Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hot Wheels 2008 Gilmore Special 2-Car Set (M3261)

I picked this up a few years back at a swap meet. It's Hot Wheels Gilmore Special 2-car set (M3261). From the box:

White 3000 Truck: At the turn of the 20th Century, Arthur Freemon Gilmore wanted to expand the dairy hear on his ranch in Los Angeles, so he drilled for water. To his surprise, he found oil instead. Over the next four decades, that discovery led the Gilmore family to develop an amazing company, the Gilmore Oil Company, and some of the most extraordinary promotions the oil industry has ever seen. A.F. Gilmore's son, Earl Bell (E.B.) made Gilmore Oil's "Blu-Green" gas famous. E.B. built a stadium on the ranch property where midget car racing began and the season ran from May through "Thanksgiving". Gilmore Oil sponsored cars, boats, and airplanes that set speed records. The plane's pilot was Roscoe Turner and the co-pilot was Gilmore, a small, very real lion cub.

Agajanian Special: Gilmore Oil sponsored other cars such as Indy 500 racers, a car built to set land speed records at Bonneville, and a radio "Circus" which featured the longest advertising jingle ever - a Gilmore Gas song which added a new verse from listeners every week. All that energetic salesmanship and the memorable "Roar with Gilmore" series of logos promoted a chain of West Coast Gilmore Gas stations. Today you cans visit an exact replica of one of those stations, Earl's Service circa 1936, at the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles. It sits on the same property where a search for water created a petroleum legend.

There is an Indianapolis connection to this beyond the Gilmore Oil's sponsoring of Indy Cars. Roscoe Turner, the pilot mentioned on the box, founded an airline in Indianapolis. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery here in the Hoosier capitol. I used to belong to an IPMS chapter named in honor of Roscoe Turner, and am familiar with the story of the Gilmore Lion.

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