CREEPY CLASSICS presents...

Above photo by Janice Adams. Pictured - Tami, Tom, and Ron Adams.

The Sinclair Gas & Oil Company had a dinosaur trademark. Using that as a promotional vehicle they creatured awe-inspiring life-size dinosaur models that were at the World's Fair in New York City in the 1960s...then, they went on a traveling roadshow across the country on flat bed trucks. In 1966, I saw them in Ohio. Below are people's memories of this traveling show that inspired many imaginations and kids across the USA. -Ron Adams

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Greetings!
I am now 58 and vividly recall seeing the Sinclair Oil Dinosaur display.
It was set up in the Indian Trail Shopping Center Parking Lot on Preston Highway in Louisville, KY.
I grew up in Louisville and now live in Jacksonville, FL.

It must have been around 1966-1968 because my little sister came along in 1969 and she was NOT with us that day.

I managed to buy six of the seven styles of the wax blow-molded dinosaurs that day.
I clearly remember my parents being impatient as I tried to wait in line for ONE MORE model - the T-Rex.
Naturally, as he was the most ferocious of the bunch, he was also the most popular model available.
T-Rex is the only one of the seven that were available that I didn’t get that day.

The machines were crowded with LOTS of kids and the 25¢ per figure seemed like a king’s ransom for the time.
I STILL have all six and they are in pristine condition.

I had forgotten, until recent research reminded me that the display was directly from the 1964-65 World’s Fair!
Thanks for taking the time and effort to put together all these memories on your website.

Thanks again, good to share memories of days long ago before animatronics and digital wizardry were required to ignite our imaginations!

Mark D. Brown
Jacksonville, FL

I was having a conversation with my 10 year old son this morning describing the touring dinosaur exhibit I saw when I was young. It was fantastic to find your site and show him the exhibits. 

For a few days in the late sixties a portion of the exhibit was displayed at the Arvada Plaza Shopping Center in Arvada, Colorado. The bulk of the exhibit was installed at the Cherry Creek Mall for several weeks, and was said to be spectacular by my schoolmates who got to see it. 

I also remember a few of our local Sinclair stations had the coin operated molding machines, probably around the same time the exhibit was in our area. My friends and I badgered our parents to buy their gas at Sinclair so we could collect and traded the dinos. 

Thanks for putting this site together.

-Tom Wolf

 

Note, this sent in by Julie Shrauger: Does anyone have the tour schedule of the Sinclair Dinosaurs? I remember seeing them and got one of the toys. I would like to know what town I saw them in and what year. I feel sure it was close to home as I don't remember spending the night anywhere.
 
Thanks, Julie Shrauger

If anyone can help, please e-mail: creepyclassics@creepyclassics.com. We'll post it here.

Sinclair Dinos on Tour

I got to see this dispay set-up in Ohio back in the 1960s. My parents have pictures on me with them. They were lifesize and just an experience that made an incredible impression on me. Did anyone else see this traveling display back in the 1960s? Thanks to Joe Vento for sending this newspaper clipping. -Ron

I remember when they took over half of the parking lot at Eastpoint shopping center, which is now Eastpoint Mall, in East Baltimore. I actually had a few of the toy models but alas they too are now extinct ;-(
-Steve Wrzesien

Steve, I had some of those wax dinosaus. I remember you put coins in and a they were poured and made in a vending machine. They came out still warm. Wow! I loved those. My sister and I also had inflatable green brontos that were about three feet long. My dad found someone making replicas and gave me a smaller version that hangs behind me in the office. -Ron

I never got any of these but back in the early 70's while at
busch gardens they had two injection molding machines.
put your coins in and you might get a gorilla and I don't
remember what the other animal was but they had a sign
that said try at own risk. sometimes it came out deformed
or was all melted from being too hot.
-Tom

Hey Ron!! I came across this amazing shot, and im wondering if this is where you saw them on tour as a kid. I think this is 66 or 67 at a shopping center.."Woolco"
This is a classic design of Tyrannosaur by the Jonas Studios in upstate n.y. and to all us monsterkids growing up at the "tail end" of the sixties, this is how they'll always be!!
All the best Ron,
-Joey V., Haunted Barn

