Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Try it free for 14 days
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
Subscribe to the Free

Gas Station Ruins Discovered in New Mexico On Old Route 66

Bow Tie Nostalgia

John Gilbert Aug 11, 2015
View Full Gallery

In the summer of 2015, I was driving on Interstate 40 through New Mexico on my way home to California from a Colorado car show. Just as the sun was setting, I thought I spotted the ruins of an old Whiting Brothers gas station up on old Route 66. A few miles further up I-40 in Grants, New Mexico, I checked into a motel for the night. The next morning, just before sunrise, I found a side road leading to old Route 66 and backtracked until I found the Whiting Brothers visible from down on I-40.

The memories all came rushing back. My mom and I filled up at this Whiting Brothers station in 1966 while returning to California with the ’57 Chevy Bel Air my recently deceased great aunt bought brand-new in Stockbridge, Michigan. The first time I saw my great aunt and uncle’s ’57 Bel Air was in 1957 as a 5-year-old car-crazy kid on summer vacation in Michigan. In 1962, my parents stuck me on a Detroit Metro bound DC-10 and I spent the summer plowing fields with a ’47 Allis Chalmers tractor and lusting after Aunt Mabel’s Tropical-Turquoise-with-a-white-top ’57 Bel Air. I don’t remember boldly telling Aunt Mabel or Uncle John I wanted the ’57 when they died, but it was very clear I wanted that ’57 Chevy to be my first car.


When Aunt Mabel’s will was read, there was no mention of the ’57 Bel Air, but her son Robert Rockwell remembered me and sold us the ’57 Chevy with 17,000 original miles for $50.

The Whiting Brothers Route 66 chain of “gas for less” stations lasted from 1926 until the early 1990s. You can conduct a Google image search to enjoy a photographic tour through time of this Whiting Brothers station located 10 miles east of Grants, New Mexico, in between San Fidel and McCartys. In 2015, when I saw it last, the gas station was barely standing. It’s quite possible by 2016 it will collapse completely and the only landmarks left will be the two big Whiting Brothers signs barely visible from I-40.




Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links