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Nostalgic over gas pumps in Cumberland County - abc27 WHTM

Nostalgic over gas pumps in Cumberland County

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Gas pumps have been part of America's motoring landscape since horsepower first moved from the barn to the garage. And, for many of us, they're little more than necessary evils that fill our tanks while emptying our wallets. But at the Dan Hershey Auction Service in Shippensburg, they have 60 reasons to disagree.

"It definitely causes a good reaction," said auction house co-owner Chris Bream, talking about the buzz surrounding the upcoming auction of the vintage gas pumps. "It's something that's highly collectable. A lot of people are looking for them."

For the third year in a row, gas pumps from by-gone years are on the auction block, expecting to draw collectors from as far away as Georgia. Up for bid among the pumps are brand names that no longer exist and pump styles of generations past. Bidders will choose from five dozen pieces of hands-on automotive history and related items.

"Some people like the fact that they're in original condition," said Bream. Others are going to tear them apart and make it look all fancy."

Besides the body styles and display windows of the models, long forgotten gas prices draw lots of comments too. A clear glass pump from the 1920s boasts of gas at seventeen cents a gallon.

"Seventeen cents!," laughed Bream. "If that was the price, we'd be driving everywhere."

Like any sought after antique, a pump's age, condition and rarity play a big part in just how high the price will go before the gavel drops.

"The tall pumps we have here are in pretty good condition," noted Bream. " I would say they could range anywhere from a thousand to three thousand dollars."

Along with the pumps, buyers can take home other gas station memorabilia including signs that touted available automotive services, a rack of eight glass motor oil containers and an air pump stand. For many of the collectors, such purchases are an investment in nostalgia.

"It's the history of them," Bream said about the buyers. " It's items from their era growing up. They get to remember it from their growing up time."

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