Hi Joey, that is how I saw them, on flatbeds. I believe it was in Ohio. I'll ask my parents if they remember more about the location. -Ron

Hi Ron, this is where those Sinclair dinos went. This is the free program you got when you visited their pavilion at the '64 NY World's Fair....Great memories!!!!
-Frank Nicoletti

Hi Frank, I got on of those when I saw the touring display. They must have had extras that they sold, or gave away at the tour sites. I'll never forget the nasty expression on that T-Rex fave o the cover. I remember tryimg to draw it and studying it intensely. -Ron

Above is a picture sent to me by my dad. I don't remember seeing this one before! It's the Brotosaurus on a flatbed. That's my dad in a white shirt, with my sister and me by him. My guess is that my sister is three and I'm eight here. Which would date the visit at 1967. That sounds about right. It could be 1966 possibly. -Ron

RON,
I remember the SINCLAIR DINOSAURS and their tour very well. The Dinosaurs were left over exhibits from the 1964 New York World's Fair sent out as being one of the few successful ventures of that event.
My Brother and I saw it at the Randhurst Shopping Mall in Mount Prospect, Illinois, circa 1966. This was the first such enclosed Mall in the area and largest fully air-conditioned Mall in the Country.
The exhibit was very popular. They had a dispenser machine which you could purchase wax replicas of the Dinosaurs on exhibit. Though from a modern interpretation the Dinosaurs were size-wise correct their stances and how they appeared have been much revised. At that time they were still thought of as just big scale Lizards and Reptiles rather then the independent species which they are now.
ROBERT

Hey Ron ,

I figured that you would like to see this shot of
my brother Mike and I at
Sinclair dinosaur exhibit road show they did a few years after The
world's fair. Enjoy!
We'll keep in touch.

-Yours , Larry R.

I saw the Sinclair dinosaurs when they were at Eastpoint in Baltimore as
well. We got some of the injection mold figures.
I now live in Orlando FL,
Glenn

My parents, sisters and I went to see the display near Cincinnati. I cannot remember precisely where it took place, but remember the day quite well. I was incredibly impressed at how closely the dinosaurs looked to the ones I saw in various junior science books. We take that sort of thing for granted today but it was pretty rare back then. We had an allosaurus model at the Natural History Museum and either a skull or reproduction skull but a whole display of various dinosaurs in real size? No.
I got the models, too. I remember someone saying they were made of a special material something between wax and plastic, I would guess. Maybe some combination. They were more durable than wax but less than hard plastic. I was a bit of a dinosaur fanatic as a kid. I remember that Frito's also carried little dinosaur models in multiple pack boxes.
-Mike Manor
Cincinnati

I watched the history channel last night and two men were going around the
usa looking for anything that might be worth something they could buy then
sell for a profit. they came across a old rusted desto car sitting next to
a old gas pump. they went inside the building next to it and on the shelf
was old cans of oil. the last two cans had dinosaurs on them and said
sinclair oil.

-tom

Here are some photos, including a shot of a then missing triceratops{which sits in a Washington D.C. Park now i believe} and a recent shot of the Tyrannosaur and Brontosaur as they are today at their home in Glen Rose, Texas.
Enjoy my friend and can't wait to see you at MonsterBash!!
                                            
                                                                          Best to ya Ron,
                                                                                                   Joey V.

I discovered your site not long after finding the pictures from 1969, when the dinosaurs were touring the US.
This is at the East Hills Shopping Center in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Thanks,
Michael

I don't think thise puny fences are going to hold these big boys. Like me, do you remember the touring Sinclair Dinosaurs of the 1960s? This recent photo, courtesy of Brian Nichols, depicts a resting place for some of those great beasts! -Ron

P.S. - Thank you Brian!!!

 

Still Alive After 65 Million Years

It's good to see the Sinclair Dinosaur at Sinclair stations still operating out in the western USA. I used to see these as a kid here in the east...but, alas they've been gone around here for decades. Thanks to Ted Lewcyck for sending these to us.

