manchester (CT) when we lived there, too, but it eventually got taken down.

I wonder how many of these signs are still up across New England? It's kind of like the old round Texaco signs: you used to see them every once in awhile, but now they seem like they've all pretty much disappeared..."

Greg Mattesen photo: West Haven Pegasus, July 2006

Thanks again Greg for the great report & pictures! We appreciate your efforts at remembering and documenting these vanishing American Roadside icons.


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