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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