 

Dinos In Wax

Thanks for the website.......it is great to see these guys again.

They rolled into San Antonio sometime in the fall of 1969. I think they were displayed at a mall on the northwest side of town
named "Wonderland". We went to see them after dark, so we don't have any photos of us posing with any of them. In an interesting coincidence with another persons memories, Wonderland was across the street from a Woolco store.

Our family remembers that they were on the ground in two rows. I remember the coin injection machine. I think you could buy a bag of all of them for a dollar or two, but they didn't last. I think we left them in the car, and they met their fate like so many crayons that melted in their container. We left them in the back of the car one evening and by the next afternoon, they had melted and were thrown away. Thank goodness they were still in the clear carrying bag.

-Robert Casares

 

I submit for your enjoyment a recent photo of the Trachodon of "Dinoland" fame. It was taken at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago on (July.31.2013).I've known of his whereabouts since the mid-1980's.He resides on the west side of the zoo on the fringes of their lake/marsh which has a nature trail around it.There is also a symbol for him on the visitor map although no mention is actually made his presence.His present location is his 2nd move as far as I know.He stood for most of his years in a location not far from where he is now but,was moved sometime in the last 3 years due to the installment of the nearby bear & bison grottos.

As evidenced by the photo he has a some moss or algae present in places on him as well as a fair measure of overgrowth around him.A couple years back when I saw his new location he had some nice signage in front of him explaining his history.However,on my recent visit the signage was gone.He is still structurally sound despite his age and his overall color is also pretty good since he has always occupied the wooded west side of the zoo. Unfortunately,he has always been treated like the proverbial doorstop. He's there but, little noticed by most visitors and given very little priority or maintenance.

I don't know what year the zoo acquired him but,I always make it a point to see my longtime "friend" when I visit there.He always brings back fond memories of my childhood of the late 1960's because I saw him and ALL of his dinosaur breatheren at an large parking lot located across from Hillside theater in Hillside Ill. circa 1967 or 1968.They were traveling by then by way of flatbed trucks which I saw them on.If anyone should ever visit the zoo while passing through than drop by and pay him a visit....

Best Regards,
Fred Werner

Above are photo from the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, exhibit in 1966 from Tony Kiessling.

I too remember the Sinclair Dinoland display from the 60's. I got to see it twice, at the World's Fair in NY and then later when it came to the Cherry Hill Mall, Cherry Hill, NJ in May, 1966. I came across a few pictures from the NJ visit.

Here's a picture of the models I still have from that time. I'm sure that this played a part in fueling an early interest in science that led me to chemistry and becoming a university professor. I was glad to see your page dedicated to Sinclair's efforts.

Enjoy!
-Tony

Above: Trachodon at the New York World's Fair in 1964. Photo from "Songbird."

I remember seeing the dinosaurs at the NY World’s Fair in 1964. It was the first pavilion we visited, and these beasts made quite an impression.

I remember seeing them again when they went “on tour”. It was at the Roosevelt Field Shopping Center on Long Island. Probably in 1966/67. I recall collecting most of the dinosaur models for 25 cents apiece at the molding machines. They were made of a sort of a waxy plastic. Wish I still had ‘em.  

Great memories.   

Paul Laud

Hi,

A few years ago I found some slides of me and my brother sitting on a smaller brontosaurus model and looking at huge dinosaurs. The year was 1967 (I was 5 and Rob was 9) and this was in the King of Prussia mall parking lot. In the background is the Valley Forge Drive In Theater, long gone and replaced by Costco. Seeing those slides got me wondering "what the heck were those dinosaurs in King of Prussia?".

I also remember having a small plastic or wax-like dinosaur model; I remember it smelled a bit like crayons. I remember taking it to first grade to show off.

Thanks to your site almost 50 years later the mystery is solved: we were at the Sinclair dinosaur tour and my dad must've bought me one of those waxy toy dinosaur models. The internet is a wonderful thing! Thank you!

Ted Ryan


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