SAAC Presents:
Visiting the Historic Indian Neck Garage in Branford, Connecticut, August 2005 (This page created as of 9/9/2005; an exciting new related link added as of 7/13/2006; this page reactivated as of 4/5/2011)

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A Story Comes Together...

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005Our good friend Greg Mattesen has always been very good at searching out unique & interesting local examples of "Roadside Americana"--much of it surprisingly close to home (i.e. it's not ALL out on Route 66 in the southwest), and much of it with a "petroliana" flavor. For example, he found one recently that's virtually "right up the road" from where he lives, when he documented an old-time (apparently former Sunoco) gas station on Route 66 in East Hampton, CT. And he is usually very good about making a point of driving one of his old cars when he travels to take some pictures. You can view the results of that excursion on the page: Greg Mattesen's Spring 2004 Visit to an old Gas Station on Route 66 in East Hampton, CT (which we were pleased to post earlier this year as an SAAC web site photo-feature).

IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: This is an overall view of the Indian Neck Garage, as photographed from the parking lot of noted Branford restaurant "Lenny's Indian Head Inn," just diagonally on the other side of Route 146 from the Indian Neck Garage. This view is looking roughly north. You may or may not be able to make it out, but my tan '68 VW Bug is parked by the front corner of the building near the road (not too far from the corner of the building on which the prominent red Mobil Pegasus is mounted). The date of this photo--and all the other photos shown on this page--was Wednesday, August 24, 2005.

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005A couple of years back, Greg happened to find himself down in "our neck of the woods" (that is, he happened to be in Branford), and while driving around ran across an old Mobil station that he noticed still sported one of the old "classic" Pegasus symbols on the building, in a "cut out" marquee style (that is, a "semi-three-dimensional" presentation--not a design painted or printed on a flat planar type of display sign). It didn't take me long to realize that he was talking about the Indian Neck Garage, located on Route 146 (which is still called Montowese Street in that area--in fact the Indian Neck Garage's actual street address is 196 S. Montowese St.). I knew it would only be a matter of time before Greg returned with one of his old cars, camera in hand, to photo-document the "time capsule" Mobil service station.

IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: This time I'm standing right by the front of my car (which is still parked in the Indian Neck Garage parking lot), looking approximately southwestward toward the famous Lenny's Indian Head Inn restaurant, which is just slightly south of Indian Neck Garage, and on the other side of Montowese Street. It was a pleasant summer evening to be out & about, and it looked like Lenny's was doing good business. Here is the official web site for Lenny's--it's a wonderful restaurant that should be experienced--especially their soft shell crab! - http://www.lennysnow.com/ . Good view of the vanity Early American plate on my '68 too!

Meanwhile, I also got to thinking that if Greg never got around to doing it, maybe I'd be out and about in an old car some time, with my camera, and be able to stop an take a few shots with my car posed in front of the Indian Neck Garage establishment, with special attention to capturing that unique old Pegasus in photos. When I first got there, the place was still open, and so I asked the owner if it was ok for me to park my car in front (near the Pegasus) for a few photos--he was very gracious and said no problem at all. He also showed me the vintage "Coke" chest cooler inside his shop, plus the vintage cigarette vending machine, and "Hull's" (old-time New Haven-based beer brewery) wall clock--very cool!

If Greg lived closer, I'm sure he would've gotten it done (especially knowing his particular interest in the Pegasus symbol that Mobil used--and still uses to this day). But as it turned out, I had finally gotten my '68 Bug back "on the road" for the 2005 summer driving season in August (very late, I know...), and found I had a "semi-open" evening where I had to be at a meeting in that part of town in early evening, and also the presence of mind to think to bring along my camera. The date was Wednesday evening, August 24, 2005, and all the pictures you see on this page were taken that day!

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References of Interest from the 'Net

With the advent of the internet, research about things like the history of the Mobil Pegasus are a lot easier to accomplish. I found many references thru a few "google" searches. I even found out that the Indian Neck Garage has it's own web site as well, with a most wonderful history of this long-standing Branford business, with a special fondness for old cars! So, here are some references you can visit to learn more about the history of the Mobil Pegasus, and the Indian Neck Garage!

Indian Neck Garage Official Web Site: http://www.ineckgarage.com/index.stm

Mobil Pegasus Historical Background: http://www.exxonmobil.co.uk/UK-English/Operations/UK_OP_History_MobilPegasus.asp

More Mobil Pegasus Historical Background: http://www2.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/About/History/Corp_A_H_Pegasus.asp

From 'mobilis' to Pegasus: http://www.wsanford.com/~wsanford/exo/constellations/mobil.html

Pegasus in general: http://thanasis.com/pegasus.htm

Greg Mattesen discovers another Original Mobil Pegasus located in West Haven, CT: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/GREGGARAGES/GMattWestHavenPegasus.html (this link was added as of 7/13/2006)

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Indian Neck Garage & Vintage Pegasus Image Gallery

BELOW: In this view I'm up Montowese Street a bit, looking roughly south-east, back toward the Indian Neck Garage. The Pegasus isn't really visible from this angle, because we're kind of looking at it edge-on (it's at the top right corner of the building in this view). That's my '68 Bug in the parking lot, next to a '50s DeSoto 4-door sedan! Note the warm, low-angle sunlight (it was setting in the west around the time these pictures were shot, in the early evening of Wednesday, August 25, 2005).

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005

BELOW: Here's the reason I wanted to park my car where I did--to get a picture composition that features that historical old Pegasus, kind of "framed" by my old car in the foreground. I'm not unhappy with how this shot came out! Check the following image for a detail view of that wonderful old Pegasus itself...

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005 (and Steve's 1968 VW Bug in the foreground)

BELOW: Some nice setting sunlight from the west to illuminate the Pegasus nicely against a deep blue sky. This shot was taken earlier in the evening than the one above, which you can see was taken after the sun had already set (but there was still a lot of light left in the sky). Looks like some powerlines cast some slight horizontal shadows across the old horse, but not too bad--we'll take it!

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005 - Detail of the Pegasus, enlightened by evening setting sunlight coming from the west

BELOW: Here's one more shot that I kind of like, in that it incorporates another very beautiful and interesting old car, to compliment the historic Indian Neck Garage Building (with some"arts & crafts-looking" lettering there). I don't know the exact year of this DeSoto that was parked there, but I'm going to guess about '56 or '57 or so. Talk about ambiance!

Indian Neck Garage, Branford, CT, photographed August 24, 2005 (and a cool '50s DeSoto in the foreground)

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