A gorgeous, fully restored 1959 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, a Canadian Red Indian Aviation Motor Oil sign from the 1930s, a 1937 Ford Model 78 Deluxe convertible sedan and a 1930s Canadian Eco-Meter 150 “Clockface” gasoline pump are just a few of the treasures that await bidders in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only Petroliana, Railroadiana & Advertising auction planned for Saturday, June 18th at 9 am Eastern.
The 300-lot auction will be headlined by the Joe Byway collection of petroliana (gas station collectibles), railroadiana and advertising. “This is a sale of two collections: Joe’s petroliana, along with his father’s lifetime collection of railroadiana,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Together it represents 90 years of collecting and two generations of ownership.”
Joe continued the stewardship of his father’s railroadiana collection, while continuing to procure automobilia and petroliana for himself. He built on what Arch started, sharing his father’s passion for preserving history. One of Joe’s greatest joys was finding something new for his museum. These items will now be sold to the next generation of collectors.
Railroadiana includes signs, lithographs, lanterns and other historical objects from Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), Canadian National Railway (CNR) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Petroliana and automobilia includes signs and tins from Red Indian, White Rose, B/A, Texaco, Sunoco, Imperial Oil, General Motors and Dominion Royal, among others.
“All of Joe’s signs, gas pumps, oil cans and even cars were found within a 50-mile radius of his house,” Mr. Miller said. “He acquired them before they were coveted by enthusiasts, starting in the 1960s. Joe’s collection was a secret to most of the world, even to neighbors. Old collections like this – found in primary sources – simply aren’t out there, and we’re thrilled to offer this one.”
The ’59 Corvette was originally a New Mexico car, but was later purchased in St. Thomas, Ontario by Joe Byway in 1979. Joe stored the car until 1985 and then commissioned Dave Harrison with the restoration. It remains a meticulously maintained, rust-free, running driving car. The car features a correct 283 CI 230 HP V8 engine. (est. $45,000-$60,000).
All estimates quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.
The single-sided porcelain Red Indian Aviation Motor Oil sign (Canadian, 1930s) is a rare sign promoting Red Indian’s Aviation motor oil. The vibrant cobalt blue and blood red graphics pop against the white ground. It retains the original flanged mounting ends and rear tabs and is 26 inches tall by 72 inches wide, graded 8.75. (est. $40,000-$45,000).
The 1937 Ford Model 78 Deluxe convertible sedan is a rare open-air car with rear doors and the original paint (except the front fenders). The restoration includes new upholstery, carpet and convertible top. The dash has been professionally re-grained. It’s powered by the correct flathead V8 engine. The odometer shows 10,175 miles (est. $25,000-$30,000).
The Eco-Meter 150 “Clockface” Gasoline Pump (Canadian, 1930s.) is tagged, “Eco-Meter Gasoline Dispenser Manufactured by Service Station Equipment Co. Ltd. Toronto and Winnipeg”. The 82 inch tall by 22 inch wide pump is painted to Shell colors and has a reproduction globe. The sight glass cylinder and dials are cracked (est. $15,000-$20,000).
There’s another noteworthy vintage vehicle in the auction. It’s a 1972 GMC 1500 Custom pickup truck with 49,138 miles on the odometer. It features a long box and 3-speed manual transmission. The rust-free truck boasts its original interior and correct original 307ci V8 engine (undetailed). The restoration includes new paint (est. $20,000-$25,000).
A 1930s Service Station Equipment Co., Ltd. (Toronto) Canadian double gasoline pump, Clearvision Model No. 700, an older restoration to Sunoco colors, 127 inches tall, with reproduction globes, should ring up $17,000-$20,000. Also, a General Motors double-sided porcelain sign (American 1950s), 96 inches tall by 72 inches wide, with atomic age design, consisting of six pieces (three sections per side) is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
A single-sided porcelain Red Indian Motor Oil sign (Canadian, 1930s), featuring a raised border and measuring 26 inches tall by 72 inches wide, graded 8.75 for condition, is expected to fetch $15,000-$20,000; while a double-sided porcelain Supertest Gasoline Service Station sign (Canadian, 1930s), 48 inches in diameter and graded 8.75 on each side for condition, with scattered losses and chips, should gavel for $10,000-$12,000.
A double-sided porcelain White Rose Gasoline “Slate Boy” sign (Canadian, 1940s), featuring the iconic “Boy and Slate” graphics, 48 inches in diameter and graded 8.75/8.5, has an estimate of $15,000-$20,000; while a White Rose Service Station sign (also Canadian, 1940s), a three-piece set including two horizontal panels and a rare 36-inch diameter round sign, each piece single sided porcelain, should sell for $6,000-$8,000.
A double-sided porcelain Dominion Royal Tires sign (Canadian, 1940s), marked “P&M Orillia” on the lower edge of each side, 65 inches tall by 70 inches wide and graded 8.5 on each side, is estimated to bring $8,000-$12,000. Also, a double-sided porcelain neon sign for Philco Radio (American, 1940s), each side with a backlit glass panel, addressed to the original store (“Bustin Electric”), graded 8.5 and 8, should achieve $6,000-$8,000.
Two Canadian Vulcanizer 10-gallon visible gasoline pumps, both 120 inches tall by 22 inches wide, have estimates of $5,000-$6,000. One is from the 1920s and sports the original tinted glass cylinder. The other, from the 1930s, has the original cylinder, which is cracked and glued. Each is painted to Supertest colors and has a reproduction globe.
An early 20th century American 12-seat railway station bench made from quarter-sawn oak, tagged, “Frost’s Veneer Seating Company, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, New York” on each side, should rise to $2,000-$3,000. Also, a single-sided painted wood New York Central Train schedule board (Canadian, 1920s), possibly from the St. Thomas Railway Station, with painted tin information plates, 82 ½ inches tall, should hit $2,000-$3,000.
Internet bidding will be thru the Miller & Miller website (www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com), as well as LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
While this is an Internet-only auction, with no in-person event to attend, bidders can tune in to the live webcast on Saturday, June 18th, to watch lots close in real time. Here is a link to the sale: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-5SL1Y6/petroliana-railroadiana-advertising-the-joe-byway-collection.
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the auction on June 18th, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.