Home Uncategorized Petroliana trove and vintage vehicles from 3 generations headed to auction

Petroliana trove and vintage vehicles from 3 generations headed to auction


A three-generation family collection of classic cars and petroliana will be offered at an on-site, no-reserve auction on October 6 in Roane County, Tennessee, where the Goldston family has run a Gulf service station.

More than 350 lots will be offered at the sale, said auctioneer John Coker.

Restored gas pump

“The Goldston family operated a Gulf gas station for many years before Gulf was acquired by BP, and their automotive garage, which is one of the last of its kind, is still thriving,” said Coker. 

“The Goldstons wisely chose to hold the auction onsite, near the junction of two major interstates (I-40 and I-75), to make it easy for larger items to be transported,” Coker added. 

“One of the Gulf signs, which itself is 52 inches in diameter, is affixed to a 32-foot steel post. With items of that size, it would have made no sense to move them to the auction house.”

Though his estate and antiques auction company is located in Tennessee, Coker is not related to the Coker Tire company, well-known in the collector car community for its tires for vintage vehicles. John Coker has been in the auction business for 43 years.

Among the vehicles being offered are a 1948 Nash Ambassador Super 2-door coupe that took first place at the Nashville Grand National car show. Coker said the car has undergone a 100-point restoration.

Also being offered, and also after a 100-point restoration, is a 1932 2-door Chevrolet.

Award-winning 1948 Nash Ambassador Super 2-Door Coupe and trophies

“Both the Nash and the Chevrolet are creampuffs – truly flawless,” said Coker. “Each will open for bidding at $10,000 and will transfer to their new owners complete with their respective collections of fifteen to twenty trophies,” Coker said.

Other vehicles being offered include a 1976 Chevrolet Corvette driven only 39,000 miles, a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL, a 1962 Buick Electra convertible in need of restoration, and a 1961 Studebaker Lark. Also, a 1951 Chevrolet 1-ton flatbed dualie truck, a 3-wheel Cushman delivery, a 1970 Honda Passport motorbike, and a 1987 Chevrolet Jerr-Dan roll-back wrecker, powered by a gasoline 454cid V8 and used only for hauling show cars. 

1932 Chevrolet and trophies won

Among petroliana, there are eight restored vintage gas pumps, and some that have not been restored. 

“Some of the pumps even show the price of gas at 29 cents a gallon,” Coker said. 

There are assorted signs and gas-station products, “anything else you might have seen at a service station during the 20th century – including soft-drink signs,” Coker said. “There’s a 4-foot-long double-sided Coca-Cola porcelain sign, circa 1940s, that’s untouched and still strapped into its original shipping crate from New Hampshire.” 

There’s a 25-foot Texaco sign, a round Texaco sign with red-star logo advertising aviation fuel, a 4-head Coca-Cola fountain, a roadmap cabinet, and two “amusing” vintage condom machines with keys, as well as 125 vintage pressed-steel automotive toys.

The auction is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on October 6 at 360 White Oak Road, Oakdale, Tennessee. A preview is scheduled for October 5 from noon until 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the auction website.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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